Introduction to the Togo Process
Sunday 28 November 2010
1. Country Background
- Country: Togo Population: 6,5 millions
- Capital City: Lomé
- Population of Lomé: 1,5 millions
- Year of introduction of Internet: 1997
- Year of introduction of broad band DSL Internet: 2007
- Number of Commercial Internet Bandwidth Provider: 3
- Available Internet Throughput: 155Mbps/155Mbps - 4,8Mbps/15,6Mbps - 2Mbps/3/Mbps
- Average cost for Internet access: USD 60 per month for 128kpbs (DSL link)
- Average population of Internet users: 350 000+ Broadband subscribers: less than 2000
- Average Blackberry users: 150
2. Management of WAIGF-Togo mailing list
As we were identified as National Resource Person for the West Africa Internet Governance Forum, we started to liaise with core local resource persons and champions involved in the development of Internet in Togo. We had informal discussions with Alain AINA (AfriNIC), Jean Robert HOUNTOMEY (ISOC Togo), Arnaud AMELINA (AUF/CNF Lomé), Atafeitom TAGBA (Director of Cabinet of Ministry of Telecom). Beside, we broadcast the survey prepared by IISD to all stakeholders dealing with the Internet Media as advised by IISD and APC. Upon assumption of duty, we localized the mailing list made available by APC at https://lists.waigf.org/ mailman/listinfo.cgi/waigf-togo.
To date, we invited 66 individuals to the list to start discussing how Togo can dive into the UN IGF agenda and foster the Internet development in the country.
After the introduction of the subject and the WAIGF context, we received most of the contributions off list in our private email address.
The main issues raised can be summarized as follow:
- The legal basis of WAIGF Togo
- The organization toward WAIGF Meeting in Dakar
- The level of involvement of Government of Togo
- The level of involvement of all other stakeholders related to the Internet development in Togo to make sure that the process is really inclusive.
3. Preparations toward the face to face meeting
There was a general consensus to have a face to face meeting, as for one or another reason, people tend to send their comments and questions off list. We went to set up a beta version of the site available at www.fgi-togo.tg , to manage the preparation of the face to face meeting previously scheduled for 14 August 2010 in Lomé.
However, before going for a face to face meeting, we feel that it might make sense to hold a formal consultation meeting with some few core actors identified to form an Advisory Committee, including the Government and the Telecommunication Regulation Authority representatives. This meeting will enable the core group to have the same understanding of the process. For this to happen, we have suggested to postpone the 14 August 2010 Meeting to December 03, 2010 (date to be confirmed in the coming days).
The Advisory Committee is currently made of the following actors:
- ATULL: Free Software and Open Source
- OPIM: Internet & Mobile
- CIFRAD: Communication & Human Rights
- ISOC: Internet Society Togo
- ESTETIC: Internet Service Providers
- ARTP: Telecom Regulation Authority
4. Way forward
As it is now, the Togo case is one to handle with care if we want to involve more core actors, have their commitment, and end up with a successful process. People are really interested in the IG process, and we are currently working to build trust among various stakeholders, with some success. We have valuable individuals here who are well known for their involvement and commitment in the Internet Community, and they are really helpful to foster the process, but we may need to proceed with care and cautious.
We look forward to your valuable comments and observations.
Nahmsath Yabouri WAIGF National Resource Person - TOGO