Remarks by Grace Githaiga, Convenor, KICTANet on the auspicious occasion of the 15th edition of the Kenya IGF.

Grace Githaiga giving her opening remarks at the Kenya IGF

On behalf of KICTANet, Welcome to the 15th edition of Kenya IGF.

About KICTANet
The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) is a multistakeholder think tank for ICT policy and regulation. The network acts as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector and is guided by four pillars: policy advocacy, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and research. KICTANet’s guiding philosophy is that of encouraging synergies for ICT policy-related activities and initiatives. The network provides mechanisms and a framework for continuing cooperation, engagement and collaboration in ICT matters among industry, technical community, academia, media, development partners, civil society and government.

Activities for Kenya IGF
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder forum where public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance, such as the Internet’s sustainability, robustness, security, stability, and development.

The purpose of the IGF is to maximise the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues; create opportunities to share best practices and experiences; identify emerging issues and bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and contribute to capacity building for Internet governance.

The National Country forums such as we are holding today are localised and their outcomes feed into each other from country to sub-regional then regional level, and finally culminating in a report that is presented at the global level during the Global IGF. And this year, the global event will take place in Ethiopia in November.

This year’s global IGF theme is ‘Resilient Internet for a shared sustainable and common future’. The Kenya IGF theme is aligned to the global IGF theme and will respond to the local context including the upcoming 2022 general election. The following are the activities for the Kenya IGF:

  1. Began with the KeSIG which took two weeks and is an annual training to induct new and fresh voices into the ICT policy-making process.
    In collaboration with GIZ, we conducted a three-day women’s digital security Training of Trainers. 20 women aged between 18-34 years were drawn from social justice organizations, civil society and the private sector.
  2. Roundtable Meeting on Women’s Privacy and Data Protection in the context of Elections included the launch of a policy brief on privacy concerns for women. In the afternoon, a Community of Practice Event was held on Module 5 of the Digital Enquirer Kit on Online Gender-Based Violence.
  3. In collaboration with Meta Platforms Inc, held an engagement with over 50 representatives to discuss privacy concerns on online platforms for Kenyans.
  4. In collaboration with CIPESA, we launched two study reports. One on Disinformation Pathways, in the electioneering period, and the other on data governance.
  5. In collaboration with the UK Digital Access Program partners, ICTA, KFCB APDK and British Council we conducted training on cyber hygiene with women, Persons living with Disabilities, and youth from Mathare, Kibera and Mukuru. This training is part of our cyber hygiene campaign to equip marginalised and digitally excluded communities with practical skills on how to stay safe online.
  6. We also held the Kenya Youth IGF, which seeks to bring the voices of the youth into internet governance
  7. Later today, we shall have a Fireside event which shall be the launch of the Digital Readiness of e-Government in Kenya, which we have collaborated with the GIZ, and the Estonia E-governance academy
  8. And the culmination of the events is today’s Kenya IGF whose, which is the 15th edition, and its theme is resilient internet for a shared and sustainable common future.

The theme: ‘Resilient Internet for a shared sustainable and common future’.
I want us to pose and reflect on the journey of the internet in Kenya which we can trace way back 30 years. Years ago, the main concerns were access and affordability. Then we moved to how to roll out e-government services with KRA making it mandatory to file taxes online, confirming that the Internet had now entered into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Discourse then moved to content creation to diversity and moderation, harms and risks arising from Internet use, such as cybersecurity, privacy, hate speech and disinformation. Then COVID-19 happened and boom! Seasons changed! More people including school children, doctors, pharmacies, – and even those who had been reluctant to embrace ICTs, moved online, including moving the KIGF online in these two last years.

Now we are starting to see the need to address some of the emerging challenges for the public. For example, the need to make cyber hygiene an everyday normal practise akin to the way all of us learnt to automatically wash or sanitise our hands during covid. We also need to find ways to combat disinformation and fake news, promote responsible use of the Internet during elections, enhance data governance, and ensure digital inclusion and last-mile connectivity to ensure that no one is left behind etc.

More importantly, we need to continuously think, and debate about what the future of the internet should look like. We need to think of the unimagined technologies, that have yet to be developed, the good they propose and the new risks that they present. What are these things that we have not thought about? What will the future look like? Will we be moving to Metaverse? How do we prepare for this? How will the internet look like 10 to 20 years from now?

Ideas that come from this meeting are going to be critical for our kids, and future generations. For example, how generation Z is using the internet today, is so different from mine, and so will it be for the next generation.

The IGF is the place where these conversations commence and happen. The main outcome of the Kenya IGF is to maximise opportunities for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues through multistakeholderism. We have different stakeholders in this room drawn from the government, the private sector, CSOs etc (as defined in the WSIS Document of 2005). This, therefore, is an opportunity for us to reflect on the future—the unimagined and how well prepared we are for this unimagined future.

Appreciation for our sponsors
Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), META Platform Inc, GIZ, Safaricom, UK Government Digital Access Program through UKAid, CIPESA, Huawei, TESPOK, KENIC, AFRINIC, IGFSA, and Liquid Technologies. Special thanks to CA, Meta Platfrom Inc, Safcom, and KENIC who have been part and parcel of #KeIGF for a couple of years.

We applaud all of you who are here for your time and for responding to the invite.

