Thursday, March 10, 2011


The dates for the sixth 2011 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for 27th to 30 September 2011 in Nairobi at
the United Nations, Gigiri.
We wish to have strong participation of all stakeholders and would particularly like to encourage industry, civil society and policy makers,and media who would bring to it expertise, partnerships, and best practices.

We hope to leverage, build upon, and enrich the 2011 IGF, by extending the benefits of the IGF programming to begin to build a foundation for young people within the context of the East African Internet Governance Forum (EA-IGF) which will prepare them to participate meaningfully and constructively as IGF youth Ambassadors.

Best regards
Alice Munyua
Picked from the Mailing list [asis]

Reposted by Maureen Agena

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Youth, ICT Entreprenuership and Internet Governace in EastAfrica.

By Maureen Agena
The idea of involving the youth in issues of internet governance was one of the emerging issues at the 3rd internet Governance forum that took place from 11th to 13th August 2010 in Kampala Uganda.
Mr. Tony a representative from Digital Opportuinty trust an international  non-for-profit organization whose mission is “To create a global network of talented, energetic  young leaders who make real change  by educating local communities to apply technology effectively for real life” shared the experience they have with the youth, ICT and internet governace in East Africa.
Digital Opportunity trust is currently operational in four African Countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Egypt  in addition to other countries. It was noted that in EastAfrica, 50 percent young people are under the age of 25 and that even with secondary education young Africans face challenges, they are still three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
Youth and ICTs: Promoting Youth Engagement.
Early Access to ICTs means early adoption and adaptation of ICTs and skills therefore spurring innovation and economic growth. Mr. Tony from Digital Opportunity trust  said that young people need to be empowered in community-Building , knowledge Generation and sharing , projects support, skills development  and advocacy. He acknowledged that the youth input in ICT policy development is important as the policies can provide the necessary framework , support, legitimacy for young peopleto intiate and support their own intiative. There is also a great need to create opportunities for the youth to participate in national, regional and international ICT policy development processes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Third East Africa Internet Governance Forum: Issues and resolutions

Theme: Strengthening East Africa’s Critical Internet Resources

Ø    Cyber security management in East Africa
Ø    Strengthening critical Internet resources
Ø    IPv6 challenges in East Africa
Ø    Access and affordability to Broadband
Emerging issues
A. Cyber Security Management in East Africa
  • Cyber security is a combined effort and requires collaboration at all levels.
  • Harmonisation of cyber security management frameworks at the regional level should be undertaken. EACO has set up a cyber security taskforce.
  • We need to develop relevant polices to address emerging issues.
  • UNECA is Launching Knowledge Management platform for eastern Africa: November 2010.
B. Strengthening critical Internet Resources
  • From a technical standpoint ccTLDs are quite stable and well run. However there is need to “strengthen” ccTLDs in areas of policy and involvement of stakeholders in the process of management. what criteria should be used to define a strong ccTLD
  • Research findings show a lot of misunderstandings about terminology and roles of entities involved in the ccTLD and ICANN, which could contribute to the confusion that we see about what it means to do some things like re delegation of domains.
  • ccTLDs are facing stiff competition from gTLDs due to perception and pricing strategies for domain names
C. IPv6 Challenges in East Africa
  • The idea is to get prepared and not to panic as we make the transition.  (Timelines and not deadlines)
  • Governments have set up taskforces on IPv6.
  • AfriNIC has templates on IPv6 transition, deployment and can provide email support
  • We need to create awareness about IPv6
D. Access and affordability to broadband
  • Countries are investing in Broadband infrastructure and increasing access
  • Lack of local and relevant content
  • The need for last mile solutions
  • Infrastructure challenges still prevail
  • Interconnection should be improved with the use of provincial, national and regional IXPs
  • We need to define “What is broadband?” what speeds are we benchmarking for broadband

E. Emerging Issues
  • We need to have develop our human resource capability. Regionally recognised certifications should be adopted.
  • We need to involve the youth more in the activities of Internet Governance
  • The dot Africa initiative is a good initiative. Africa should make a combined proposal for it and should include ccTLDs in the process.
  • The code of practice ensures that all the people using the internet space are give an opportunity to be involved in the process of managing how they use their space.

  • A working group constituting all the ccTLDs from the 5 East African countries be set up to look into: (1) The strengthening of the ccTLDs in the region and what criteria defines a strong ccTLD in East Africa.
           (II) The business case for the dot EAC gTLD and how the    process can be moved forward.
  • The East Africa Internet Governance Forum calls upon ICANN to pay more attention to the strengthening of country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) especially those in Africa, which are weak and facing stiff competition from gTLDs.
  • All landlocked countries in the region should ratify the treaty The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that protects their right to access the sea and also provides legal protection in doing so.
  • The EAIGF should host information and share knowledge that arises from forums so that we can consolidate the information and knowledge in one place.
  • Let us unify our strategies so that we can get to our objectives quicker.

