IGF 2022 Day 2 Open Forum #6 African Union Open Forum

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.



>> MODERATOR: Hello, can you hear me, guys?  Good.  Apologies, we have technical difficulties.  We are bringing the technician to fix the issues with the mics.  Just give us a couple of minutes. 

>> MODERATOR: Sitting here is the Honorable Minister of Malawi and Chair of this year's African IGF.  Warm welcome to the Honorable African Ministers and MPs present with us this afternoon.  All protocols observed. 

The AU Open Forum aims at discussing digital inclusion, especially in relation to capacity building, digital transformation strategy, data policy, cybersecurity, and digital cooperation.  The Forum is also discussing the Internet Governance capacity building of PRIDA at the national, regional, and continental level. 

The Chair Malawi of the African IGF 2022 will give an overview of the African School of IG, African Youth IGF, African IGF, and African IGF parliamentary track.  And also hear from ECA on the activities in this space.  There will be a day and time for Q&A.

     Without further ado, allow me to start our program by getting some remarks from Mr. Moses Bayingana the acting Director of the African Union Commission Infrastructure and Energy Department.  Mr. Moses Bayingana. 

>> Moses Bayingana: Thank you.  Distinguished Delegates, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the AU Commission, I welcome you all to this session of the African Union Open Forum.  Allow me to acknowledge the presence of the Minister of Information and digitalization of the Republic of Malawi.  And thank him for accepting to grace this session.  Let me take this opportunity to thank the Government of Malawi and the African IGF Advisory Group for the successful organization of the 2022 edition of the African IGF in Malawi. 

I would like also to welcome the Honorable parliamentarians that are present today.  Civil Society, Academia, Private Sector, our friends and representatives of the regional and international organizations. 

As a continent, we are pleased to hold the Global Internet Governance Forum in Africa, which follows the successful hosting of the World Telecommunications development conference.  Which shows the readiness of Africa to contribute to global digital policy debates.

Our leaders have recognized the Digital Transformation as a driver for social economic development.  To help us attain the agenda 2063 and U.N. Sustainable Development Goals by adopting the informational strategy for Africa in 2020 the master plan that will guide our agenda up to 2030.

As part of the implementation of the digital transformation strategy for Africa.  I know a number of initiatives are going on in Member States at national level.  But also at continental level we have been coordinating a number of initiatives.  I will mention a few.

Continental data policy framework has been ‑‑

(Technical issues) ‑‑ digitalizing our critical sectors.  A draft AU digital education strategy has been adopted by our ministers responsible for education.  We are now working on finalizing the AU digital strategies for agriculture and health. 

    While we're working on ‑‑ while we're working on all of this, would also like to make sure that our digitalization and connectivity is safe.  We have developed a child online safety and empowerment policy, which is being finalized.  And work is also ongoing to develop a continental cybersecurity strategy. 

As you are aware, PRIDA is supporting organization of Internet Governance Forums at national, regional, and continental levels. 

On the infrastructure part, we have also been implementing our ICT infrastructure project through the program for infrastructure development for Africa.  And a number of ICT project have been identified in the second PRIDA priority Action Plan.

Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, I would like to invite all stakeholders to come together and collaborate to realize universally, affordable, meaningful, broadband Internet connectivity in Africa.  I thank everyone who contributed to the organization of this session.  That you, Mr. Moses Bayingana.  I give the floor to Mactar Seck to tell us what is going on at the U.N.  Mactar Seck, yeah. 

>> Mactar Seck: No problem.  Thank you very much for inviting ECA as co‑organizers of this session.  First of all on behalf of executive acting Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa, I would like to welcome you to this meeting.  And welcome you also in ECA compound at this IGF in collaboration with UNDSR in support of the Government of Ethiopia.

As you know, the work of ECA and Internet Governance is very important.  Because one of our mandates is to support African country to achieve Sustainable Development.  If you read very well, the SDG 2030, technology is a means of the implementation of the 17 goals.  Why is it important to discuss the issue of technology?  How African country can appropriate this technology.  How this technology can help to achieve this SDG goal as well as achievement of the AU2063 agenda.

We have organized this African Internet Governance this year.  And we have a status of the continent, the landscape of ICT as a continent.

We have quite a bit of progress has been made as a continent.  We have now 33% connectivity Internet on the continent.  But you have to remind, there is still 871 million people unconnected. 