We look forward to stimulating, conversations. Conversations that will capture ideas that will get us to this unimagined future that will ensure that we have a ‘Resilient Internet for a shared sustainable and common future’


Grace Githaiga is the convenor and CEO of KICTANet.

KICTANet Chairman Ali Hussein opening remarks at the KeIGF 2022

Ali Hussein, Chairman of KICTANet giving his opening remarks

Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to begin by thanking the KICTANet team, our sponsors and all those who participated in bringing all of us together for this year’s Kenya Internet Governance Forum 2022. This year’s global IGF theme is ‘Resilient Internet for a shared sustainable and common future’ and indeed the Kenya IGF theme is aligned to the global IGF theme and will respond to the local context including the upcoming 2022 general election. In the course of this day, we shall discuss topics at the centre of data governance and privacy, Technology and elections, internet connectivity and other emerging issues.

A lot has happened in the past year, for example, Kenya enacted three sets of Data Protection Regulations that are necessary to operationalize the Data Protection Act, with the registration of data controllers and data processors set to commence in July 2022. These laws have an unprecedented impact on all sectors of the economy from finance to healthcare causing us to put our people at the centre of business models.

In the same breadth, access to meaningful internet connectivity for all Kenyans is growing. The Communications Authority enacted a licensing framework for community networks that allows them to gain access to spectrum and influences them to design funding models that promote their sustainability. The authority is also promoting access to the internet for persons with disabilities. We as KICTANet are members of the UK Digital Access Program and together with other stakeholders continue to work for an inclusive and accessible internet. However, for internet access to be meaningful, users must also have knowledge of cyber hygiene that allows them to avoid cyber risks and threats. To this end, we applaud efforts by the government to enact a national action plan on child sexual exploitation and abuse that will see the government implement reforms to ensure child online protection.

However, as we draw closer to elections, we must interrogate the role of technology in elections. In the past elections, we witnessed the use of personal data in political campaigning. Largely, personal data is an asset for private entities and political parties that can be utilized to influence a voter’s choice through microtargeting, robocalls and sending personal messages through bulk SMSs. During the 2017 elections, political campaigns were also able to influence a voter’s first impression by using attack adverts. For example, a simple search for a word like Scandal, the movie, brought results on scandals linked to the Cambridge Analytica Campaign.

Beyond the use of filter bubbles, voter profiling and data-driven campaigns, hate speech and inciteful speech, misinformation and disinformation are aspects of great concern during elections. Already we have witnessed a rise in electoral misinformation on various platforms that according to research is amplified by platform algorithms. In the same breadth, online gender-based violence continues to spur across the net, shrinking the ability of women in particular to exercise their right to free expression and association online.

On a positive note, we bear witness to the fruit of our advocacy. In line with our recommendations for social media companies to strengthen policies and enforcement on political messaging and electoral misconduct. This past week Meta (the holding company that owns Facebook) informed us of steps taken by the platform to increase electoral integrity such as providing transparency on who is paying for political ads and hosting ads in the ad library. This is against other wins such as growing appreciation for data protection impact assessments by government and the private sector for processing of data that poses a high risk to individuals. These wins are a step in the right direction calling for us to be ever more vigilant in our efforts to uphold our digital rights.

As we begin these interesting discussions today, I hope this presents us with an opportunity to critically assess how far we have come and what efforts we need to do together, in the spirit of multstakeholderism to ensure a resilient internet.


Ali Hussein is the Chairman of KICTANet.

2022 Kenya Internet Goverance Forum #KeIGF

The Kenya Internet Governance Forum has now become Kenya's Premier Internet Policy Forum that informs and inspires policy actors in both the public and private sectors.Hybrid Forum: 30 June 2022. 

2022 Theme: “Resilient Internet for a shared sustainable and common future“. 

ANNUAL Kenya IGF Programs. 

  1. The 2022 Kenya IGF Program
  2. The 2021 Kenya IGF Program
  3. The 2020 Kenya IGF Program
  4. The 2019 Kenya IGF Program
  5. The 2018 Kenya IGF Program
  6. The 2017 Kenya IGF Program

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder forum where public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance, such as the Internet’s sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development are discussed. The United Nations Secretary-General formally announced the establishment of the IGF in July 2006 and the first meeting was convened in October 2006.

The purpose of the IGF is to maximize the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues; create opportunities to share best practices and experiences; identify emerging issues and bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public; and contribute to capacity building for Internet governance.

The event brings together stakeholders representing government, the private sector, civil society, the technical and academic community, media and the public in an informal setting for policy dialogue on Internet governance issues on an equal basis through an open and inclusive process. This type of cooperative engagement is usually referred to as the multistakeholder model of Internet Governance, which is one of the key features for the Internet’s success. This model is paramount to ensure that the Internet remains sustainable for economic and social development.

KICTAnet in partnership with Industry stakeholders, convenes and organizes the Kenya IGF. This has been the tradition since the 1st edition of the Kenya IGF, which was held in 2008. The Kenya IGF has been hosted and convened by KICTAnet in every successive year since then. KICTAnet works with partners and sponsors to make the event a success. The willingness of the various organizations to partner and support the event is an indication of their commitment to the development and growth of the internet in Kenya.

The main outcome of the Kenya IGF is to maximize opportunities for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues. Others include:

  1. Creation of opportunities to share best practices and experiences.
  2. Identification of emerging issues and bringing them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public.
  3. Contribution to capacity building for Internet governance.
  4. Bringing new voices into the Internet Governance Conversation.
  5. Develop a common national position with key recommendations to feed to East Africa and Africa IGFs.