  • Code of Practice: By your participation at the forum you become a tool to carry forward the resolutions and recommendations in your organisation and country
  • Organizers shall examine participation to ensure its balanced and all inclusive (private sector)

        Rwanda to host the next East African Internet Governance Forum

        By Ether Nakkazi
        The third East African Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) ended with the over 100 participants from the region agreeing to set up a working group constituting all the ccTLDs from the five East African countries.
        The theme of the three-day conference was ‘strengthening East Africa’s Critical Internet Resources’ and was closed by Dr. David Turahi, the director Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ministry of ICT in Uganda.
        Dr. Turahi said the EAIGF had identified the ICT problems and recommendations of the five countries, which would be presented to the fifth annual IGF in Vilnius, Lithunia next month.
        Lillian Nalwoga, from CIPESA, the organizer of the third EAIGF will represent the EAIGF as a block at the meeting and present the deliberations and recommendations made at the EAIGF Kampala, Uganda meeting.
        The EAIGF meeting recommended that ICANN pay more attention to the strengthening of country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) especially those in Africa, which are weak and facing stiff competition from gTLDs.
        The next EAIGF will be held in Kigali, Rwanda next year. Senator Wellers Gasamagera from Rwanda on the ICT committee in Parliament attended the EAIGF.

        East Africa Alert for Cyber Security

        By Esther Nakkazi

        The recent landing of fibre optic cables along the East Africa coast has led to high Internet speeds and exponential growth in the use of the Internet but has also made the region more prone to security attacks. 
        “The East Africa region is making conscious and deliberate efforts to enhance Cybersecurity management in the region,” said Michael K. Katundu
        the Assistant Director, Information Technology Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

        Michael Katundu of CCK
        This is being done under the East Africa Communications Organization (EACO) banner made up of ICT regulators, telecom operators, postal and broadcasting operators in the five EA community member countries. 
        EACO has a Cybersecurity Taskforce chaired by Kenya and was formed in 2008 to coordinate the development of a Cybersecurity management framework for the EACO region.
        So far EACO has facilitated the establishment of National Computer
        Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to facilitate Internet-wide response to Cybersecurity events and conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems.
        Patrick Mwesigwa, the acting executive director Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) says EACO coordinates responses to Cybersecurity incidents at the regional level and provides incident reports annually to EACO member countries.
        Patrick Mwesigwa the chairman EACO
        So far the EACO taskforce has attained partnership with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the deployment of National Cybersecurity frameworks.
        EACO member countries have also embarked on the establishment of national CERTs in their respective countries.
        For instance to tackle cybersecurity, Kenya has enacted a law enshrined in the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act of 2009 which mandates the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).
        However, the ‘Kenya Computer Emergency Response Team’ (KE-CERT) is in place to coordinate response to cyber security incidents at the national level.
        The Government of Rwanda has also established a cybersecurity division under Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with special focus on developing the necessary cyber security policy and implementation strategy.
        Allan Kabutura the head of the Strategy and Policy (RDB/IT) said the cybersecurity division has an immediate focus to develop the Government IT security master plan and to design and implement the National Public Key Infrastructure System (NPKI)
        Uganda's cyber security legal framework has three sets of draft cyber laws – the Electronic Transactions Bill 2003, Computer Misuse Bill 2003 and Electronic Signatures Bill 2003. All the three pieces of legislation are in parliament due to be tabled in the main house before the end of the year.
        Tanzania and Burundi also have established national CERTs to tackle cybersecurity.


        Thursday, August 12, 2010

        East Africa Community countries' domain critical Internet resource

        By Esther Nakkazi
        Does the East African Community (EAC) need a ccTLD? Ideally the EAC domain name or ccTLD would be .EA, but that was taken, now the only choice left is .EAC.
        This was the first session of the second day at the third East Africa Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) in Kampala from 11th to 13th August 2010.
        Participants at the EAIGF debated the idea of establishing .EAC and ways of strengthening national ccTLDs, critical resources for EAC countries.  The ccTLDs for Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda are .UG, .KE, .TZ, .BI and .RW.
        But now as the EA countries become integrated under the EAC, they need to not only have a common market but to find ways to promote businesses under the .EAC.  
        In 2004, the EAC considered establishing the .EA domain name for the region unfortunately it was not available. The .EA an ISO 3166-1 "reserved code element" was already reserved by the World Customs Organization for the free ports of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish territories, pre-Spanish Morocco independence 1956)
        However, the .EAC, which is available could be created under the new generic gTLD at the ICANN, said Adam Peake from GLOCOM at the third EAIGF.
        “Ways to strengthen East Africa's ccTLDs is critical to the well being of the Internet in the region,” said Mr. Peake.
        ccTLDs or domain names are an essential part of national information infrastructure and they are the identifiers denoting a country or territory on the Internet. They are a country's virtual location and brand.
        Status of East Africa Community countries’ ccTLDs

        Joe Kiragu, the administrative manager .KE described a country’s ccTLD as a country’s virtual real estate, therefore, ‘it should be developed for the benefit of all and governance issues are paramount.’
        The Kenya .KE is a multi-stakeholder model adopted by KENIC and its efficiency has ensured increased domain names registration. Kenya also has local nodes for TLD’s root server .com and .net.