And we have to find a way to connect these people by 2030.  And we are facing several challenges.  We have to build infrastructure.  To build the infrastructure, we need $100 billion.  And given the Ukraine crisis and COVID, we have to find a way to inform our Private Sector and develop this and use also alternative options to respond to the need of Africa.

As you know, the ICT level as a continent is very low.  We can have a lot of infrastructure but the user gap is still there.

And also the gender digital divide in the continent, it is very huge.  As there are contributors of poverty and so forth. 

As the continent development, we can't be less than the Internet.  70% of population in 2015.  And we have to build their skill.  It is very important to develop the skills in the digital sector for the youth.

As you know, by 2030, 90% of the new job will be digital or need a computer and digital.  Why ECA now as several initiative ‑‑ I will not highlight all initiative but let me highlight the key initiates.  With the infrastructure, we are working with investment company to support African company to expand the infrastructure.

We are working with Africa 15 to expand in New Guinea, Cameroon and other areas.

In the development schools we have initiate a new program focused on the youth such as girl between 12 and 25 years.  You work together with African Union, ITU, UNESCO and U.N. Women.  As of today, we have 25 thousand young girl train in this program.  In digital skill, IoT, web gaming, web development.  And we plan to have 100,000 girls trained by 2025.

Among them, we expect 40% will continue their study in the ICT sector.  And 10% will become key actor on the ICT, with another program called technology African woman to target the Private Sector as a starter.

It is capacity building also, we have a problem with Alibaba, to start the program ‑‑ the second phase will start the 1 January and target is 10,000 African start‑up on several technology on fintech.  Fintech is very important for the current, given the mobile money development.  Because in Africa, we are also 70% of the country is at war.

Second, it is important to look at cybersecurity.  Because we can't put in place all of the efforts, all of the application without secure cyberspace.  Cybercrime is very negative for the African continent. 

Last year, cybercrime cost 10% of the GDP of the continent.  It is a lot.  We must decide to organize the meeting, and one of the decisions of Summit is to be hosted.  We are working now on the Government and as a partner to put in place the cybersecurity in the center next year.

And March we also launch the African center on artificial intelligence in Congo in need to respond to the need for digital innovation.  We are working with Rwanda to develop the STEAM center.  We start the work, and hopefully next year we will launch this center.

On the area of policy, I think my colleague Moses of AUC highlight.  I will not go over the key framework that we work together.  We also develop strategy for the African continent and AUC.  And preparing the continent for this Global Compact.  We have the policy framework in the work for digital technology. 

I think you have some information about the global digital compact across several sessions.  We will organize a special meeting for African country early next year, in order to get lot of input for African Government to be out of debt in 2024.

I would like to stop there and thank you, all of you and acknowledge also the presence of the Minister of all representatives of the members of the country, Members of Parliament.  It is very important in this session.  And we look forward to work together and develop the digital agenda in Africa to make Africa ready for the Industrial Revolution and get universal access on the continent for the benefits of our population.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much my good friend Dr. Mactar Seck for these remarks.  I think you give us a lot of information I think for the audience to digest.  I think, feel free you guys if you need further information get in touch with Mactar Seck and his team, so you will get involved in the activities that they are describing. 

Now allow me to give the floor to His Excellency, Honorable Gospel Kazaro, the Chair of the African IGF 2022 and the man who made it possible for us to be in Malawi.  I think, you know, people who were there, they can attest that it was one of the best African IGF we ever organize.  I think he was personally involved in all of the details related to the organization of the event.  And a round of applause to His Excellency. 

We give the floor now to His Excellency for his opening remarks. 

>> Gospel Kazaro: Thank you very much.  The representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Dr. Mactar Seck, representative of the African Union Commission Mr. Moses Bayingana.  Chairperson of the 2022 African IGF stakeholder Advisory Group Mary Oduma.  Chairperson of the 202214 IGF Malawi organizing team, Mr. Bram Fudzulani and the delegates to the 2022 IGF distinguished ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to you all.  Good afternoon. 

>>ALL:  Good afternoon. 

>> Gospel Kazaro: Africans are known for energy.  Good afternoon!  That's good.  Allow me at the outset to express my gratitude to the Government and people of the federal Republic of Ethiopia for hosting us at this 2022 session of the IGF.  I am sure all the delegates, especially those attending the Forum physically agree with me that the organization of this Forum has been superb and congratulations to our Ethiopian brothers and sisters.