Engagement in the Use of Meta Platforms

A KICTANet Thought Leadership Series.
Date: 28 June 2022.
Venue: Sarova Panafric Hotel.


KICTANet and Meta will host an interactive thought leadership roundtable for stakeholders in Kenya to highlight emerging concerns arising from the use of Meta’s Platforms in Kenya. This event is a follow-up meeting to a successful event held on 29th March 2022 with civil society at Sankara Hotel.


Meta manages data of more than 3 billion users worldwide spanning different age gaps, races, political inclinations, nationalities, genders and religious persuasions. It also processes approximately 1 million gigabytes of data every single day through its platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, making the company one of the largest data collectors and processors globally.

There has been widespread concern over how Meta collects and processes personal data and whether the company has sufficient safeguards to guard against data breaches and violations of the right to privacy. Indeed, the colossal fines against the company over privacy violations in Europe, have led to unease, especially in Africa where data protection is either non-existent or new. In Kenya, concerns over the data breaches such as the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and the increased cases of psychological profiling, surveillance, and targeted advertising remain.

Similarly, there is limited understanding of the company’s community standards or guidelines applied across its products and services. Civil society actors have raised concerns about the increasing cases of harmful content such as hate speech, online violence, misinformation, and disinformation on the platforms; the inaction of the platforms to address harmful content; the gaps in the application of community standards; enforcement of community standards; ineffectiveness of content moderation practices; and the limited transparency and accountability on content moderation. Indeed, the increase of harmful content presents risks to Kenya’s upcoming general election scheduled for August 2022. Collectively viewed, these challenges affect the realisation of fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of expression, assembly, association, and the right to privacy.

One of the key recommendations from the convening held in March was for regular engagement of key stakeholders with Meta and other social media platforms. Such engagements could provide a useful platform for dialogue and feedback and better coordination between Meta and local digital rights activists, civil society, and opinion shapers. It also provides a unique opportunity to have a shared understanding of the challenges faced on Meta platforms and to develop strategic recommendations for action.

Objectives of the Roundtable Series

The objective of the roundtable series is to provide platforms for dialogue and engagement on the concerns and challenges arising from the use of Meta’s platforms in Kenya and to identify priority actions, potential solutions, and best practices moving forward.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced understanding and engagement on the concerns and challenges arising from the use of
  • Meta’s platforms in Kenya; and, Identified priority actions, potential solutions, and best practices.

Format of the Events

The events shall be three workshops in three thematic half-day sessions with stakeholders. It is proposed that the first event takes place during the KIGF Week scheduled for June 27-30, 2022. KICTANet and Meta shall agree on the time frames for the other two events.


Each meeting will aim to bring together at least 40 multistakeholders, including business, academia, technical community, digital rights activists, representatives of CSOs working on digital rights, human rights defenders, and other opinion-shapers who influence conversations both online and offline, to enhance partnerships, sharing of knowledge and emerging best practice.

About KICTANet

KICTANet is a multistakeholder platform for people and institutions interested in ICT policy. The network acts as a think tank that catalyses policy reforms in the ICT sector, and it is guided by four pillars: policy advocacy, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and research. KICTAnet’s guiding philosophy encourages synergies for ICT policy-related activities and initiatives. As such, the network provides mechanisms and a framework for continuing cooperation and collaboration in ICT matters among industry, technical community, academia, media, development partners, and Government.

Draft Agenda

08:00 – 08:30Arrival and RegistrationKICTANet Team
08:30 – 08:45Opening and Welcome Remarks
Grace Githaiga, KICTANet
Mercy Ndegwa, Meta Platforms Inc
08:45 – 9:00Agenda Setting and ObjectivesKICTANet / Meta Team
09:00 – 10:00Meta Privacy 101
An overview of how we approach privacy at Meta

 – Ololade Shyllon, Meta Platforms Inc

Moderator: Victor Kapiyo
10:00 – 11:00Privacy and Elections
Examining  tools and policies to protect privacy in elections
              Q & A
Moderator: Victor Kapiyo
11:00 – 11:20Tea Break
11:20 – 12:30Panel Discussion: Concerns and Challenges to Online Privacy in Kenya –  

Berhan Taye, Internews
Catherine Muya, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa 
Francis Monyango, Strathmore CIPIT
Mugambi Laibuta, Advocate of the High Court
Moderator: Bridget Andere, Access Now
12:30 – 12:45Recommendations and Next Steps KICTANet / Meta Team
12:45 – 13:00Wrap Up and Closing Session
13:15 – 14:00Lunch Break

Privacy and Data Protection for Women roundtable

Date: Monday, 27th June 2022
Place: Four Points by Sheraton


KICTANet in partnership with GIZ will host three interactive discussions as part of the Strengthening Women’s Safety Online: Digital Security and Data Protection Training and Awareness Raising for Women in Kenya. 

Launch of Policy Brief

Kenya’s Data Protection Act 2019 and Article 31 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 form the pillars of the country’s data protection and privacy regime. KICTANet has noted the vital role of social media in our daily lives. However, for women, being online can make them prone to data breaches which go on to form a basis for vicious cycles of cyberbullying and attacks. In fulfilling KICTANet’s pillar of research and advocacy, KICTANet has conducted research on data protection and privacy from a gender perspective. The Policy Brief will be launched and its findings and recommendations will be shared with stakeholders.

