IGF 2022 Day 0 High-Level Leaders Session I

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> PAUL SCULLY:  ‑‑ to find innovative solutions to local development challenges and that's been particularly successful in stimulating digital economies and there are about 50,000 people that have been trained over the last two years through that tech hub network.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Mr. Scully.

As I did mention earlier, we are trying to keep the time tight to make sure everyone gets a chance.

I will come back to Ms. Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Rwanda.

>> PAULA INGABIRE:  Good morning.  I hope you can hear me because we're struggling for those of us that are online to hear what's happening in the room.  I hope you can at least hear me clearly.  I'll be very brief.

I think Paul has extensively shared the benefits and the importance of a multistakeholder partnerships to happen in order to drive meaningful connectivity.

Very specifically, just looking at Rwanda's example and what we're going to need to do beyond really looking at how do we assure that we have the right legal and regulatory reforms that are essential to drive meaningful connectivity, but also accessible connectivity for all.  Then also looking at the universal access policies that are not just looking at access but also ensuring that affordability is achieved as we drive broadband connectivity for all and making sure that no one is left behind.

The third part for governments, also looking at how do we stimulate demand.  It is one thing when you have high‑speed affordable broadband connectivity be but what are the things you put in place from building digital literacy skills through digitalizing services, but also making sure that the devices are affordable so that citizens can also afford to use and benefit from this infrastructure that's been put in place.

When I swing to the private sector side, it is really putting in place the necessary technical and national investments allowing for us to have this affordable infrastructure across the different countries.

Again, to ensure meaningful, affordable, accessible connectivity is not something that can be achieved by one partner on their own.  We all need each other so that we are able to deliver this at scale.

Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I now invite Mr. Li, Under‑Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.

I believe he will come to the podium to also respond to the question.

>> JUNHUA LI:  Good morning.  (Poor audio quality).

Let me just, I had prepared a statement, but just let me go straightforward to those clear elements I would like to share with all participants.

To list them, the session for the IGF, from UNDESA, we believe several things we can do.

Number one ‑‑ let me see ‑‑ we need to acknowledge that the IGF is a network of networks.

Over the year, the IGF community has exchanged expert experiences and good practices, and explored policy solutions for Connecting the Unconnected.  The IGF has more than 150 national, regional and youth initiatives want.  More than 45% of these are in the Global South contributing to the capacity building and the knowledge sharing in Internet Governance.  The IGF collaboration on Internet Governance contributes to the institutional and the video capacity development.  The IGF can also look at the universal connectivity by creating new partnerships and by generating new ideas.

Second, moving beyond our support to the IGF, UNDESA connects the multistakeholder discussions to multilateral approaches on science, technology and innovation.  The rich outcomes of the IGF's annual meetings for example are brought to the UN High‑Level Political Forum, supporting the implementation of the SDGs.  The high‑level political forum is a critical platform to be leveraged by IGF.  Every year since 2015 the nations have come together in New York to evaluate their efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals in the High‑Level Political Forum.

In this most recent ministerial declaration, the Member States of the UN called for action on several relevant things to our discussion today, including promoting digital technologies, connectivity and access to broadband Internet connectivity.

Second, to advance the digital inclusion and literacy and incorporate in digital competencies into the education system.

Laths, but not least, enhancing and developing digital schools and competences.

UNDESA also supports the IGF activities with the work of the technology facilitation mechanism, which has engaged with thousands of scientific and technological stakeholders since its launch and its science and technology and innovation forum.

Thirdly, our research on an eGovernment is a valuable resource.  We analyze how public administration uses the Internet and digital technology to deliver services to the people.  We recently launched the UN eGovernment survey 2022, the future of the digital governance.  The 2022 survey found that digital technologies was central to how the governments address and continue to address the COVID‑19 pandemic.  This is the 12th edition of the publication and also calls on the government to strategize and invest more in long‑term national digital transformation.

So distinguished participants, advances in technology must ultimately serve wider growth of supporting Sustainable Development and leaving no one behind.

This is how expectations from this IGF is.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Mr. Li.

I now will can Mr. Antonio Pedro to also answer that question, and I will repeat it.

How can multistakeholder partnerships contribute to universal, affordable, meaningful connectivity and how do you see the respective roles, and responsibilities of actors like governments and the private sector?


(Poor audio quality)

>> ‑‑it sends a very clear signal.  First it recognized that ‑‑ this ‑‑ this standardization, the economics in Africa identified by all heads of states and government as a pathway for Africa to claim Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063.  In doing so, they recognize that digital transformation is key to achieving those goals.  That is important, it send a clear signal.  So we recognize also that achieving that requires the contribution of all the stakeholders that have been mentioned earlier by previous speakers.  We therefore, ECA, we use our three functions, the convening, the think tanking and the operational advisor services to supporting first demystifying the conversations about Internet and its role in society.  That's important.  It simplifies the conversations.  We identified the opportunities for all the stakeholders to participate, for example, we are supporting Member States to formulate national Africa coordinator free trade strategy, as you know, Africa's Marshall Plan is deemed, and it will create a market for 1.5 billion people where with no tariffs, other barriers, this will enable the emergence of small and medium‑enterprise, regional value chains which require digital as a means to enabling trade and so on, so forth.

That's important.  So understanding what the opportunities are, providing that information and freely and available to all the stakeholders that they can invest.  Then, of course, supporting harmonization ‑‑

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.  I'm sorry, we have to move you along.  Thank you very much, Director of public policy Africa and the immediate, Meta.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: Hello.  Good morning, everyone.  Madam Chair, was that part of my 2 minutes?  I hope not!

>> JEWEL FORDE: 2 minutes, sir.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: I'll take less time than that. 

Good morning everybody.  I'm Kojo Boakye, Vice President of Director of Public Policy Africa and the Middle East, Meta.

A huge thanks to those that put together this event.  And an admission of me, this is my first IGF despite working in this sector for 20 years.  I'm incredibly excited. 

The question of the importance of partnerships has been partly answered by certainly a friend and colleague, or honorable Paula Ingabire and Mr. Paul Scully, and by the presence in this room, we're convinced of this importance of partnership, in setting goals as we have seen with the Sustainable Development Goal 99 (c) many argue it should be explicit.  Many ITU goals that we have set as well and to the policy of policy and regulations that have come from organizations like the ITU.  That question is well answered.

The question of the role of stakeholders, it is possibly more nuanced as I thought about it.  I think generally we speak to governments creating the policy and rig Tory framework for us to go and use and for private sector companies to go and use.  Civil Society organizations being in some ways watchdogs and also being those who inform regions or parts of the ‑‑ of where we should go to as well as the goals as well and the private sector should go and invest.  Often it is more nuanced than that.  I think those roles are important, necessary, sometimes more nuanced, the government should certainly set the agenda, set policy and regulatory environments that are conducive to environment, to increased access and affordability, at the same time, governments have to fill the gaps when we have access gaps, that's the governments need to step in.  That's why we have Universal Service Funds.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: Is that the 2 minutes?  He.