You have made Africa and indeed the global community so proud.  A big hand for them.  Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, my task this morning is to simply present to you a report on how the 11th session of the African Internet Governance Forum was conducted, the work conducted and what critical issues the Forum raised for the reflection of the continental and global gathering.

As you all recall, Malawi was honored and privileged to host the Africa Internet Governance Forum from 19‑21 July 22 in the capital city.  We hosted the Forum and the theme digital inclusion and trust in Africa. 

About 1,000 delegates were kind enough to join us physically there.  And over 1,300 delegates joining us virtually.  Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, during the Africa IGF in Malawi, I understood a point that we have been converging like this and we have now for ages.

But our coming together will become meaningful only if they are followed by tangible results that will transform the lives of our people, especially in Africa.  Our continent will progress if substantial investment is made in the digital space to ensure that our people are connected to reliable, affordable, and secure Internet connectivity.

That is coupled with relevant content.  It is only through such investment that we will be sure that no one is left behind and that our people are appropriately positioned to effectively participate and benefit from digital economy and more importantly contribute towards the socioeconomic development of their respective countries.

Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Africa IGF made several recommendations that African countries, with the support of the global community must seriously consider.  These recommendations mainly centered around continued efforts towards building technical capacity in African countries, so they're able to effectively participate in the digital space.  Promote coordination and knowledge sharing amongst African countries.  And most importantly, take deliberate efforts to invest in the young people and empower them to take leading roles in managing and sustaining the digital ecosystem. 

Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Government of Malawi through my Ministry of Information and digitalization took the recommendations very, very seriously and a lot of progress is being attained in that regard. 

Malawi is in the process of engaging community broadband operators that will operate as local Internet Service Providers to ensure that even at the grassroots, the citizens are able to access affordable Internet connectivity.  We are currently developing business models and licensing from them for implementation of the initiative.

Our Government ‑‑ our Government is also implementing a number of interventions that are targeting young people and empower them to tackle emerging digital issues such as artificial intelligence, Internet of things, management of big data.  Cloud computing, just to mention a few.  The Government of Malawi is supporting major tech hubs in the country to train and capacitate the youth with digital entrepreneurial skills.

We have gone further to ensure that digital and ICT skills are acquired.  From a very young age and presently, we have rolled out an ICT programming project, targeting primary school learners throughout Malawi.

We strongly believe that digital proficiency must actually become required in Africa.

The Minister of Education is working towards reviewing its curriculum to include ICT training from secondary and primary education.  That will ensure that we train as many fingers as possible, so they're able to meaningfully participate in the digital capability Forums.

We are working towards having a smart city in the central region of Malawi called the very smart city.  We hope this smart city will facility the acceleration of digital transformation in Malawi.

Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the African IGF also underscored the importance of putting up robust frameworks, monitoring and evaluation processes in the implementation of projects.  The current of Malawi through the capital development fund is implementing the inclusive digital economy scorecard that is capturing information in the key namely digital infrastructure.  Digital skills, regulatory frameworks, policy and planning and connectivity.  The initiative is also measuring inclusivity of the youth, women, elderly, immigrants, and those in hard to reach areas throughout Malawi.

Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my strongest wish that the global community that has gathered at this year’s IGF will take seriously all the issues and recommendations that will come out of this gathering.  This is an opportunity for all of us to learn the Best Practices and solutions being implemented globally as far as advancing Internet Governance is concerned.

Allow me, ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies now to invite my compatriot Mr. Bram Fudzulani the Chairperson of the 2022 African IGF Malawi organizing Committee to present a detailed report of the Africa IGF that Malawi successfully hosted. 

I thank you all for your attention.  May God bless Africa. 

>> Bram Fudzulani: Thank you, Minister.  I will say all protocols observed.  The tech team if you can have the slides up on the screen, for the easier following of the statistics.  I think the report will be available.  It was an event with the day zero.  And in terms of the total registrations, we had about 1.8 registrations and in person, and also those that attended virtually, go to next slide. 

We took count of the launch of the African parliamentary network on IG.  We took pride in this as well that it took place during the African IGF as the events that took place prior to the actual IG.

But we also had the usual school on Internet Governance that took place.  Some of the alumni are with us in this room.  Besides that we had the launch of the African youth IGF that took place.  It is important that I think going forward with the report that there is outcomes that have come out, the youth voice needs to be amplified and recognized.  We are seeing that at the global IGF where we have seen African youth taking part.  And raising voices and taking their place.  This took place at the African IGF.

