Introduction to the Ghana Process

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Ghana Country Report for WA-IGF 2010.
WAIGF – Ghana Report
Country Process
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), The African Network Information Center (AfriNIC), The Panos Institute for West Africa (PIWA), The Internet Society, Africa (ISOC), And the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with support from the Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) has launched the 2010 West African IGF.

As part of the project target countries were identified to facilitate national discussions and facilitate the bottom up national, regional and global policy dialogue in West Africa. For the Ghana space a proposal was made to constitute a team to steer the process for the project duration and beyond for sustainability and continuity, upon consultation with key stakeholders in the IGF process. We also intend to look at the long term goals with emphasis on capacity building.

Team Members

  • Ivy Tuffour
  • Charles Amega-Selorm
  • Eleanor Afful
  • Kwadwo Gyamfi Osafo-Maafo
  • Godfred Ahumal

Goals

  • To create multi-stakeholder platform and engagement for Internet Governance in Ghana.
  • To identify and bring together stakeholders to participate in Internet Governance debates and discussions.
  • To facilitate, lead and promote Internet Governance discussions on a multi-stakeholder platform in Ghana.
  • To increase awareness of Internet governance issues in Ghana
  • To help develop and increase capacity in Internet Governance
  • To promote the bottom up policy dialogue process.
  • To work with other agencies in promoting and advancing Internet Governance in West Africa.

Approach

  • Organize and facilitate a discussion space on Internet Governance
  • Organize workshops on Internet Governance for key stakeholders
  • Partner with key organization in developing and building capacity in internet Governance
  • Work with I-SSIG for a summer school program
  • Create awareness in Internet Governance through viable mediums
  • Participate in regional and global discussions and IGF meetings physically and through remote participation
  • The WAIGF Ghana mailing list has been activated with intermittent discussions but there has not been any face to face IG meeting as of today.

Stakeholders

Key stakeholders from government, academia, the private sector, civil society and many other groups have been identified and invited to join the mailing list. Because of our inability to hold a national face to face meeting, there has not been much discussion on the list on or two discussions on the mailing list on a number of IG issues.

Challenges
The Ghana process has started slowly and it may be due to our approach but we are hoping to learn some best practices from the regional forum in Senegal.
It has been a challenge getting all stakeholders to completely believe in this project and contribute to its success but we also believe if we take our time and explain what we mean to achieve, they will all come on board for a successful implementation of this project.

IG Issues
From the discussions online and from team discussions, Internet Governance issues such as Internet Security, Infrastructure issues, access and access costs, critical internet resources, with particular emphasis on IXP development, local content have dominated discussions. Again, because of our inability to convene a face to face meeting, these have not been discussed fully and no consensus reached.

Results
The efforts of the team have led to the drafting of a proposal which is still undergoing some fine-tuning for implementation.

Recommendations
We recommend the following
1. More engagement with the major stakeholders in Ghana, especially government to believe in the bottom up national multi-stakeholder approach the consortium is using.
2. Our team would better serve the IGF agenda if all relevant stakeholders are included in the team
3. Identify and use various communications tools to bring to bare the understanding of IG to the communities

Report by Charles Amega on behalf of Godfred Ahuma the National Co-ordinator.