>> JEWEL FORDE: That was 2 minutes!

>> KOJO BOAKYE: Can I take 15 seconds ‑‑

>> JEWEL FORDE: Your 2 minutes were over 10 second ago.  I give you extra 10.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: When done well, you get great projects like to Africa, Meta’s project with other projects connecting west to east or east to west hitting or connecting 33 countries across Africa, Middle East, Asia, and it will bring more capacity than all of the cables at this point in time.  Each of us need roles like that.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Lisa Fuhr.

>> LISA FUHR: Thank you, Director‑General, ETNO and sitting in the newly constituted IGF leadership panel.  We all know connectivity is extremely important and it is vital for all of U no way around this.  Connectivity is expensive as we just heard, we need investments and the deployment of 5G and fiber, it is an expensive activity in industry.  We need the cooperation of governments, public funds, private sector deployers of connectivity and it is essential to make sure that the funding and the infrastructure rollout is going exactly to those places and communities which need it so governments can make this easier and point to places where it is needed and industry can help, community‑led infrastructure, I think that these are important.  We also need that investors need clarity and certainty that they're making a good investment.  Connectivity needs to be meaningful and affordable as we talked about.  We cannot risk undue government interference.  We cannot risk the network shut down.  We cannot have top‑down mandating of protocols.  Our members, we're a strong support of an open Internet and we reject any attempt to fragment the Internet with top‑down protocols, this is bad for democracy, bad for investment and also bad for achieving universal connectivity.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I see the lady came in under 2 minutes!.

Our next question what, are the common challenges to providing connectivity that's both affordable and meaningful across diverse population groups especially rural areas and I'll start with Mr. Nil Narku Quaynor.  Chairman of Ghana Dot Com.

Africa is the youngest Internet region with known challenges in several areas, from stable connectivity, lack of devices, capacity, content application, education and new entrance and often use of efficient multistakeholder community engagement.  If you think these are many, just imagine what they were roughly 30 years ago when Internet was arriving.  As there are known technologies for addressing some of these challenges, I would rather focus on a new issue which is technology security as similar to food security.  As Internet penetration crosses 50% instead of international shut down, we should be seeking continuous Internet.

Referring to the second specific objective of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa which aspires that by 2030 all access devices are manufactured in Africa and 30% of information resourcing and services are developed and hosted in Africa, with that in mind, we must begin to address the risks associated with the dependence on digital technologies and prepare how to maintain continuity.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> NIL MARKU QUAYNOR: The amount of technical handicaps in Africa's Internet operations, they're undertaken in projects with global partners, while we understand urgency to complete a checklist, be aware that to do this is to do more of the technical networks ourselves.  In the 90s, the majority of providers on the continent were indigenous ISPs.  That is no more.

What policy lessons have we learned?  Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I now ask Rodney Taylor, Secretary‑General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union for his comments.

>> RODNEY TAYLOR: Thank you very much.

Good morning all.

In 2 minutes, certainly the cost of infrastructure, deployment, it is a factor that affects affordability because of regulating that infrastructure and the markets especially if it is poor regulation, it drives up the cost.  The cost certainly for Small Island Developing States, isolated in some cases, the cost of subsea fiber, the cost of capital to fund this infrastructure, it is important, and we have to talk about partnerships with international institutions like the World Bank, others, that can provide cheaper capital to invest. 

There is also issues with regulation and the cost of infrastructure and also the deployment, the technology behind it and we're seeing new advances and things like open radio access networks allowing for the sharing of infrastructure that drives down the costs as well to consumers.  The ability to use the technologies, use the new technologies coming on board like the satellites and 5G in a properly regulated environment and where we can cooperate across regions to things like harmonization of regulations on policy and Spectrum allocation helping to drive down the cost.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Mr. Taylor.

I now welcome Doreen Bogdan‑Martin, Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau and Secretary‑General‑elect of ITU.  I can repeat the question for you, what are the common challenges to providing connectivity that is both affordable and meaningful across diverse population groups especially rural areas?

>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: (No audio).  We call our Digital Transformation wheel and we tackle those challenges through three specific areas, access, adoption, and value creation.

Of course, on the access side, the challenge, the biggest challenge is getting the infrastructure in place.

There's a cost as Rodney has just mentioned, which is why we need to develop new business models when the infrastructure for connectivity is in place, of course, affordability is also a big barrier, the cost of services and, of course, a cost of devices.

I think this takes us back to the first question on the importance of partnerships and multistakeholder collaboration.

The second pillar is adoption and that's been referred to as well, the need for digital skills and literacy is absolutely critical, and of course we need local content and local languages, that's absolutely fundamental.

Of course, the third pillar, it is that value creation, that's where the life‑changing impact comes into play.  So being able to access a huge range of social, government, educational, financial service, that's where the Internet really can bring key value to people's lives.

I would say also added to that, it is the need to empower people to become creators and to be able to innovate new services and resources that bring value to others.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

His Excellency, Balcha Reba, Ethiopian Communication Authority, Ethiopia in our Host Country of Ethiopia.  Your answer.

>> BALCHA REBA: Specifically in rural areas, the global digital divide is often used to describe the digital gap between the world and other countries and, however, in a national context, between the urban and the rural.  And another reason for this, the digital connectivity, the goals, the Internet and the global infrastructure (audio issue). ‑‑ the language barriers and also the localization aspect as well, so a challenge for the meaningful connectivity.  In general, this is involving several factors which can be considered as a connectivity and other, that's infrastructure, affordability, the digital skills, the local, relevant content.  So those are factors that affect meaningful connectivity especially rural areas.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Your Excellency.

>> Good morning.  I'm head of Africa, the recently launched global digital inclusion partnership.  Our team developed a rural policy framework and the motivation for this, it was precisely because policy and regulation, they are seldom focused on the realities of rural and remote areas.  This framework, it is a policy guide that is a guide that provides guidance for actions that will support affordable, meaningful connectivity in this specific area.  Actions that are recommended need to include, for example, clear and time‑bound targets to affordable and meaningful connectivity with minimum data, speed, appropriate device and frequency of access for users.

Specifically, for the rural area.

Here it becomes even more important to also include gender targets because if we don't have these targets we will not close the gap on its own.  It will not happen naturally.  It is important to have time‑bound targets for how we're addressing the digital gender gap that we heard about at the opening of this session.

