WAIGF Communiqué 2011

Saturday 20 August 2011

Fourth Session of West Africa Internet Governance Forum,

Date: 27th -29th July 2011
Lagos, Nigeria

Theme: “Promoting the Multi-stakeholder Model for further Internet Development in Africa”

We, the participants at the regional West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF), held at the Welcome Centre and Hotel, Lagos (Nigeria), from 27th to 29th July 2011, organised by the WAIGF Consortium and the Government of Nigeria,

Recalling that this is the fourth session of the West African Internet Governance Forum;

Recalling that previous West African Internet Governance Forums had concluded that good Internet governance is critical for sustainable ICT development and social-economic impact;

Recalling that at the third, regional West African Internet Governance Forum in Dakar, Senegal, the Forum discussed issues such as access, security, critical internet resources , privacy, cloud computing, and openness, in the region;

Recalling the continued commitment and support given by international organisations such as ICANN, ISOC, and DiploFoundation, for the success of the WAIGF, and participation by various stakeholders in the forums;

Recalling that in the last three forums , we have continued working, under the same theme ,to emphasise the need for the multi-stakeholder, participation in the IGF process, within the region;

Agree that:

  • The universal access policies of the various West African countries should be implemented to improve affordable Internet access in rural and underserved areas.
  • While governments in the sub-region are taking measures to fight cybercrime and ensure cyber security, we encourage Governments to ratify and domesticate ECOWAS legislations on personal data protection.
  • There is an urgent need for better sensitization of the public on Internet governance and the activities of WAIGF within the global, regional and national hemisphere.
  • To ensure the sustainability of the forum, stakeholders should support the establishment of a WAIGF Secretariat which, among other things, will support national and regional IGFs.
  • We encourage documentation of the Forum’s deliberations to help keep track of progress towards the attainment of the goals and objectives of the forum.
  • Stakeholders within the sub-region should be encouraged to conduct research into all aspects of Internet Governance within the sub-region.
  • All stakeholders should implement their strategic plans to ensure that West Africa is a major global Internet player;
  • Governments as major players should actively participate in, and create an enabling environment for greater public participation in Internet Governance Forums.
  • The WAIGF should form strategic partnerships to ensure sustainability and funding.
  • The WAIGF should constructively engage the media within the sub- region in Internet Governance activities and discussions.
  • Governments establish a synergy between the sectors sharing responsibility for national vocational education, energy, telecommunications, transport and water management to streamline the investment expenditure in infrastructure that benefit availability and access of all to the Internet at lower cost.
  • Governments enact legislation to make the Internet an official tool of communication between governments and citizens, enable them access services without constraint.
  • Governments and their agencies should partner with stakeholders, including the private sector, and the media in educating and enlightening the populace on Internet Governance.

Thank the Nigerian IT Development Agency (NITDA) of the Federal Govenment of Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), AfriNIC, the Internet Society (ISOC), the Panos Insitute West Africa, Diplo Foundation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Association For Progressive communication(APC), for their support for the forum;

Thank the local organizers, DigitalSENSE Africa (DSA) Media, ( Remmy Nwekke), National Resource Person (Emmanuel Edet), and the Welcome Centre and Hotel management and staff for their hospitality.

Lagos, Nigeria
July 29, 2011

Download the Communique in PDF below