Community of Practice Event: Digital Enquirer Kit

Finally, KICTANet has been extensively involved in the development of Module 5 of the Digital Enquirer Kit on Online Gender-Based Violence. This discussion will center on the link between the concept of gender and power dynamics, the various forms of OGBV, their harm, and tips to keep yourself safe online. We will also discuss Kenya’s experience of Online Gender-Based Violence, necessary policy and legal interventions, and digital safety skills to keep yourself safe online.

Event Program

        TIME                            DESCRIPTION
8:00 am – 8:30 amArrival and RegistrationKICTANet
8:30 am – 8:45 am  Welcome and Introductions Grace Githaiga KICTANetTevin Mwendwa, GIZ
8:45 am – 9:00 amAgenda Setting and Objectives  Liz Orembo/Angela Minayo, KICTANet
9:00 am – 10:30 amLaunch of Policy Brief of Data Protection and Privacy in Kenya form a Gender PerspectivePresentation of the Policy Brief and the concerns on data protection and privacy for women – Tevin Mwendwa, GIZProf. Sylvia Kang’ara – Key Findings and Recommendations from the Policy Brief, KICTANet Launch of the Policy Brief – Immaculate Kassait, MBS,Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
10:30 am – 11:00 amHealth break
11:00 am – 12:00 pmRoundtable Discussion- Impact of Elections on Women’s Privacy and Data Protection
Data Protection and Privacy Challenges for Women politicians; Meta’s Approach  –  Dr. Ololade Shyllon MetaExperiences in Kenya on data protection for women during elections – Elog/Amnesty/Siasa PlaceDigital Security and Data protection for women political actors during election – Liz Orembo, KICTANet
12:00 pm – 1:00 pmPlenary Session 
1:00 pm – 2:00 pmLunch Break
2:00 pm – 2:45 pmAn Introduction to the GIZ Digital Enquirer Kit (DEK)Angela Minayo and Liz Orembo, KICTANet
2:45 pm – 4:15 pmPresentation of the Module Riva Jalipa, KICTANet
4:15 pm – 4:30 pmKenya’s Experience with Online Gender Based ViolenceNerima Wako – Executive Director, Siasa Place
4:30 pm – 4:45 pmFeedback session on the Module, QnA
4:45 pm – 5:00 pmClosing SessionLiz Orembo, Angela Minayo
5:00 pm –Tea/CoffeeGuests leave at their own pleasure

Kenya School of Internet Governance

Seventh Edition 17 – 30 June 2022
Venue: Online via e-learning platform and webinars


KeSIG’s mission is to increase the capacity of key actors and potential actors in the local internet governance space. These include traditional human rights defenders and civil society organizations, students, academia, the tech community, and government departments.

These actors are also commissioned to participate in international internet policymaking thereby contributing African perspectives in global debates. The training aims to: 

  1. Get participants to understand  internet governance
  2. Increase the mass of people contributing to internet policy making in Kenya and globally
  3. equip participants with skills to effectively participate in internet governance discussions and forums  
  4. Provide networking opportunities for different stakeholders 
  5. Provide actors involved in internet governance (trainers) with feedback on emerging issues 


KeSIG 2022 will take place over three weeks from 17th to 30th June 2022. On the first day, participants are taken through basic concepts in internet governance with a focus on Kenya’s contribution throughout the years. Topical issues such as online protest and content generation are covered on the second day. On the third day, participants interact with policymakers such as the Communications Authority, legislative drafters, and private sector policy advocates. 

The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to reflect and evolve. KICTANet restricted physical meetings and transitioned them to be entirely online. Events like the Kenya IGF and the Kenya School of Internet Governance all went online.

An e-learning platform was developed for KESIG which reduced the costs of the training while making it better leading to an increased capacity from 40 to 100 students. However, disparities in internet access meant many were not reached, even as many households installed internet fiber at home, or upgraded their bandwidth to cater to the increased need of working from home. These developments provided an opportunity to advocate for the reduction of internet access and connectivity costs and taxes. 

The KeSIG training is a mix of lectures and interactive activities. The course content is delivered through an e-learning platform. Participants also get to listen to perspectives from veterans and practitioners who have participated in internet governance as well as emerging leaders. They also get to stimulate scenarios and envision the future of the internet and policy-making in Africa. KeSIG alumni also facilitate sessions in the program, encouraging participants to envision their contribution to internet policymaking. 

KESIG 2022 has 113 participants.

Areas to be covered in the training include: 

  1. Introduction to  internet governance
  2. Main concepts in  internet governance
  3. Internet governance processes and how to get involved 
  4. Kenya’s  internet Governance policy /legal framework(s),  internet Governance Issues in Kenya 
  5. Digitalisation and digital rights in Kenya and Africa at large

Pre Kenya School of Internet Governance- Program17th – 30th June 2022

TimeActivity Facilitator
9:00 am – 9:15 amMeet & Greet Judy Okite
9:15 am – 9:30 amKeSIG brief introduction.Grace Githaiga
9:30 am – 10:00 amE-Learning Portal  OverviewKelvin Kariuki 
10:00 am – 10:15 amQ&A Liz Orembo
21st to 24th June
At your own free  timeSelf-Paced Learning  on the KeSIG  eLearning PortalWalubengo, Kariuki  and Judy