We have examples of this type of framework already in place in countries such as Benin and the Dominican Republic, and it is also recommended in this framework that we look at unlicensed, low‑cost Spectrum, for community‑based connectivity solutions to thrive, accompanied with open access solutions to infrastructure networks.  There is a lot of examples and a lot of sessions I believe happening also within this IGF that will look at how rural areas through community networks and other technologies are actually taking advantage of looking at different technology models and different financial models to close the gaps and to make sure that people in the rural areas also have affordable and meaningful connectivity.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

His Excellency, Timothy Masiu, Minister of ICTs, Papua New Guinea.

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Firstly, before I make a few remark, I would like to acknowledge the Host Countries Ethiopia and the Minister who is present with us here and, of course, the State Minister.  Thank you very much for the kind welcome and hospitality so far.  This is our first time to travel to Addis Ababa and we're a country that is very far from here, it is about 7 hours’ time difference and it is exciting for us to come and be a part of this very important occasion and, of course, here in a very knowledgeable people in this sector.

As a way to say a few things on what we're progressing in Papua New Guinea, I thank the IGF for taking this platform for all regions and citizens to have access to Internet and ensuring that no one is left behind.

In a short space of time, my country, Papua New Guinea gained much needed traction in the digital transformation journey and we acknowledge that Internet remain as crucial and critical enabler for Digital Transformation and so we are happy to be here for this very important meeting.

This year, we have shifted focus back to the broader infrastructure planning to address the goals of accessibility, affordability and reliability, realizing our national broadband plan and universal access policy and consequently making amendment to our National ICT Act of 2009 in our effort to bring connectivity to all, to all citizens of our country.

In early September I had the opportunity to attend the regional IGF meeting in Singapore and I met a lot of very interesting people.  Of course, if you can just give me a little bit of time, I'm from a very far country so why not!

>> JEWEL FORDE: You want to squeeze in everything.  I understand entirely!

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you very much.

Last week my ministry with our Department of ICT and regulator finalized our national broadband plan at a stakeholder workshop.  This is basically ‑‑ Internet is new to my country, of course, to our region, what we're doing right now, trying to involve our stakeholders and our people to migrate into that area, in technology, so that we can catch up on what the world is doing right now so it is very interesting.  Perhaps when I have more time.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: I know, Chief Executive Officer of ICAN.

>> Does this work.

Thank you very much.  First of all, a pleasure to be here on this esteemed panel.  So I work for ICANN and just to explain what we do, every time you go online, you hit the button and it ‑‑

>> JEWEL FORDE: I will ask you to bring the mic closer to your mouth so we can hear you better.

>> GORAN MARBY: I haven't had breakfast that will work.

Is it better now.

>> JEWEL FORDE: That's better.

>> GORAN MARBY: When you go online, you go to something that's originating with ICANN and we provide building blocks of the Internet, the addresses, DNS and the protocols, and today we have more than 5 billion uses using those three building blocks which is a fantastic number which we never estimated.  That's what actually creates technically the interoperable, the open Internet that everybody uses the same system.

Internet is not done.  It is fair to say that when it was invented and started, it was done from a Latin script, English language, a big challenge we have right now, it is to make sure that anyone that goes online, the next billion users can use their own language, script, they don't have to read from left to right, don't have to know what a dot is.  This is an important thing for us, from the technical community to work for instance with governments to make sure that in procurement you put in the demands for the universal accessibility, basically to promote your own language.

Another thing we're doing right now, it is important to us, it is that everybody on this panel agrees, especially for Africa, we have to think differently.  We have to do it in a different way.  The ordinary business models, the ordinary way of doing things will not work.

So on Thursday ICANN is launching the coalition for Digital.  Africa, we invite other partners to work with us from a technical community and really be a building block to rethink how we do things together.  ICANN as a pledge for that, we made our first investment in Africa to do that.  We did that, and launched in Kenya two weeks ago building the first roots of a cluster in Kenya.  That has the effect and we saw immediately before that, about 40% of all query, all Internet traffic actually went to Europe.  Now it is less than 10%.  We saw a major fact on that investment.  What it means, people in Africa accessing the Internet has a faster Internet and more secure Internet. 

Talking about investment plans, we charge nothing to do that.

So going forward, I think that we have to come back to the important thing of rethinking things.  Another example, ICANN made a pledge to the ITU‑D to work together with partners to promote something we think is very important ‑‑

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> GORAN MARBY: The local country code.

>> JEWEL FORDE: The next question, what programmes and initiatives are available to move from basic connectivity to one that's affordable and meaningful in Africa or in other regions where connectivity remains elusive?  How can we ensure these are as inclusive as possible, especially for women, girls, vulnerable groups who are historically left behind in connectivity efforts.

I will come back to you.

>> ONICA MAKWAKWA: The universal service and access funds, other initiative, they're coming in to play a critical role here in helping us to close this divide and to make sure that those who are historically disadvantaged are not once again left behind on this digital development.

This should be used to the fullest extent and in the case of gender, 50% of resources should be indeed used to ensure Women and Girls participation and that they are not just participating but meaningfully connected to digital opportunities.  Our team did a study with the U.N. Women of the Universal Service and Access Funds, and we found that for the most part these funds were existing, but were largely not used for what they were meant for.  We cannot accept that.  These are important mechanisms to be supported to make sure that we're more efficient and we set the targets to close the digital divides that exist at the moment.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much we'll go online to our guest Doreen Bogdan‑Martin for the response on that question.

>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Yes.  Thank you.

Thank you so much.

So let me take this second part of the question first.  I think it is about to be as inclusive as possible, we need that multistakeholder approach and I think that we have to put partnership at the centre of our efforts.  No one can solve the challenge alone.  We need to work together to ensure that the needs of vulnerable groups are, of course, addressed and, of course, we have to involve the vulnerable groups in our work to hear from them on their own connectivity needs.

Also to codevelop solutions to respond to these.  We have a number of flagship initiatives, Goran was giving a shoutout to the pledge that he made to our Partner2Connect digital coalition, first ever UN pledging platform dedicated to connectivity.  We have more than 500 pledges that have been made amounting to some 29 billion and we're looking forward to growing that.

Another example, it is in the space of school connectivity, and Minister Paula, is a GIGA country with UNICEF to connect every school in the world to the Internet and every young person to information opportunity and choice and other efforts specific to Women and Girls are linked to our coding work and perhaps I'll come back to that later.  And share more on the African Girls Can Code and the American Girls Can Code.  Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> Can you hear me.

>> JEWEL FORDE: We can hear you.

>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Okay I had jumped in thinking you called me before.  Let me just highlight the programmes and initiatives that we're advancing.

Of course, to be as inclusive as possible, it is vital to take multistakeholder approach and put partnerships at the centre of our efforts, no one will solve this alone, we have to work together across sectors and silos to ensure that the needs of vulnerable groups are addressed and, of course, we need to directly involve these groups in our work to hear from them on their needs and to codevelop solutions that respond to those needs.

