Written by Samuel Muchiri, KESIG participant.
“Because of internet’s nature it cannot be governed by a single sector – it has a lot of “haki yetu”” said Grace Githaiga during her opening remarks at the opening of this year’s start of Kenya School of Internet Governance.
The idea of Kenya School of Internet Governance (KSIG) was first realized in the year 2015 that lead to the development and participation in other forums like Kenya Internet Governance Forum. This creates a platform for representation at regional forums like East Africa Internet Governance Forum, Africa Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and Global IGF.
The main objective of KSIG is to build capacity in understanding internet governance. In this regard Facebook has been an adherent in helping facilitate interactive forums like KISG through their African policy advocacy program.
Dr. Waudo Siganga of Computer Society of Kenya gave a brief history of the internet from its conception to the current status. One of the notable and most recurring trend was that governments were not involved through this development apart from the US government. He also mentioned last year’s major transition of IANA (International Assigned Numbers Authority) that is the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers to the private-sector, a process that had been committed to and underway since 1998.
Internet Governance (IG) was said to entail both technical infrastructure and public policy issues. According to Word Summit Information Society IG could be defined as the evolving policies and mechanisms under which the Internet community’s many stakeholders make decisions about the development and use of the Internet.
Different international organization have classified IG into various categories that emerge from this endeavor. DIPLO a non-profit foundation that works to improve global governance and international policy development, classified the issues as follows; Infrastructure and standards, legal, Development, economic and social cultural.
Some of the emerging issues as brought out by Judy Okitte from FOSSFA were cyber security, legal, taxation, economic and human rights – that cut across this fields. One of the predominant note that came out when rights were discussed was that “offline rights apply online”.
End user pain points were deemed lack of better infrastructure (provision, accessibility, cost) and human rights – child online protection. The participants passionately expressed the need to see change and development in those areas.
By Samuel Muchiri