Webinar with industry speakers
27th June to 29th June 2022

Day 1: Mon 27th June
Time Topic Facilitator
09:00 – 09:15Welcome remarks  from KICTANet  Barrack Otieno, Kelvin Kariuki, Judy Okite.
09:20- 10:00Lesson 1: Evolution of  Internet  – Internet Infrastructure development.
Q and A
Paul Muchene – ICANN
10:05- 10:45Lesson2: Relationship between Internet Principles and Human rights
Q and A
Rosemary Kimwatu
10:50- 11:30Lesson 3: Intro to IG-  IG- The processJohn Walubengo
Daily Review Questions
Moderator Review: Questions for Lesson  1, 2, 3
Q and A 
Barrack Otieno
Day 2: Tue 28th June – Required: Self-paced  pre reading  
09:00- 09:15Recap From day 1 Kelvin Kariuki, Judy Okite
09:20- 10:00Lesson 4: National and Transnational organizations role in Governing the internet Understanding Internet regulationCommunications Authority
10:05- 10:45Lesson 5: Private sector – Passive observer or active contributor – ISP’s : Understanding the role of Private Sector in Internet GovernanceSafaricom 
10:50- 11:30Content Moderation and Community standards
Q and A
Meta (Facebook)
Daily Review Questions
11:35-12.00Moderator Review: Questions for Lesson  4,5, 6 
Q and A 

Day 3: Tue 29th June – Required: Self-paced  pre-reading  
09:00- 09:15Recap of previous day’s lessonKelvin Kariuki, Judy Okite
09:20- 10:00Lesson 7: Key global Internet Governance Issues – Accessibility – Overview of Accessibility and DemoJudy Okite, Dr. Reginald Oduor
10:05- 10:45 Data protection and privacy overviewJohn Walubengo
10:50- 11:30Overview of the course content and
John Walubengo
Closing remarks Grace GithaigaBarrack Otieno
Day 4: Thur 30th June – Participate on the  Kenya Internet  Governance Forum  2022 – hybrid
Award of KeSIG  – TraineesBarrack Otieno & Grace Githaiga 

eLearning Track – self paced. NB: Add PRIVACY MODULE BELOW

Chapter 1

  • Historical background to the development of the Internet
  • Fundamental key principles and characteristics that underpin the internet
  • Characteristics of internet model of development
  • Multistakeholder engagement in global internet governance

Chapter 2

  • Over The Top Services
  • Local Content Issues
  • Cybersecurity
  • Perspectives on key policy and regulatory issues and processes
  • Engaging policy processes: policy and legislative procedures

Chapter 3

  • Legal issues, including privacy and intellectual property rights.
  • Human rights and the internet
  • Participating in internet governance: highlight of some opportunities (IGF, WSIS, IETF, ICANN, DIPLO, KICTANet)
  • Emerging issues: internet and elections

Youth Internet Governance Forum

Artificial Intelligence

Date: 29 June 2022.

Kenya Youth IGF 2022 Concept Note:

Kenya Youth IGF 2021 Report:

Background and Introduction.

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder forum for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance. The forum is held in an informal setting, free from binding negotiations. It brings together all stakeholders from government, private sector, technical community, academia and civil society to discuss Internet governance issues on an equal footing through an open and inclusive process. This type of cooperative engagement is referred to as the multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance, which is one of the key features for the Internet’s success.

Kenya IGF, the national initiative (NRI) of the IGF process has positioned itself as Kenya’s Premier Policy Forum having successfully held 14 annual meetings of the National IGF in Kenya since 2008. KenyaIGF hosted the global IGF Forum in 2011. Over the years, Kenya IGF has continued to open up the space for new voices and champion the capacity development of many through the annual Kenya School of Internet Governance that was launched in 2016. Majority of the beneficiaries of this program have been youth from various stakeholder groups who have since been meaningfully engaged in subsequent National and Regional IGFs.

Kenya YouthIGF

Young people are key stakeholders in the IGF ecosystem as they are the majority in Kenya, Africa and the world over. The IGF Secretariat has since recognized the importance of meaningful youth participation at the IGF processes and promotes the strengthening of Youth IGF Initiatives. Youth ====Initiatives of the IGF are created with a goal of encouraging and involving young people in a substantive discussion on Internet governance. These forms, as well as the national, sub-regional and regional IGFs (NRIs), are expected to follow the main IGF principles of being open, inclusive, non-commercial with multi-stakeholder participation during the whole preparatory phase and the event itself, all in line with a bottom-up decision-making process.

Kenya Youth IGF is a youth-led structure to develop the capacity for coordinating, mobilizing and advocating for meaningful inclusion and engagement of young people in the Kenya IGF in partnership with industry stakeholders to address key Internet issues. Following the success of last year’s edition, this year’s Kenya YouthIGF aims at serving as an interactive discussion platform for organized youth participation from all stakeholder groups to bring up their ideas and concerns. The Forum will further create opportunities for networking, collaboration and creating long-term partnerships between key stakeholders and the community. This year, the YouthIGF is scheduled for 29th June 2022 as a hybrid format with some of the attendants physically and some can connect virtually. The outcomes of the forum will feed into the annual 16th edition of the Kenya IGF 2022 happening on 30th June 2022.