An example, and I think that Goran was about to note this specifically, is the pledge that he has made to our Partner2Connectdyor digital coalition, a first ever UN pledging platform.  We unveiled the pledges a couple of months ago and we have more than 500 pledges that have been made, amounting to some 29 billion in investments and we're excited to grow that.

We also have our GIGA school connectivity work, Rwanda is one of the flagship countries, we work with UNICEF as our key partner aiming to connect every school in the world to the Internet and every young person to information opportunity and choice.  Of course, our overarching goal is to promote sustainable models in the space of schools and also in other areas, sustainability, it has to be key and, of course, that ‑‑ without public‑private partnership, that is absolutely fundamental.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you for that.

I call on Paula Ingabire.

>> PAULA INGABIRE: Can you hear me?  Can you hear me now?

>> JEWEL FORDE: We can hear you now.  Thank you.

>> PAULA INGABIRE: We're struggling to hear.  I wasn't sure you had called on me.

I will pick up from where the previous speakers are left off.  I think as a starting point, we think about the shift from basic to meaningful and affordable connectivity, it takes us back to the second question that you asked a different group of panelist, really around what are the challenges for, you know, our people, for our citizens to be able to access meaningful and affordable connectivity.

I think at the heart of this question, it is one word, which is really affordability.  Really looking at how do we put in place new business models where we can provide subsidized service and Internet and others are doing this, including the affordable Internet program where households are identified and provided with discounts to this broadband service. 

Now, I know Doreen and previous speakers also spoke about the universal access and service fund.  I think in many ways for most countries this fund is not enough.  But what is key, it is how is it deployed and what is it addressing?  It is only addressing connectivity, but what portion of it can also be put towards discounts and subsidized packages that can allow for meaningful connectivity to be accessed by the different citizens.

Then the second in terms of programmes being put to shift from both basic to meaningful connectivity, the innovative models, Doreen Bogdan‑Martin had mentioned GIGA, one of the things we did when deploying the school connectivity pilots here, it was experimenting from a Capex model, that model as a way to figure out how to use the resources we have to deploy school connectivity programmes in as many schools as possible.  This has proven very successful.

The last part of the question, which I want to briefly touch on, how do we make sure that, you know, knows that continue to be excluded are included in terms of how they can access this meaningful activity.  The first thing, we have to be very intentional about it as we design our programmes, I think about this marginalized groups, whether it is women led households, Persons with Disabilities, these are things that are at the forefront of those people that we emphasize being able to connect so that the inclusion and agenda can be put forward.  If you can't count these people, you probably are not including them.  Our starting point has been even identifying these different categories and then intentionally building them into the programmes that we put in place to push for last‑mile connectivity.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> GORAN MARBY:  I think many of the questions, it is ‑‑ there is one thing I was thinking about when the question came up, it is again, coming back to what we ‑‑ if we talk about Africa as a continent, all of the countries in here, I think it is important to realize that from coming from organizations, we're here to help, here to serve, not here to define the problems or come up with the solutions to the problems.

In this specific continent, like everywhere else, there is a reinventing of how things are done, to bring out equal and interoperable Internet with the rest of the world was easier than here.  That's why we try to work our partners here to really understand the problem but the solution has to come from this region.  It has to be Internet for Africa, it has to come from Africa and other organizations as well.

When it comes to the equality and getting people online, in a way, the Internet itself, it is one of the equalizers.  I often speak about when in Latin America many years ago, asking the questions, why is it important to get people online, I was expecting the answer it is so important for people, for unemployment and stuff, they said if you get people online, you takeaway one of the biggest disadvantages existing for poor people, access to information, access to information is always a rich man's right.  If you get people online, if you get people online so that they can go to a diverse Internet, you actually will help them a lot.  Making sure that they have access to the same information, internet itself it is an equalizer.

Thank you.

>> I would like to make comments on the importance of building local content and solutions.  We are particularly proud of our program connected African girls initiative, it is a coding camp that is bringing young girls and women to learn also some skills from machine learning to artificial intelligence.  So far we have trained 25,000 young girls and women across Africa and growing.  So this again, it is very important.

In addition to that, we have opened recently African Regional Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in Congo and enabling young girls and women and boys to have access to this opportunity.

Again, building infrastructure to support increased Internet penetration on the continent, very proud of our African Regional Centre for Cybersecurity that will be established it Togo, again with the same principle, making this an opportunity for everyone and looking at what are the opportunities.

Earlier I was talking about the infrastructure.  As you know, there is the digital strategy, Digital Transformation strategy for Africa, we're supporting at the country level to formulate national, Digital Transformation strategy.

This is important so that we can identify what are the key issues and problems at the country level so that the national solutions, the specific solutions that Paul made reference to earlier can become a reality.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Excellency, your response.

>> Thank you, Madam Moderator.  To improve basic connectivity, to the level of affordable and meaningful connectivity, in my opinion, policymakers, regulators, other stakeholders can intervene using tools or levers that can encourage the investment policy and regulatory programmes.

One of which, it is introducing a competition.  When we introduce a competition we can achieve the quality of service, we can achieve affordability as well as accessibility, availability of the infrastructure.

Also it is to introduce programmes like private public partnership and the involvement and increase the coverage of the network.

The other program which can be implemented is reduce taxes on devices, especially on smartphones and also introduce mechanisms like device subsidies, especially for rural areas and for not‑haves.

Also, the implementation of universal service and the Universal Service Fund, it is one of the mechanisms that can be implemented and the other, it is to put in place alternative energy source mechanisms.  In rural areas we know that, you know, the energy availability, it harms the connectivity, especially when we consider submitting the full connectivity.

All of these mechanism, especially policy area, we can make it inclusive, like the gender gap, addressing that as well as also the accessibility for peoples with disabilities.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you.  Digital skills are a key component of meaningful connectivity, what do you think are ways population, including youth in Africa can keep up with the fast‑paced frequently changing set of digital skills necessary to fully benefit from the Internet.

>> KOJO BOAKYE:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  I'm slightly biased, because I have ‑‑ I will rip my bias.  I think that the youth and the generation coming are going to be arguably, not for me, but they're the most intelligence productive generation there is.  I think that will happen whether we train them or not if they have devices.  Access is the most important thing.

Having said that, if we want to accelerate that conclusion, we need to provide training in all of the areas.  As Meta, quickly, I know 2 minutes goes quickly, I'll try to speak to some training we provided across this continent and also for afield.  First of all, digitalized pro, we trained 200,000 people face‑to‑face with instructors reaching over 4 billion people, training, giving people skills to use ICTs and trains them in a way to use ICTs safely, respectfully, and to drive equity in many, many ways.  I think we can speak to our boost of business, we see so many government stakeholders in the auditorium who have benefited and the people have benefited from the business.

