WAIGF 2015- COMMUNIQUE’

Monday 29 June 2015

7TH WEST AFRICAN INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

THEME: "INTERNET: A FREEDOM FOR ALL"

18 – 19 JUNE 2015, NICON LUXURY HOTEL, ABUJA, NIGERIA

COMMUNIQUE

[ORIGINAL VERSION: ENGLISH]

We, participants of the 7th West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF), meeting in Abuja, from 18th to 19th June 2015, representing the Internet governance initiatives of the following ten (10) countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo; with the participation of the following partners: ECOWAS Commission, ICANN, AFRINIC, ISOC, World Wide Web Foundation and FOSSFA.

- Recalling the results of the previous editions of the West African Internet Governance Forum which were held respectively in Accra, Dakar, Lagos, Freetown and Abidjan;

- Considering the need to sustainably own the benefits of the Internet at the community level;

- Desirous, on one hand, to build an innovative, dynamic, prosperous, and united sub-regional Internet community and, on the other, a stable and secure Internet ecosystem.

1) Elect to:

a) Consult with the ECOWAS Commission and FOSSFA on hosting the WAIGF;

b) Host the virtual WAIGF Secretariat at the ECOWAS Commission.

2) Recommend;

All Member States shall effectively operate their national Internet Governance Forums (IGF) with all stakeholders.
Encourage more government participation in IGFs and ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

a) On Internet and Human Rights

- Undertake lobbying for the ratification of the African declaration on Internet Rights and freedom by national legislative bodies;

- Declare the rights of children to protection on the internet as one of the fundamental objectives;

- Protect the freedom and rights of girls, women and other marginalized groups on the internet against any form of violence and harassment;

- Sensitize stakeholders on the ownership and implementation of adopted laws on the internet in Member States.

b) On Universal access

- Develop an enabling environment;

- Adopt Technology neutrality for rapid expansion of broadband networks including mobile broadband;

- Tax reduction/exemption of ICT equipment so as to reduce the costs of acquisition by the largest number of people especially the rural and remote areas;

- Encourage infrastructure sharing at all levels for all services and products.

c) On Internet for Economic Development

- Finalize a strategic development plan of the digital economy at the ECOWAS level;

- Formulate a postal master plan for the ECOWAS region to invigorate the postal sector.

d) On Surveillance and Online Privacy

- Sensitize stakeholders on the need to promote a more inclusive approach to developing policies on surveillance and online privacy.

Express our gratitude to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission for hosting this 2015 edition.

Abuja. June 19, 2015
WAIGF 2015