We had the launch of the network of African women in cybersecurity.  That happened as well.  Yeah. 

So in terms of the actual outcomes as I've already said, the Forum recognized the Internet continues to be a tool but also an enabler for human resilience and solidarity in Africa.  Therefore, it must remain secure, must remain available and affordable to everyone else across the continent.  How can we do this as a continent?  That is a question that is being answered in the report as part of the outcomes to develop policies, legislations and do this in an approach and process and engaging everyone in the space not just once a quarter.

Therefore, this is critical for us going forward as Africans to take part in the global digital economy.  Next slide, please.  As part of the outcomes, we also I think the most important aspect was the issue of the multistakeholderism, must continue and must be seen to be done.  There is a lot of multistakeholderism talk, but little is done in practice in the jurisdictions and undertakings. So this was very amplified during the Africa IGF.

In terms of the actual Declarations, we had quite a number of those that also are drawn from the Summit itself.  To advocate for policies, legislations and technical economic measures to promote digital inclusion, affordability, sustainability, availability, and security.  Most importantly, I think as we discuss this, I know this is a discussion happening even during the parliamentarian tract, the issue of ratifying the conventions.  And a key convention that is singled out, the Malabo Convention.  There are statistics on how many African countries have actually ratified the Malabo Convention.  The issue of promoting digital skills, awareness training.  But also uphold and promote multistakeholderism and an Internet Governance discourse. 

Last, to ensure African voice is heard within the global IGF.  I think that is what we're seeing.  We'll have a stock‑taking session at a later stage as we proceed during the course of the year to ensure that indeed our voices regardless of the youth or different stakeholders are heard at the global level, raising the issues that need to be raised at the global level.  Besides those being raised at the African IGF.

I submit the report on the 14 IGF.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  I think we will have a short presentation on PRIDA.  Dr. Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u, please.

>> Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u:  Thank you, distinguished participants, all protocols observed.  We appreciate you taking type to be with us. 

This is true policy that affords technical and the like.  Based on the stakeholder process, it is open, stable, resilient interoperable Internet for matters.  This particular Declaration is being implemented through PRIDA and PRIDA is a continental product, policy and regulation policy for Africa. 

At PRIDA, in 2018 it started for four year project.  To 2023 in June.  Basically when the project started we did some studies to understand what is the landscape of Internet Governance, the participation at global and regional activities.  And we realize we're missing as a continent as Africans.

Therefore, we came up with a strategy.  This strategy looked at three ‑‑ at two major areas.  First of all, looked at streamlining ICT initiative at the community level and also building capacity at that level.  And those are the two main areas that we aimed to focus on.  But then also as we're doing our research, we realize that out of 23 ‑‑ out of the 55 African Union Member States, 23 didn't have processes at the international level.  We embarked to support those countries in the capacity building work.

We work with focal points, mainly will find the ministries of ICT, the regulators and the like, the Government.

But then we have the national IG conveners, that can be Private Sector, Civil Society, Academia and the like.

At the regional level, we have the regional conveners and work with the regional economic communities, the case of East African Community, we have ecosystem and SADIC.  We work with the organizations for sustainability purposes.  When we come to the continental level, we have the Secretariat.  And at the global level the idea is to come with a common agenda.

Come 2020, COVID, we wanted to do trainings physically.  But with COVID we had to adapt to the new situation.  We came up with a new curriculum that has seven modules that cuts across all of the IG baskets.  Cybersecurity, law, development, and the like.  We embarked to support the 23 countries and divided them.  Started with 9 countries in 2020 ...

And out of the nine countries we supported five of them continued to do the IGF.

In 2021, again, we embark support more countries, and this time supported eight countries, I won't go through them.  Out of the eight countries, two of them did the IGF.  Then also in 2021, other countries started expressing interest.  You see Nigeria, and they're expressing for a long time and requested our PRIDA model.  And Liberia we supported in 2020, also requested our support, which we did.

Again continental school have been using our model.  We have the West Africa School of IG. 

Come 2022, we still have seven countries out of the 23 to support.  I look forward to interacting with some of you that we want to support you before the end of PRIDA project, June 2023.  Those are Algeria, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, Libya and Eritrea.  We have been working to train the youth volunteers.  For them to be more effective in submitting is here.  Probably don't need to go through that.  Basically up‑to‑date, we have trained more than about 1,500 people and probably to emphasize on gender, we always ensure we have women participants in these courses.