So we have trained 300,000 people face‑to‑face and have reached about 3.8 million people using those sorts of programmes.  It is essential that companies like Meta do this sort of training, but I think what's more important, we give young people, again who will be the most productive, most intelligent generation that we have, the devices and the access to forge their own path as well, and to undertake that training.

That's 2 minutes and 1 second!  Do I get an applause this time?

>> JEWEL FORDE: Yes.  You get an applause.  Yes.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> We all agree I believe that digital skill, it is a key component of meaningful connectivity and it is not only skills, but how to use (Lisa Fuhr) and how to benefit from the Internet and also skills about how to code, create, design the Internet because this is our Society of Tomorrow.

In Europe 2023 is the European year of skills.  In 2021 the European Commission set digital decade targets.  Why this is important, it is because we think this can help driving skills and part of the digital decade targets is skill.

So by 2030 the Commission aims to have 20 million ICTs specialists in Europe, which is ‑‑ and a much higher proportion of women than today and we need to have 80% of the population to have basic digital skills.

I think targets will help us upskilling and skilling people and what we see, we can have teaching of skills and academic institutions that can be supported by public and private funding, but another very important point that we see from the industry, it is upskilling.

We need skilled labour so we work together with the Unions in upskilling people for the future.

So one way where a population can have access to skills, upskilling, reskilling, it is through multistakeholder partnerships which we see around the world.  This includes the industry that I represent working together with governments and Civil Societies.

So one final reminder from my side, the climate must be right not only on the investment, but we need an open global Internet based on international standards and governed in the bottom‑up way.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I now invite Junhua Li.

>> JUNHUA LI: (Poor audio).

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.  We have a slight technical challenge there and we have swapped out the mic.

I will ask Mr. Nil Narku Quaynor to answer the question.

>> NIL MARKU QUAYNOR: Thank you, Madam Moderator.

As a teacher, I see the youth go to school get skills, be entrepreneurial and live on the Internet.

In the technical space, the Afrikaner Internet Technical Institution will be there to help you keep up the skills.

Seems like quality broadband connectivity contributes to GDP.  Thus, what the broadband is used for contributes differently to the GDP.  What skills, what importantly education may be a major factor in meaningful connectivity?  We should develop technical skills and partners should urge broader technical work to acquire the skills to prevent inadvertently outsourcing the technical capacities, especially around the services by taking this way, we fail to develop our technical capacity.  There is some operational decisions we should be conscience of that are difficult to reverse.  There is a long cycle of science and technology research preceding the products of the Internet.  We need to ensure our educational and research institutions are abreast and plugged into the global research activities and resolve to contribute, as we accomplish our goals on access, the differentiation among economies, it will be the quality of the education and research in the disciplines leading to the technologies.  This will require that we have great academic curriculums and are more network friendly and pursuing the technology geared to local problems.  With he promote the national research networks as a means of providing connectivity to education and research institution, including schools.  Keep it together and share it.

Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Now I ask Mr. Rodney Taylor to respond to the question.

>> RODNEY TAYLOR: Thank you very much.

I will just ‑‑ since examples ‑‑ the question has been answered, I'll give an example from the Caribbean where I'm from and in particular, Barbados, a project I was involved in, Digital Ambassadors, What it was, it was that our education is free at the point of delivery up to tertiary education, those students in particular doing computer studies are required to give back some time to the communities, in particular when governments, when the government launches a digital service, a new digital service, they're part of the development cycle, they're part of the user accepted testing and they're receiving training first.  They are then deployed in community centres in schools and bring the older generation on board, focused on Persons with Disabilities and marginalized groups.  I think that's the next initiative, the mainstream of young people as part of the whole Digital Transformation Initiative and they have the capacity and the national affinity or natural affinity to train the wider communities and raise digital skills across society.  There are initiative, ITU has excellent online courses through the ITU academy.  We have Girls in ICT as well, a good initiative to ensure that women are included and CICSCO has Girls Power Tech, Caribbean Girls, PAC as well, and these initiatives mainstream women and young people.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Excellency Timothy Masiu.

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you again, Madam Moderator.

The question on digital skills is extremely important.  One way my country is congratulating ourselves, working hard to engage digital skills for our stood, government workers and our small and medium enterprises also.

We're working with our national education department and our investors to upgrade the curriculum in schools and to build digital ITC in the curriculums.  We'll work primarily with youth, primary and secondary students and conduct training for them and the students would then educate their parents on digital and ICT literacy, it is a new way of technology for us in the country.  We're trying our very best not to leave any person behind.  We'll urge our industry and partners to support digital literacy for our farmers and SMEs as well.

We're working to build ICT labs in many of our schools and community centre, just recently I opened two ICT labs in a secondary school and in a community and that includes youth, girls, Persons with Disabilities and others who can experiment with these new technologies.

We have several awareness activities through the country to educate people on digital skills.  When the Internet came, arrived in our country, not so long ago, it has taken the country by storm.  Many of our people do not know how to use and they are illiterate in the usage of ‑‑ in literacy in many parts of the country and thus, making them misuse the Internet and then, of course, the social media, all of that on the net.  We're working very closely with those in the industry to help create some training programmes.

In the past month we signed an MOU, with one of the national universities to host a program and we're working with the computer society and a PNG digital ICT clusters on other digital literacy projects.  I'm happy also that we have signed an MOU with others and I'm happy that Cisco has ‑‑ we have ‑‑ we have an agreement with Cisco.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you, Excellency I'm going to have to wrap you up there.

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: I come now to Doreen Bogdan‑Martin, and for her response to the question.


Let me perhaps jump back to something that Goran had mentioned, that the Internet is the greatest equalizer, but for that to happen, that digital skills piece is absolutely essential. 

Our research shows that lack of digital skills is actually one of the biggest barriers to uptake into digital transformation.  We need more digital skills, education, and I would say we need it as early as possible.  Digital skills and awareness should be taught in schools as young as ‑‑ at the primary level we would say.  That's something that we're ‑‑ we're advancing through our GIGA school connectivity effort. 

The core skills that all people, including young people need to have today also include media and information literacy as well as online safety skills, that life‑long learning is also becoming increasingly important and, of course, ITU is doing our part advancing different programmes in digital skills training, Rodney has just referred to the ITU academy, we also have our Digital Transformation centre, we've 7 of them in Africa focused on basic digital literacy on the intermediate piece, on training the trainer, and also the training for SMEs in digital technologies, innovation also entrepreneurship.  We work closely with the ILO and the African Union on boosting decent jobs in digital skills for youth in Africa, and we have our coding workshops, our African Girls Can Code, our Americas Girls Can Code, the Caribbean Girls Can Code, our equals Global Partnership, which is very focused on Women and Girls, digital skills, digital entrepreneurship and, of course, our Generation Connect effort focused on young people.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: The next question, looking forward to the future of a post‑COVID world, what lessons can we retain from the pandemic about digital infrastructures that are meaningful to human development.