This year’s theme for the Kenya YouthIGF will be “Resilient Internet for a sustainable and common future for the Youth”

The sub-themes prioritized for discussion which will help in framing the discussions are:

1.      Data Governance, Protection and Privacy – Data is the key resource of the globalised digital age. Its movement drives economies, and its analysis, particularly big data analytics, has been the basis for remarkable innovations across disciplines, from finance, to health and law enforcement. The privacy of personal data is too often sacrificed over the course of data exchanges, from the point of collection, to application, and then storage, with deep consequences for trust and security.

2.     Digital Inclusion – This session aims to provide a framework for assessing and considering the various elements and policies which can improve access to equitable opportunities in a digital age. Digital inclusion is about having the right access, skills, motivation and trust to confidently go online.

3.     Enabling Safety Security and Accountability – Our understanding of safety and security should be widened to include the persistent challenge of online misinformation and disinformation. In recent years, both have been factors in aggravating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and have posed significant risks to electoral processes around the world. This has made clear the need for accountability criteria for misleading content.

4.     Connecting all People and Safeguarding Human Rights. The UN Secretary-General’s proposed Global Digital Compact (GDC) has as its first principle to “Connect all people to the Internet, including all schools”. This recognizes that Internet connectivity and access have become prerequisites for ensuring the livelihoods, safety and education of people the world over – and that Internet in schools provides crucial points of access, makes informational resources available to all students, and builds digital literacy from the earliest stages of life. Yet 2.9 billion remain unconnected, with those in least developed countries and rural communities most affected.

5.     Addressing Emerging & Advanced Technologies: Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by advanced technologies, while addressing related challenges and risks is a task that no one actor can take up on its own. Multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation – among governments, intergovernmental organisations, tech companies, civil society, etc. – are required to ensure that these technologies are developed and deployed in a human-centric and human rights-based manner.

Expected Outcomes

The main outcome of the Kenya YouthIGF is to maximize opportunities for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet Governance (IG) related issues relevant to the young people. Others include:

  • Creation of opportunities to share best practices and experiences;
  • Identification of emerging issues and bringing them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public;
  • Contribution to capacity building for Internet governance.

Target Participants & Methodology

The Kenya YouthIGF targets 70 participants who will consist of individuals representing various sectors including government, the private sector, civil society, the technical and academic community, and the general public. The invitation to the event shall be open to all via a public link.

The format of the forum will include:

  1. Thematic Moderated Panel discussions.
  2. Moderated Plenary discussions.
  3. Parallel Breakout Sessions.

Dissemination of Country Reports: Data Governance and Disinformation Pathways

Date: Wednesday 29th June 2022, 8.30 am to 1.00 pm.
Place: Panafric Hotel.

KICTANet in Partnership with CIPESA conducted two research projects on Data Governance and Disinformation Pathways. This event will form part of our dissemination efforts as well as policy advocacy for the effective implementation of digital rights policies in Kenya. Through this exercise, KICTANet also aims to map out areas for further research and collaboration.

Disinformation Pathways Study
This study was part of 5 African country reports on disinformation(Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda). The Kenya country study was conducted in the period of June-December 2021. It highlights the main factors around periods of political contestation such as elections and anti-government protests, as well as those that are related to hate speech. The aim was to understand the nature, perpetrators, strategies, and pathways of disinformation, and its effects on democracy actors including civil society, bloggers, government critics, and activists. Further, the study documented the adequacy and effectiveness of remedial measures by platforms, as well as government responses to disinformation.

Data Governance
KICTANet and CIPESA conducted a survey on the governance of personal data during the Covid-19 pandemic. The research focused on data collection and processing by the government geared towards tackling the pandemic, documenting citizen experiences during these exercises. The study makes recommendations on a framework for data governance during public health crises. The findings of the research will form part of KICTANet’s engagement programs with the newly appointed Data Protection Commissioner and her office.

Event Program

8:30 am – 9:00 amArrival and RegistrationKICTANet
9:00 am – 9:20 amWelcome and Introductions ParticipantsParticipants
9:20 am – 10:00 amDisinformation Pathways, presentation of findings by researchersJune Okal, Wambui Wamuyu
10:00 am – 10:30 amDiscussions, Q&AsParticipants
10:30 am – 11:00 amHealth Break
11:00 am – 11:20 pmIntroduction to Data Governance ReportGrace Githaiga, Liz Orembo
11:20 pm – 12:00 pmPresentation by ResearchersMutindi Muema
12:00 – 12:30Discussions, Q&AsParticipants
12:30 pm – 2:00 pmLunch

Cherie : My #KeSIG2021 Experience – A Cheat Sheet for Future Students

By Cherie Oyier.

Earlier this year 2021, I read a book by Austin Kleon titled, “Show Your Work.” It is a tiny book that I think everyone should read. Anyway, this book’s main objective is to encourage more people to show the behind-the-scenes or backend processes that go into achieving final results. Austin claims that showing the backend processes not only gives the creator an opportunity to see and appreciate their progress, it also inspires others of the possibility of success and opens the floor for feedback and ideas on how to improve the process for future creators. It is on this basis that I am inspired to write about my experience as a Kenya School of Internet Governance (#KeSIG2021) cohort. 

