Date: 29 June 2022.
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.
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.
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:
- Thematic Moderated Panel discussions.
- Moderated Plenary discussions.
- Parallel Breakout Sessions.