Just giving you a little bit of the situation that Barbados found ourself in, 80% penetration, but yet when the pandemic hit, and we went on lockdown, we found that you have online school, we found that we may have had the access but not the device by which to access.  You may have a situation where you have a home that has three children, two parents, three kids are different ages, different levels of school, the parents, maybe one is working from home, but there is one laptop or phone.  While I liken this to the way we're framing the conversation, it is the digital infrastructure, the access to affordable devices. 

I will start with you, Mr. Pedro.

>> ANTONIO PEDRO: Thank you very much. 

COVID‑19 has caused ‑‑ has been challenging for everyone, including in Africa.  It accentuated the digital divide that we referred to earlier, not only between the levels themselves but with encounters themselves, in urban, rural divide.  It equally provided and demonstrated the value proposition of digital transformation.  In the sense that we're capable of bringing innovative solutions to some problem, from eProcurement that facilitated for example access to goods and services to Africa, for example the platforms that enabled Africans to vaccines, goods and services.  Moving forward, here, moderator, please, please allow me a bit more time, I reference to the African Union Summit of Heads of State and government, it is important.  It is about moving forward.  The Summit has recognized and started with that Digital Transformation, it is key to achieving those goals.

We need to be able to demonstrate that value proposition across several jurisdictions.  For example, with the studies and evidence that shows that investments in Digital Transformation will contribute significantly to GDP and so on, so forth.  There you will have the attention of the Ministers of finance who can then deploy resources to us to be able to invest and improve the infrastructure, broadband access, so on, so forth.

The countries that we're celebrating today from Rwanda to many others around the continent, they have recognized that importance early in the development of the digital infrastructure ecosystems and they put money there.  We have to invest more in that process.

In Central Africa, the cost to access the Internet is prohibitive, an effort was to demonstrate by comparing what Central Africa was not doing and what East Africa was doing when they established one network area.  What were the advantages it creates in terms of facilitating the business processes and access to common citizens, so on, so forth, and those numbers, we convinced policymakers in Central Africa to move to create one network in Central Africa.

>> JEWEL FORDE: We have to stop you there and wrap you up there.  Thank you very much.

Now I go to Paula Ingabire.

>> PAULA INGABIRE: Thank you very much, moderator.  You touched on the need when you shared the Barbados example.  I think what the COVID experience has taught us, it is that one necessity brings invention.  What we saw was an accelerated, you know Digital Transformation where massive investments were made across different countries to ensure that there is access.

Quickly, we realized that, yes, access is one thing and that's why you see many countries that rank high when it comes to coverage statistics and then a very low when it comes to usage.

The things that you rightly mentioned, really the devices skills and everything, it is really what it will take to ensure that the number of people that are able to access, the number of people that are living within the areas that are covered can also in many ways be able to meaningfully access and benefit from the infrastructure that's been deployed.

Now, I think what we have also learned, the prepared world, we're better able to weather the storm better.  Going forward, our effort is to say any time we have any type of crisis happening, how better prepared are we when it comes to broadband infrastructure, when it comes to making sure that people are meaningfully connected and that they'll be able to weather whatever storm we find.  I don't think we'll return to normal, today when you see how every workplace is really changing to ensure that a hybrid model of working is really acceptable (Zoom freeze) schools, really making sure we have the effort, it is not just infrastructure, but it is all of the things we discussed over the last hour or so, ensuring we have affordable devices, we have the right content and the right local languages, accessible to everyone, and we're able to identify this content and deliver it in an interesting manner and at the same time we're able to make sure that affordability remains possible by looking at all of the services.  That's what the COVID experience has taught us, to really figure out a multipronged approach to delivering meaningful connectivity.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I now call on Onica Makwakwa for your comments.

>> ONICA MAKWAKWA: Thank you, moderator, for sharing that experience.  It actually helps to demonstrate the inequalities that were highlighted by our COVID‑19 experience.  First, we're at a point post‑COVID where digital policies have a much greater understanding, and that understanding, it needs to permeate through and across other sectors as well.

So it is really important that we collaborate even ever more so now to make sure that we are actually meeting people's needs by making sure that digital policies can actually be worked across all sector, health, education, et cetera, that can help improve people's lives.

Secondly, I think with this discussion, it is quite clear that there is a resource need in order for to us address the inequalities and the access.  A recent documentation from ITU I believe pegs it at $428 billion needed to connect everyone universally, even if private sector could contribute half of that we still need governments to come and make commitments as well developing aid in other sectors to contribute to closing that gap.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention that COVID‑19 also ‑‑ we also saw a rise in online gender based violence that's counterproductive to what our digital inclusion efforts are.  It is important that we begin to look at policies to ensure that we minimize ‑‑ actually not minimize, we eliminate violence online against women because it is one of the factors that contributes towards the digital gender gap.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Mr. Li, you wanted to say a few words.

>> JUNHUA LI:  I'm sorry to ask for the floor again.

I wanted to share information for all participants with regard to go beyond after the pandemic.  After our IGF, the UN will host a Summit and we'll go together for the review of SDG implementation.  It would be a good occasion for us, for all stakeholders, to take into account what we need to achieve by the SDG and second, Secretary‑General also proposed to launch the Digital Compact to be adopted in 2024 when the UN will host the Summit of the future.

Actually we have invited all contributions from all stakeholders, we hope that we will collect all contributions from you.  Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

I will now go to Chairman of Ghana Do the Com.

>> NIL MARKU QUAYNOR: Thank you very much.

The Internet grows where we develop benefits from applications that solve our problems.  The cracks showed up when during COVID pandemic we were challenged to use the Internet during the lockdowns and the local services were not there, were not available.

We all saw at that time the potential of the domestic Internet.  The Internet had been positioned as though to provide access to international services, to services overseas.  Operators, international content providers, users, the Internet had not permeated nor been assimilated efficiently in the domestic economy and the social fabric.  This has worked well for us but unfortunately, content was not following those strength points and the country links need to be more affordable.  The infrastructure arrangements were not prepared for such stress tests.  We could not easily take people from homes to offices nor from homes to schools.  We could not acquire the local services we needed online.

We need to have a plan for such situations.  Online was not yet part of the culture, but is fast becoming so since COVID and we shall embrace the various emerging virtual working and meetings and innovations in mass so we can expand our reach.

Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Mr. Paul Scully, your comments.

>> PAUL SCULLY: You're right to highlight the acceleration that's caused through COVID, the digital infrastructures and the tests of which the multistakeholder framework has come out really positively for.  You saw so many bodies rising to the challenges of the pandemic, whether it was public authorities providing healthcare advice and obviously private and public authorities providing education for so many children, business and retailers providing services online and the scientists, so many positive situations around the world. 