I trace my experience back to when the call for applications was made. The call for applications is made annually via the KeSIG website and then it makes its way into various social media platforms through re-sharing. I, for instance, saw the call in one of the WhatsApp groups I am a member of. This, therefore, goes to show that it is important to join communities or groups of like-minded people where you are likely to see such updates. However, if you are yet to meet such people, worry not, you can always check the KeSIG website or better yet follow them on their different social media pages to stay updated. The application form comes as a Google form that is easy to navigate and fill. The questions on the form require that you demonstrate why you want to take up the course, what plans or contributions you intend to make in the Internet Governance space post the course among other details. I strongly recommend that applicants provide well-thought, honest and contextual answers. The application and admission process is very competitive thus you want your application to stands out and to give recruiters as much context as to why you deserve a slot, therefore generic answers will not favor you. 

Successful applicants will receive an onboarding email that also includes the course program. It is imperative that you regularly check your email for this. As this cohort was held online due to the pandemic, the introductory class was done before the e-learning portal was open for access by students. In this introductory class, the faculty got to introduce themselves, train us on how to navigate the e-learning platform, and finally give us access to the platform. The e-learning platform is easy to navigate therefore you are guaranteed to have a great user experience, or at least I did.

Once admitted, we were able to start our self-paced learning for a week. During this period, we got access to six lessons including external links to further resources and material, graded forum discussions, and assignments after each lesson. For me, one of the best parts of this cohort was the creation of a WhatsApp group at the onset. Membership of the group included students and the faculty and this created a space to seek support and an opportunity for horizontal exchange of experiences, views, and observations freely. When the course got more technical as we made progress, this group came in handy with participants discussing their challenges and offering valuable guidance. Interaction within the group was a good icebreaker to creating new networks especially since the essence of the cohort is to create new communities to lend their voices in the Internet Governance space. The fact that the cohort accommodates participants from different disciplines, means that members offer diverse perspectives during discussions that build on the quality of discussions.  The group also acts as a constant accountability partner. Many are the times members checked in to find out if all members had submitted assignments and most nights there was someone counting down to the submission deadline. 

The KeSIG and KICTANet faculty provided valuable support through the group as well. I like to think of the faculty members as open and transparent like the internet – all pun intended! Faculty members were more like peers and very approachable. They answered our sometimes very amateur questions without reservation, challenged and pushed our intellectual limits, and most importantly they were very open to learning from us. 

After each lesson, students are to complete a graded forum discussion and assignments. These forums seek opinions on the topic covered. My recommendation to future students, therefore, is to read the resources provided for each lesson and go the extra mile of finding more resources on the Internet in order to engage better. Since the time for submission of the assignments is limited, ensure to actively set aside time each day to complete your reading and assignments on time. Further, please actively participate in the forum discussions as these discussions add value to the overall Internet Governance space.

In the second week, students are required to attend live online sessions for three days. During this time, the faculty invites industry players to share their thoughts and experiences on different issues. The sessions are open to participants to engage with the industry leaders through questions, feedback, and opinions. Active participation is key as it enables you to grasp concepts better and seek clarity on current issues happening in a particular industry. 

The final quiz is made accessible to students on the third day of the final week. This quiz is a consolidation of questions that cut across all six lessons. The quiz is timed so you might sweat a little but it is totally doable if you study and attend live sessions. The results of the quiz are generated in real-time and are accessible on the platform, students are also able to track their grades, and progress through the platform as they progress. 

The last day of KeSIG always coincides with the Kenya Internet Governance Forum (KeIGF) day. Students get to attend the forum and interact with more industry players for the entire day. Upon completion of the course, students are issued with shareable certificates and they can go on to engage and contribute in discussions that shape Internet Governance.

The Internet is an integral part of our day-to-day lives, it is an enabler of our fundamental rights and freedoms and thus we each have a responsibility to engage in conversations that shape and develop it at any level. Our voices mold the Internet into what we want it to be and this is why KeSIG is intent on introducing more diverse voices in Internet Governance discourses through this course. Therefore, any aspiring student should consider this as a free cheat sheet on how to join and successfully complete the KeSIG course because your voice is needed and it matters. 

I hope this highlight of the behind-the-scenes workings gives you an insight into what to expect and inspires you to join the course. I wish you the very best of luck!

Cherie Oyier is a 2021 Kenya School of Internet Governance (KeSIG) fellow and is also an advocate of the High Court of Kenya practicing at Oyier and Company Advocates. She regularly publishes articles on issues falling at the intersection of law and technology via her LinkedIn account and is passionate about contributing to Internet Governance policy discourse.

Why Parliament must not pass the anti-pornography bill

By Winfred Gakii.

Early 2021, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale tabled a bill to criminalize pornography. The Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was gazetted on 16th April 2021 and read for the first time on 9th June 2021. The bill seeks to amend the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2020, which is currently being challenged at the Court of Appeal as unconstitutional.  In his presentation on the purpose of the bill, Duale states that the objective of the bill is to protect children from exposure to inappropriate sexual content. 

The Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation received two memoranda from the public participation call; one joint memorandum from civil societies, including ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa and another one from the Communications Authority of Kenya. Both memoranda warned that the bill violates freedom of expression and by and large recommended deletion of the anti-pornography clauses and those that criminalize content that might cause people to commit suicide or join extreme religious or cult activities. The Committee on 4th August 2021 recommended the Bill for tabling in Parliament with only slight textual amendments, and recommendation for deletion of the anti-terrorism clause. This clause criminalizes the publication of electronic messages aimed at recruiting members of the public to terrorist activities and imposes a fine of up to twenty million and an imprisonment term of up to 25 years. A similar offence under Section 30A of the Prevention of Terrorism Act imposes a maximum imprisonment term of 14 years. The offence is improperly canvassed under the bill since it is already an offence in Kenya elsewhere. The clause also risks exposing individuals to excessive criminal liability since, with the same facts, one could be charged under both laws. The bill is currently ripe for second reading. 

