IGF 2018 WS #407 Digital development & Data Protection in the global south: MENA region as an example

Salle III

Organizer 1: Eman Jaradat, Jordan Open Source Association 
Organizer 2: Emmanuel ADJOVI, International Organization of La Francphonie
Organizer 3: Layal Jebran, Internet Society

Speaker 1: Rima HLEISS, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Abdelaziz HILALI, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Layal Jebran, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Nidal Bitar, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Wafa Ben-Hassine, Civil Society, African Group

Additional Speakers

Issa Mahasneh, Jordan Open Source Association


Khouloud Dawahi (25 years old)

Online Moderator



El Hadji Malick NDIAYE (25 years old)


Panel - 90 Min


Mr Aziz Hilali will address the digital divide status 15 years after the conclusion of World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and highlight the impact of Internet on the development.

Mrs Rama Hleiss will present the impact of ICTs and Internet in particular on the achievement of the SDGs and the daily life of the grass-root population in the global south 

Miss Layal Jebran will bring into this session a multitude of experiences and relevant views of what she had interacted with during fellowships and events that are relevant to innovation and sustainable projects that can make a difference to the world and enable other people, such as disadvantaged women & youth as well as refugees in her country to a better quality of life with better solutions. She will also share her experience in teaching programming online for free using the spoken Arabic language, and in supporting entrepreneurship and especially women in business.

Mr. Nidal Bitar will provide his experience in human capital development and workplace performance, strategy execution, project management, and new media services, as well as improving the legislation and the environment that stimulates investment and leadership.

Ms. Eman Jaradat will provide a perspective on the protection of digital rights, privacy and data protection policies or lack of them, with special focus on biometric data processing and their protection.

Mrs Wafa Ben Hassine will provide a perspective on the policies or lack of them and with special focus on the recent introduction of data protection laws in North Africa and the approach leading to it weather economic or human rights with a focus on Tunisia application of existing data protection law since 2004

Mr Issa Mahasneh will provide jordan perspective.



  • Organizers
    • 3 organizers
    • One of them is from AFRICA while the 2 others are from Asia Pacific region
    • They are 2 women and a man
    • One is from International Organization, the others are from Civil Society
  • Speakers, moderator, online moderator and Rapporteur
    • 5 Women and 4 Man
    • from Africa, Asia Pacific
    • From various stakeholder groups (Civil Society, Government, Technical Community & Academia)

 Onsite Moderator: Tijani Ben Jemaa (Mr), Civil Society, Africa

Online Moderator: Zeina Bouharb (Mrs), Government, Asia Pacific

  • M. Arsène Tungali, Civil Society, Africa 

The Workshop will address the development making use of the digital technology and its Role in achieving the SDGs and narrowing the digital divide in the global south 15 years after the WSIS. It will identify the barriers and explore possible solutions. 

The workshop will particularly focus on: 


  • Digital opportunities in the Middle East region with success stories in entrepreneurship and startups such as “Souq” and “Careem”. Legal and Policy aspects of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Women and Youth contribution, access and readiness, trust, infrastructure, education, future for the work and local content will also be examined as elements for a healthy digital economy in the region.


  • Data protection and Privacy in the MENA region, explaining the policy changes, following the companies’ accountability, raising awareness among Internet users. The biometric data collection & processing and the risk associated with it for citizens and refugees, together with the media freedom & access to information under personal data protection laws will also be on the table.


The session will be a Panel where the onsite moderator will briefly introduce the topic and the speakers (6 min), then give them the floor for short presentations (6 min each) addressing different aspects of the issue (36 min), and then give the floor to the participants in the room and participating remotely for a broad discussion (40 min). The onsite moderator will then Recapitulate the debate (5 min) and close the session (3 min).

One of the most important goals of the World Summit on Information Society was to narrow the digital divide that may contribute in narrowing the social divide between the global north and the global south.

15 years later, where are we? Was the divide reduced? Did the Internet contributed in reducing the gap between the poors and the riches? How about the development in the global south? What are the digital elements that may help a better economic growth? Did Internet contribute in the achievement of the SDGs?


The workshop will focus mainly on the MENA region, and will feature research conducted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Wamda and the Internet Society. It looks at both the opportunities and threats that are specific to the Middle East in building a digital economy, and offers recommendations and practical steps that can be taken to create a digital future in the Middle East, by that providing equal opportunities to everyone. The Digital Economy includes everything from small businesses improving their supply chain and entrepreneurs creating mobile apps, to governments deploying large-scale e-government solutions and global Internet platforms such as Facebook or regional ones such as Souq.com


With the introduction of GDRP in Europe and the discussion on the privacy and data protection issues and policies around the world, MENA region countries continue mostly to ignore the importance of introducing data protection laws and establishing independent bodies to enforce the protection of their citizens data.

In addition, Several countries in the region have introduced biometric data collection weather it’s for the registration of SIM cards in most countries in the gulf or the biometric ID introduced by the Jordanian government. Increasingly governments offer e-services for its citizens without clear mechanisms and assurances of data protection.

Online Participation

The remote participation will be given special attention.
If a speaker is unable to make it for whatever reason, he/she will make the presentation remotely as if they are present in the room.
During the debate part, the onsite moderator will coordinate along with the online moderator to navigate the process: the floor will be given alternatively to participants in the room and those participating remotely. Our remote moderator will be properly trained to facilitate efficiently the remote interventions.

The opportunity will be opened via broadcasting channels such as live facebook feed which the online moderator will be maintaining and navigating questions from there.



Introduction                           Onsite Moderator                                                       6 min

Speakers presentations          Speakers         (6 min each)                                       36 min

Participants discussion           All participants (including remote participants)      40 min

Wrap-up                                 Onsite moderator                                                       5 min

Closing                                               Onsite moderator                                                       3 min

Session Time