We have to embed the learning of that and shape the change that's coming, we talked ‑‑ I heard about hybrid working, we have to make sure that we all work together to capture that change.

ICANN underpins so much of that, with their work fishing out the bad actors who were looking at the phishing, the scams, those things, suspending domain names and deleting domain names which perpetuated such abuse.

I should just finally say and conclude by welcoming the UN IGF in this regard, the crucial role of facilitating discussions is positive, not a decision making body allowing stakeholders to have the freedom to try out, explore, debate, to discuss new policy ideas without being restricted by a binding vote at the end of the annual meeting.  It is important that we work on the technologies as well for young people to be able to access these as you rightly said at the beginning.

That's to discuss through public, government and the private sector and new technologies helping younger people access the digital infrastructure across the world.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Our final question before we wrap up, what measures are currently in place to ensure more affordable, meaningful, inclusive connectivity in Africa and beyond, and what kind of international framework do we need to complement those and achieve Agenda 2030?  I'm going to start with you, Mr. Rodney Taylor.

>> RODNEY TAYLOR: Thank you very much.

I can speak to examples in the Caribbean, we have an initiative that seeks to deploy Internet Exchange Points which is a part of the infrastructure as well to drive more efficient network traffic and reduce the cost because to be transmitted internationally, there is a cost, of course, there is a whole ecosystem on caching, so on, helping to improve Internet access and make it meaningful, especially if there is local content to be accessed.

In addition, I think that the issue of universal service, we spoke about this before, it needs to be deployed more effectively, there is no point in having hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in a bank account when it cannot be used to prepare the devices and to train and to provide access at community centre, so on.

I think lastly, that if we see the issue of connectivity as a universal right then we ought to approach it as a universal right and seek to have a Global Digital Compact and I know this is an initiative of the UN, a Global Digital Compact that provides all the necessary resources in particular to developing countries to drive down the costs of connectivity and make it more meaningful and all of the other considerations that we have spoken of today with respect to meaningful, affordable connectivity.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much, Mr. Taylor.

Excellency, Timothy Masiu.

>> TIMOTHY MASIU: Thank you again.

The Government of Papua New Guinea through my ministry and the Department of ICT and our regulator, we are working closely to close the digital gap and to make universal access a reality.  We're working to ensure that no one is left behind, and that is why we have added special emphasis and efforts geared to ensuring that women, girls, Persons with Disabilities, indigenous persons, they're not left out.

So in progressing this last week, we have a stakeholder workshop on our new universal access policy where we laid out our goals and objectives on connectivity.  As we stated, at the ITU Plenipotentiary and at our broadband plan and the stakeholder workshops, it is crucial that Women and Girls, Persons with Disabilities, indigenous groups and others, they are included in this digital economy.  It is why we have devoted to a separate focus area on this issue.

We have a very important plan that we want to rollout as far as connectivity and accessibility, affordability is concerned, and we don't want to leave our neighbors behind, like our Pacific brothers and sisters, and so we are offering help to our neighbors in the Pacific region as well.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Excellency, I have to wrap you up there.

Thank you very much.

Excellency Leon Ibombo.

>> LEON IBOMBO: (Audio issue).  (Poor audio quality).  Addressing the access, (poor audio quality).

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you.

>> LISA FUHR: To achieve 2030, the agenda, I think it is an important starting point to bring the diverse elements together, meaning infrastructure, standards, governance, investment, innovation skills to assure that IGF is fit for purpose going forward.

We heard, we're looking forward to the Summit for future, with the digital, global Digital Compact and the new IGF leadership panel is one important part in this international framework.  I think a strong measure could be that we could actually set our own truly ambition international agreed SDGs for the Internet in a multistakeholder way.  We know that digital technologies relate to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but we could use this momentum we have for the Summit for the future and the compact to set a series of goals for how we want the Internet and the digital economy to look in the next decade.

Regions and countries are working on this too, such as EU digital decade, setting objectives for connectivities and skills and we see the work is going on in the UN.

I wish to say one final word on the importance of this process being inclusive, we will achieve meaningful and inclusive connectivity only if the governance framework is, in fact, inclusive.  This means that governance bodies have to look outside of the immediate Internet community to speak with and engage with those sectors who are building the business on the Internet like banking, logistic, healthcare.

>> JEWEL FORDE: I have to wrap you up here.

>> LEON IBOMBO: Sorry.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you.

>> GORAN MARBY: Always hard to be at the end of something because so many smart things have been said.

I want to point out, really to two things.  I want to do a little bit of a General Comment.  What an amazing thing when the COVID came around, you never heard that the Internet went down.  We had the biggest Internet day ever November, October, 2020 with 8.4 billion requesting consistently.  Today on an average we have 8 trillion requests into the system to provide people with Internet, it never went down. 

You never heard that expressed that the Internet went down.  It is because the network, from many different players all working to standards and protocols.  And we should not forget, we should be able to maintain that, that every day, every conversation, through our discussion, doing this differently, and that can create a real segmentation of the Internet, a segmentation may make people not be able to connect at all.  The duel Internet, that idea, it is all one Internet, I'm very happy to help with that.

Internet is local and global at the same time.  Often we talk about the big things everybody does from a global scale, but it is very, very local.  Most of the traffic actually goes between people, individuals in the country and the region.  I think looking at Africa, it is so important to build the ecosystems in your own regions, your own countries so that the traffic, the business IDs, all of these actually stay within the country.  One of the interesting things of that, it is a project we're doing together under the pledge with the ITU‑D that we try to ‑‑ the capacity building and training, country code operator, why is that important?  One ‑‑

>> JEWEL FORDE: I have to ask you to wrap up.  We're heading to the finish line.

>> GORAN MARBY: Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Mr. Kojo Boakye, we're even shorter, down to a minute and a half.

>> KOJO BOAKYE: A minute and a half is not that much.

I will quickly say on this question, Madam Chair K you take 10 seconds to remind me of the question?

>> JEWEL FORDE: Absolutely.

What measures are currently in place to ensure more affordable, meaningful, and inclusive connectivity in Africa and beyond?  And what kind of international framework do we need to complement these and achieve Agenda 2030?

>> KOJO BOAKYE: Great.  I can take 50 seconds. 

I think most of those frameworks as we said in the first question are in place.  I think that the goals are under the SDGs, the work of the ITU, I think the work of ICANN that we heard my colleague on the left speak so eloquently about, giving us multistakeholder frameworks to move forward.  Having said that, there is need for reform in a couple of areas.

We're looking at Spectrum reform, this could be beneficial, we're seeing many parts of the world, not so much Africa and many African ‑‑ under the auspices of the ITU and many African regulators are thinking about that, we see that.