The bill

The Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Bill, 2021 introduces, among others, the offences of production, possession and publication of pornography through a computer system. It further criminalizes downloading, distributing, transmitting, disseminating, circulating, delivering, exhibiting, lending for gain, exchanging, barter, selling or offering for sale, letting on hire or offering to let on hire, offering in any way, or making available in any way from a telecommunications apparatus pornography. 

The bill also mandates the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee to recommend some websites to be rendered inaccessible within the Republic of Kenya. It further prohibits the use of electronic media to promote terrorism, extreme religious or cult activities. 

The vague definition of pornography

Every offence must be clearly defined to delineate prohibited conduct from benign actions. Additionally, the offence must be defined precisely to guide the courts in determining criminal cases before them; and the police in enforcing the law. Even more importantly, the clarity enables the public to regulate their conduct accordingly. Finally, a concise definition of offences ensures that legitimate conduct is not curtailed, especially when it comes to legitimate speech. 

Pornography is defined in the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Bill to include any data, whether visual or audio, that depicts persons engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This definition is open to interpretation and police will have discretion on who to arrest and charge based on their individual interpretation of what constitutes ‘sexually explicit conduct. The phrase ‘sexually explicit’ is so subjective that it will lead to inconsistent application of the provision. The overbroad nature of its definition will open it up for abuse. 

Even more alarming is the clause that mandates the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee to recommend websites to be rendered inaccessible. The Committee comprises mostly representatives from the security sector including internal security, Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Director of Public Prosecutions. There are no criteria established for determining what websites should be blocked. Related, there is the likelihood of recommending blockage of websites with legitimate content. This proposed procedure contravenes international law as content moderation practices by the government have to incorporate judicial oversight as a check. Removal of websites will interfere with the free flow of information online violating the right to freedom of expression and access to information. 

Privacy concerns 

The bill criminalizes both the demand and the supply of pornography. It prohibits content that adults can view in the privacy of their homes or gadgets. It also criminalizes the private sharing of pornographic content as well as possession. The enforcement of the provisions of the bill on the demand side will invariably violate the right to privacy. This is because efficient enforcement of the law will inevitably necessitate surveillance of the public’s communications and searches of their homes. Heavy censorship and surveillance of communications renege on the democratic promise of the 2010 Constitution.

Punitive penalties 

The offences under the bill attract a penalty of up to KES 20 million or an imprisonment term of up to five years, or both. The penalty and the imprisonment term are extremely disproportionate given the conduct they seek to deter.

Limitation of freedom of expression under the Constitution 

While freedom of expression is not an absolute right, its limitation must comply with the Constitutional criteria in place. Freedom of expression can only be limited under the Constitution of Kenya when it relates to propaganda for war; incitement to violence; hate speech; or advocacy of hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm; or is discriminatory. There is also responsibility imposed on individuals that, in exercising freedom of expression, they shall respect the rights and reputation of others. Any limitation must be provided for in law, serve a legitimate aim and be necessary and proportional in a democratic state. 

What is the legitimate aim of prohibiting pornography? International law recognizes the protection of children as a legitimate ground for prohibiting pornography. The Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe, otherwise known as the Budapest Convention, encourages states to criminalize the production, possession and distribution of child pornography. The African Union Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Protection, which has not come into force yet, also only obligates states to criminalize child pornography. Child pornography is already criminalized under Section 24 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018 and is punishable by a penalty of up to KES 20 million, and an imprisonment term of 25 years or both. Protection of children is therefore sufficiently addressed in the Act. 

It is worth noting that the Uganda Constitutional Court on 13th August 2021 declared the anti-pornography provisions of the Anti-Pornography Act, 2014 unconstitutional. Besides the vague definition of pornography, the court stated that the Act did not elicit the legislative objective for the criminalization of pornography. The court noted that the provisions must be connected to the objectives they aim to achieve; a link which is clearly missing in the Kenyan Bill. There are lesser ways of restricting access to pornographic material by children that do not include a blanket ban on pornography with potentially significant and mass violation of free expression. Such include a requirement for companies to avail blocking or filtering software that requires the activating user to make an informed choice on the settings. The activating user would ideally be the parent or guardian. This form of regulation is self-imposed, and less detrimental to fundamental freedoms than government-imposed regulations.

The Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Bill will certainly create a chilling effect on freedom of expression. Given the vague definition of pornography and the harsh penalties, people will rather err on the side of caution and self-censor than face the full force of the law. Unfortunately, even those individuals producing, sharing or publishing legitimate content such as materials of scientific value, literature, learning or public interest are exposed adversely by the bill since they can only raise the defence during prosecution. This means that one can only invoke the defence long after they have been subjected to arrest and charges. As such, the bill will fundamentally stifle free speech; which is essential to a democratic state such as Kenya’s.

The up-shot? The anti-pornography bill is a frontal attack on freedom of expression and the National Assembly must not allow it to see the light of day. The MPs have the responsibility to protect the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution in their delegated power. 

Winfred Gakii is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Programme Officer- Civic Space at ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, and a Kenya School of Internet Governance 2021 alumni.