        Participants at the third EAIGF in Kampala, Uganda 

        Charles Musisi the executive director Computer Frontiers International (CFI) also the custodian of the Uganda .UG wondered ‘if it is not broken, why even attempt to fix it’?
        He described the .UG ccTLD as ‘sound and stable’ with over 1,000 domain names registered now under a proven competent and knowledgeable team for over 10 years now.
        Ambrose Ruyooka commissioner ministry of ICT said a working group has already been put in place to come up with a management policy for the .UG but the government is not interested in taking it away from Mr. Musisi.
        “We do not involved in domain name disputes, that could be a role for local arbitrators,” said Musisi of the possibility to involve other stakeholders in the management of the .UG ccTLD. However, the Uganda national IGF agreed that the government should be involved.
        The Tanzania .TZ which is still a young organization and came a ‘little too late’ than the rest in the region as described by Sunday Richard of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) did not have much to be talked about.
        Rwanda is in the final stages of deregulation of .RW ccTLD. It was originally hosted in Sweden but the government has managed to contact the private owner and take over regulation.
        It will have a multi sectoral model of management and a bottom up process, but the legal fraternity will be courted to join it more because of intellectual property rights involved, said Geoffrey Kayonga the CEO RICTA at the EAIGF in Kampala.
        The same private owner hosts Burundi .BI ccTLD in Sweden; the same one as with Rwanda but the country is now considering restructuring of the organization of management.
        “It will not be a re-delegation but a restructuring of the organization,” said Victor Ciza from AfriRegister.

        Participants at the third EAIGF in Kampala, Uganda
        Does the East Africa Community (EAC) need .EAC?
        “Do we understand the requirement and expectations of .EAC? Or should we look for uniformity or each country ccTLD should have a unique system even though we are in the EAC,” asked Alice Munyua, the EAIGF convener.
        “If a ccTLD is not utilized what does the country miss, are these resources really critical worth going to war for in a critical sense?,” wondered Sofia Beleke of .AFRICA.
        “Who wants .EAC and where shall we end up. Next will be .COMESA when we already have .AFRICA. Why don’t we just strengthen what we have,” wondered Vincent Mugaba from Uganda Christian University.
        But the participants agreed that EAC needed .EAC for branding, identification and promotion of branding.


        Access and Affordability to Broadband in EastAfrica.

        By Maureen Agena
        Facilitated by Natasha primo from the Association for progressive (APC) the afternoon and last session of day 2 during the EastAfrica Internet Governace Forum focused on access and affordability to broadband in Eastafrica.
        Mr. Douglas Onyango from Gidigiclear EastAfrica Limited made a presentation on the broadband status in EastAfrica. He said that according to the worldbank analysis, it was revealed that 10 % points of broadband penetration result in 1.21% increase per capita GDP growth in developed countries and 1.38% in developing countries. Mr. Onyango added that with the three fibre cables now operational, the prices of the internet have considerably reduced. However, expansion of the infrastructure is still limited to capital cities where a steady market is guaranteed.
        Country Reports on Broadband status
        According to Eng. Charles Lwanga the Assistant Commisioner ,Telecom and posts in the Ministry of ICT in Uganda, he says that until rescently, Uganda depended only on statellite for international access which is very expensive and has limited capacity compared to optical fibre. He said that the national backbone infrastructure is that all Ministries (28) in Uganda are connected with 2.5Gbps connectivity; 2.5Gps connectivity is available in the districts of Kampala, Mukono, Bombo, Jinja and Entebbe and also the Optical fibre has been laid to the districts of Iganga, Tororo, Malaba, Busia, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Nimule, Luwero, Nakasongola, Masindi, Hoima, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Fortportal and Kyenjojo and currently the Ministryof ICTS is implementing Phase II (lighting the fibre). Eng. Charles said that the only way forward is that;Telecom operators should rollout Broadband infrastructure to all parts of the country regardless of profitability,eE-Government services should be rolled out through National Backbone Infrastructure for use by central and local Governments and finally that there is need for more optical fibre international links to cut costs of broadband.
        Ms. Beata Mukangabo from  Legal affairs/RURA presents on the access and affordability to broadband in Rwanda.  She shared Rwanda ICT policy Mission of “achieving a middle income status for Rwanda by
        2020 and transform its society and economy into an information-rich, knowledge-based society and economy by modernizing its key sectors using information and communication technologies” She also cited the characteristics of broadband in Rwanda as satlitte and optic cable like in the case of Uganda. Rwanda’s current broadband status is that it has experienced substantial growth in telecom services (especially mobile telephony) although broadband Access is still low and expensive and that the government subsidies to satellite bandwidth also the national Backbone is under construction and finally that there are regional initiatives connection to Submarine Cable.

        In Kenya, Ms. Esther Wanjua said that the vision by 2030 is a globally competitive and prosperous nation with high quality of life by 10% p.a over 25years, equitable social development in a clean and secure environment and an issue based people-centered result-oriented and accountable democratic political system.

        It was noted that all the countries in EastAfrican face similar challenges in access and affordability to broadband like costs, infrastructure, accessibility, governance and affordability.