The other big thing we would like to see reform of or better use of, regulatory sandboxes as a company that's focused on the next computing platform, the meta verse, the Internet and ‑‑ as well as the Internet, we're starting to push innovation as hard as we can.  In some countries, that innovation is being held back by the fact that we tonight have regulatory frameworks in place to support it and we have seen the use of regulatory sandboxes bring great dividends in that area.

That's the reform.

I hope that was 50 seconds sore.

>> JEWEL FORDE: You got back your extra 10 seconds that I asked the question!  Yes.

Mr. Paul Scully.

>> PAUL SCULLY: Thank you very much.

Yeah.  It is not about legislation, it is about frameworks and partnerships.  And they already exist, working well with the ICTs who know the importance that they have in helping deliver the SDGs.  We need to build on that framework to make sure that we could have the financial investments from private companies, the local expertise of Civil Society groups all supporting digital access.

We're working to improve and expand Internet connectivity and bridge the digital divide through those public‑private partnerships.  But we're also working on the last‑mile connectivity as well through projects like Kenya's National ICT Plan that we're working with on TV white space and the National Broadband Plan and a regulation in Nigeria.

And we go down to what we talked about before, devices, and it is really important.  When I was in Kenya four years ago looking at schools, using tablets to deliver education, there is a greater use, the acceleration of the Internet when you try to tackle how to get girls who have to maybe walk 10K to their schools, how you can better deliver education.  All of that will work through frameworks organized by the user‑centric government, by other governments, but also organizations like IGF.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Just before we wrap up, I am going to challenge all of you, show me how good you are!  Final comments, 30 seconds!  I'll start with you, Excellency, Timothy Masiu.


Thank you very much.

We want people in rural communities to have means of access to government goods and services through mobile phones without the expense and wasted time of traveling or have hospitals to be able to register births, clinic, doctors to be able to register health or to give a convenient appointment time for children to receive vaccines for schools and regulations for students to be able to be easy and convenient, minimum or zero cost and not working four hours or standing in line rather than finding cures is what we want to do in the space of the Internet.

Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Paula Ingabire.

>> PAULA INGABIRE: I think we have said it well through the different interventions of the panelists and what is key is that we build the right partnerships that are going to allow us to close all the gaps we have highlighted and also at the same time that will allow us to drive impact at scale.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Mr. Scully.

>> PAUL SCULLY: I want to thank the IGF for bringing us together for this important panel. 

The multistakeholder model is essential to the bridging of the digital divide, important to come together in partnership.  I know my colleagues there, I'm sorry I can't be there but my colleague also attend a number of the sessions this week to explore how we can achieve this.  I wish you an excellent conference.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Balcha Reba.

>> BALCHA REBA: Meaningful connectivity, meaningful connectivity means it’s a people's experience, so the experience of working with the full power of Internet access, for this to happen, we need high‑speed Internet and appropriate devices and the connection and unfragmented use.

Thank you very much.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you.

You came in just under the radar!  30 seconds!.

Mr. Li.

>> JUNHUA LI: Much is said in those two, partnership with all multistakeholders for IGF, second, action, action, action.  Let's not holdback.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

Antonio Pedro.

>> ANTONIO PEDRO: The world of tomorrow is going to be much more complex than the world that we know today so we need to invest in foresight, capabilities, all of those things and the Internet, it is at the centre of it.  I'm very excited with what's happening now, for example, there is the community of 50,000 data scientists in Africa that are cocreating solutions.  We need more of those moving forward because the solutions will require multisectoral and so on, so forth.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Got to wrap you up there.

Doreen Bogdan‑Martin.

>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Yes.  Thank you.

So universal, affordable, meaningful, and I would add trusted connectivity is the goal.  The ITU Plenipot declared that as Minister Timothy Masiu noted, without it, without including the third of humanity that's digitally excluded we won't achieve the SDGs and to achieve that universal connectivity we have to work together, all of us, focused on access, adaptation and value creation to unleash the transformative power of digital for all.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you.

Mr. Taylor.

>> RODNEY TAYLOR:  30 seconds is enough for me to thank the IGF Secretariat for including us in the discussion, a diverse panel from various regions, representing small states in the Caribbean and we will continue in the spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness.  We have enough intellect and enough will to solve this problem of global, meaningful connectivity.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> NIL NARKU QUAYNOR:  Africa has come a long way in the last 30 years of Internet.  So before we go anywhere, we should look back a little and see what did we do right and what could we include?  Bear in mind, Africa is very diverse and large.  You know, no one‑size‑fits‑all.  It will require some patience and some, you know, diligence and maybe some local engagements as well as interregional solidarity.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Okay.  Thank you.  Got to wrap you up there.

>> LISA FUHR:  I'm extremely positive for the future.  I think we have interesting work ahead of us.  The multistakeholder model is essential for this. 

This panel showed us how many good things are going on out there, and I still believe we need some SDGs for the Internet to make the work count and have a good direction going forward.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> GORAN MARBY: Thank you very much.

In all development, it is important to realize where we come from.  The multi‑‑ the technical organizations, governed by the multistakeholder model takes the system designed in the '60s to have 5 billion users.  We have done that in a technical way.  We don't take politics and sides in the discussions.  It is important for us to continue to do that work so we can have one interconnected, open Internet.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

>> BELCHA REBA:  Fabulous to be in a room surrounded by people that are like‑minded.

We started by talking the importance of multistakeholder partnerships, and I didn't see anybody shake their heads.  It is also fabulous to be in a room where I can recognize my privilege but also recognize the privilege of the whole audience in front of me and to understand that we have two days ‑‑ four days left to get together, speak about potential opportunities as well as the challenges such as gender violence online and how to tackle them.  I hope that like me, and my colleagues in Meta that are here, you will use the time productively for the underprivileged.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

You get the last word.

>> ONICA MAKWAKWA: Gender exclusion is actually costing our countries a lot of money.

In 2020 about a trillion dollars in GDP.  There is a cost to the exclusion.

I would urge us that despite ‑‑ apart from the fact that it is the right thing to do to make sure that we're mainstreaming gender in our ICT policies, it is also the cost efficient thing to do to make sure that we build an inclusive digital economy.

Thank you.

>> JEWEL FORDE: Thank you very much.

On that note, this is where we wrap up, we bring the session to a close, I want to thank everyone for attending, a really special thanks to my team.  It was an amazing panel discussion especially for persons that were online.  Thank you so much.  We look forward now to the report from the Rapporteur coming out and seeing how to move forward on the initiatives and collaborations.

I'm going to ask you to give us a big round of applause for our panelists.


And ask our panelists and guests not to move as we have a photo op at the end.

Thank you so very much, everyone.