I would say it has been challenging, despite the fact that strategically ensuring we go to them.  For some reason we don't apply.  We need women in the training.  We emphasize on the youth that most of the participants, 50% of the participants are below the age of 30.  This is in recognition we must move with our youth and move with our women.  I want to encourage all of us let us get to women to learn the issues of IG.  They're effectors in many ways, we must move with it.  Let's continue.

That is the gender composition, completion and the like.  The completion rate is about 30%, which is good going by the global standard of e‑learning.  Again, we encourage all of us to continue.  We don't have to go through that.

So going forward, what our plan that for sustainability reasons, working with pan‑African University to ensure the courses with the module can be offered as a course at the University level.  We did our testing in September, October.  We are having our first pilot phase in January.  Again, we look forward to all of you to participate as volunteers to train these people.  We work through train the trainers program and have trained quite a number of people we're working with. 

Then working on the development of the strategy that the Director went through.  So again, I will not emphasize on that. 

The final thing is coming to 2023, we will continue working with you.  We want to work with the seven countries.  If you can support us in reaching out to them, we really appreciate.  We want to support other countries that want to use the PRIDA platform.  You have held a School of IG or not, we're ready to work with you.  And want to support continental IGF next year.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Bram Fudzulani and Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u.  I would be remiss if I don't give a shout to the outgoing Chair who could not be with us.  I believe she's joining us virtually.  Hello, Mary.

I want to recognize also the new Chair, Lillian.  Lillian can you say a few words before we start the Q&A? 

>> Lillian: Thank you, Adil Sulieman.  Welcome everyone.  Indeed I have few words.  I am honored to Chair next year, 2023.  And following from the wonderful IGF held this year in Malawi, I hope that next year will be better and I look forward to working with everyone in this room.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Many thanks.  Many thanks, Lillian.  Now we open Q&A session.  We have 50 minutes.  Take three questions at a time.  If you have question, raise your hand.  We need ladies to ask questions.  Gender.  We're talking gender.  So I have one hand there.  This is one.  The lady there.  Okay.  There is a lady there.  And one here.  This is the first women.  Yeah.


>> ATTENDEE: Thank you very much, I'm from Senegal.  I am from a Civil Society organization.  From all presentations, there are a couple of word I didn't hear.  Digital sovereignty.  We have to understand, right now digital technology has more risk than opportunity for Africa.  Do we have the technology?  No.

Do we have human resources?  No.  In Africa, all over the places you have digital project with biometric databases, design, implemented and managed by foreign private company.  We need to understand in this context, we have millions of people using the Internet whose data is not protected.  Digital technology is not an opportunity. 

When it comes to data protection the Malabo Convention in 2014 so far ratified only by 14 countries out of 55 in Africa.  Signed by eight countries out of 55.  And we need 15 signatories to have it enforced.  What is going on in Africa?  55 countries.  And we cannot have 15 signatories to have the Malabo Convention on cybersecurity enforced?  Given this context, technology is not an opportunity for Africa.

And we have to understand that technology has to be built from the ground up.  No lift up, no shortcut.  We have to learn from American technology from Chinese technology.  TikTok has been banned from America.  We have to ask why is it happening.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

>> ATTENDEE: You have ‑‑ five seconds.  Americans don't want what they used to do to other people, spying on them, using technology.  Chinese do the same.  So they stay away from it.  So why Africa, we have to import everything?  We not producing nothing.  We’re importing everything.  The work of the African Union should focus on digital sovereignty for Africa.  We have to build our own technology from the ground up, that is the way to go. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, thank you, thank you.  Next, please be short.  We want to allow time for others to ask questions and make interventions. 

>> ATTENDEE: Yes, okay.  Thank you first to all of the panelists for sharing.  It is wonderful to hear about all of the work happening.  My name is Carolyn, I work with a Civil Society organization as well.  I think if we have a conversation about meaningful connectivity and the relationship to human rights, it is important to have a conversation about Internet shutdowns.  It is an issue that is affecting millions around the world.  It is an issue that is prevalent across the entire continent. 

It would be wonderful to hear from the panelists from the African Union how you intend to engage on the Internet shutdowns and how do you intend to support those affected by Internet shutdowns and helping bring an end to this issue.  Thank you. 

>> ATTENDEE: Good afternoon.  My name is Mia.  My point is excitedly on the topic of gender.  We're here to talk about not only achieving gender training and curriculums and programs of which I've got to commend the various bodies that are here and the works that have been done.  We have had opportunity to host a women in tech policy hub alongside PRIDA and South Africa and had a chance to hold a woman Summit at the IGF which is a great part of the program, as one of the day 0 events.  And a youth track organized by various members of the youth community within the IGF space. 

There are so many training initiatives mentioned here today.  It is so important that we're able to see both their prevalence, both their impact, but more importantly, that the discussions don't end with training programs.  That we're not here to train.  We're here to create impact in change.  The ultimate goal is change.  The ultimate goal is to see ICT and IGF practitioners as females.  To see diplomats and showing tables representing all gendered bodies.  Not just men and female but allowing conversation to be transformative and create the change we want to see.

Less than a question, I have a comment, I implore everyone in the room to not only look at the training but look at when making decisions and when organizing fora to ensure there are seats present for all members and that there is parity.  I see so many women in this room and so many diverse Peoples in this room.  It is amazing to see that.  Let's not just leave it here.  Rather let's work towards creating the impact we want to see in our society.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Let's give the floor to our panelists to answer the question.  Basically two questions.  One relating to digital sovereignty and the other one shutdowns and maintaining connectivity. 

>> I will start on the digital sovereignty.  This is one of the guiding principles of the Digital Transformation strategy for Africa.  If you go to the Digital Transformation strategy for Africa, it is clearly enumerated that digital sovereignty is a guiding principle.  So we do also take it as an important issue.  When we are dealing with digitalization.

However, I also want to say that as much as it maybe, I think it is two faced.  It is an opportunity, but we also have to be careful.

All the efforts have to be done in a multifaceted way.  We can't say either this or this.  While we're trying to enhance digital connectivity and Digital Transformation on the continent, we're aware of the risks.  It is up to us to bear it in mind and put in mitigation risks to ensure that we don't ‑‑ it doesn't turn to something else, other than an opportunity. 

For example, of course, even all the initiatives that I mentioned, one thing is we are aware that even the data issue, as we move to the data economy, most of our data, we're in control of it.  We need to work on the data infrastructure to be able to store our data, analyze it, use it for the benefit of our citizens. 

Of course, we realize that even if you go to the Internet traffic, same room here.  I can send an email to someone and it has to go to Europe to come back to the same person next to me.

All of those are things that we're aware of and we're working on.  But it does not stop us to be part of this whole fourth Industrial Revolution.

So my take on this, yes, I agree with you on one hand, but indeed let's not take it ‑‑ let's also look at the benefits.  Because they are.  They are benefits.  But we have to make sure we handle all of these in a multifaceted way.  Because that is what will make us to be competitive in the fourth industrial revolution. 

The last one on Internet shutdowns.  That is as an AU Commission, you know, with Internet shutdowns of course happen, the few that happen, it is an inevitable and political issue.  Sometimes it happens at Member States.  There are reasons also they give us on why it happens, if it has to happen.  But it is a subject that really that will continue being engaged on.  I can't comment much on that because it is a sovereignty issue at national level.  Thank you.

My colleagues may add to what I have said.

>> MACTAR SECK: Thank you very much, Moses.  I think for Internet shut down, the principle of IGF, it is open access, access to everybody.  We encourage all countries to open.  As Moses said, it is a common understanding why Internet is important.  And access Internet also is part of the human rights.  Digital sovereignty also very important to digital sovereignty.  As Moses say, we have adopted this Digital Transformation strategy in 2020.  And one of the key pillars guiding principle of digital sovereignty.  And now the implementation phase as a Member State. 

Of course, first thinking is we should have a sovereignty on our data.  We are working with several country to put in place a data center and the data governance framework adopted this year by AU.  It is something very important.  It is also something very important on the Malabo Convention.  We have to ask ourself, we fully agree, some type of ‑‑ you know, country adopted this Malabo Convention, but use it for their policy.  There are something missing, maybe in the Malabo Convention and why we launch it in the five minutes guideline for cybersecurity, and fully get one country more soon to have 15 countries to ratify this Malabo Convention.  It is a very good framework for the continent. 

I think ‑‑ I invite all delegates to strategize their Government to ratify this.  And I think the Minister will help us to discuss as a Minister during the SDG or as a fora to get this country signing ‑‑ ratify this Malabo Convention. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Indeed, if I want to add something on the shutdowns, I think the issue was articulated very well, also, if you all recall, this is a multistakeholder Forum.  Not only in creating the issue, also in solved issue.

You know, we ask all the stakeholders to come together so that if there are some proposals for solution and as to how to mitigate the issue of shutdown.  Countries, they have reasons.  But we need to also help them with how to attack those issues that they're facing.

So let's get together in a multistakeholder way so that we can help the countries resolve this issue once and for all.

Before I open the question.  The Minister wants to say something. 

>> Gospel Kazaro: I think what has been put on the table is an interesting discussion and very important topic.  I think Africa as it is, I think we all know where we're coming from and we know where we are.  History has taught us so many things.  Right now, Africa could have been speaking one language, but you go on the other side of Africa, people are speaking Portuguese.  The other side of Africa people are speaking French.  And the other side of Africa, Germany, others English.  This is a negative construction, I must say.

Because it is only through communication that can actually bring us together.  So this fourth Industrial Revolution, I think offers another opportunity to galvanize our unity and being one.

If we're allow to be divided and negative imperialism.  There isn't positive imperialism.  But if we allow imperialism to come and come to Africa and using the digital capabilities, we will be doomed.  I am hoping that those that have to look at these things from a very technical level at the EU technical level should be able to be very honest but must be as patriotic as possible.  So when we are coming to ‑‑ you know, coming up with a position ‑‑ again, when we come up with an argument or coming with an issue that will bring Africa together, we must speak one Internet language and one policy language, must be speaking and moving towards one direction.  Already, what is happening in the ratification or in the designing of the Malabo convention is something we need to pay little detail exactly as to what is happening.  Why are the countries not signing?  What is happening?  Who are they talking to? 

You might be sitting in this Forum or sitting as Africans, but our psych is actually directed by a different civilization or different thinking.  That is dangerous for the future.  I think we are the generation to make very difficult decisions, decisions that are not selfish, decisions to see those coming after us finding a better Africa.  Because as you know, digital is the future.  And whatever we decide now will also decide the complexion of Africa we will have, and the successful Africa that we will have. 

These issues should be discussed and discussed very well.  Not just passing through and then out of there.  And then we go back and not making progress.  We really need to be very solid and very deep.  Make sure we're indeed coming up with an African position.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  Before we maybe take one or two questions, let me give the floor to Anriette.  She wants to add something here. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: (Distorted) outgoing Chair of the African MAG and with the progression communications.  I want to commend the African Commission for the progress and thank you for participation and African School of Internet Governance.  I have seen many alumni, raise your hands from the African school.  We couldn't have achieved this from 2013 without the collaboration of the African Union Commission.  I want to draw attention particularly to the comments on shutdowns.

The Minister spoke such wise words.  I support all of them.  To an organ of the African Union, the African commission on human rights.  The African Declaration on principles and freedom of expression.  It has access to information, expression, and it also addressing this challenging issue of shutdowns.  It has a protocol on access to information during elections. 

Which is one of the concerns, one much the links to the shutdown challenge.  I want to echo what the Minister said.  We need to have serious, in depth conversations about the challenge of shutdowns.  When we do so draw on our own African instruments.  Which is endorsed by the African Commission on human and people's rights.  Thank you very much.  We're over time.  We'll take one comment.  Couple of questions.  One and two.  The guys there. 

Very quick, please.  My comment is we focus on as Africa whatever is.

>> ATTENDEE: Whatever we agree as Africa, let's implement.  What are we doing about this, that will come and pass.  Let's implement whatever is agreed.  That will make a difference on our continent.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  The other gentleman.  Real quick! 

>> ATTENDEE: Okay.  Thank you very much.  I am from Ethiopia.  I would like to suggest one thing, African Union should be supporting young intellectual research institution in corner of any African countries so the young intellectual, capacity of African entrepreneur will be producing in Africa.  Shows each country in Africa should or must have the Center of Excellence for young children in Africa.  Without children of Africa, Africa is meaningless.  We have to open new dynamics for research and technology innovation for young and children in Africa.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Well said.  You want to say something? 

>> Observing all protocol.  I'm soliciting support from the Secretariat and members to support the Nigerian force, hosting the 2023.  We submitted our request in Malawi this year.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: This is well noted.  Thank you very much.  With that, we come to the conclusion of this meeting.  We thank you all for participating and engaging.  We ask the IGF Secretariat to give us more time.  Unfortunately we only have one hour.  We can continue this conversation maybe outside when we meet outside.  But thank you very much for coming.  Thank you very much, Excellency.  And see you.  Thank you.