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: Welcome to the session of policy network for meaningful access that is one year‑round work that we have started since the last IGF stopped last year, and we are here just to make the point of what has been done over this 12 months and share with you where we are.
The concept of meaningful access is emerging response to a body of evidence that even when people are connected, then not they use it properly or they don't use for their own means but they use as consumers. Meaningful access means they can use a tool to the community which they belong.
During this year the PNMA whose built a community of experts called the multistakeholder Working Group and providing linkages with ongoing discussion in other fora because you know this is a topic that is discussed in many other places. To achieve the impacts we expect in 2022 the policy network worked a plan that's to the future framework of the IGF as is taking shape in the rooms nearby. So this session today, I want to discuss the session around free overarching dramatic work streams.
The first is connectivity that you have heard in many other fora during these days. Even this morning there was one about connectivity in Africa where we have some other speakers here that we can talk about. The second one is digital inclusion, that for us is as much important as connectivity because it's a citizen approach. That means accessibility in multilingualism, multi‑ services and content in local languages and we have examples here based on local needs and resources and then capacity development is the third pillar, technical skills training with the attention to the goals and on this we have other people here as a resource, people that can help.
I am Giacomo Mazzone, I'm Co‑Chair of the policy network with Sonia that is online somewhere. I cannot see her. And Daphnee, that is the person assisting us in this work, she works too much and today cannot be with us. Without losing more time, I think we can start with the video of a panelist that was supposed not to be with us today, so we will have a case of duplicity, but because it is a good synthesis, I would like to see with you.
There is no audio. No sound.
>> VINT CERF: We have mechanisms like the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or MLAT, but they are known to be relatively slow moving and in an online Internet environment, slow moving is not your friend, so we need to improve the ability of countries to cooperate with each other, and frankly, countries in the private sector to work together to make at Internet a safer place for everyone
That really is necessary because the private sector often has invested resource in the Internet than any particular Government. So there are plenty of other things to occupy us during the IGF meetings coming up in Addis Ababa, but in this case I hope you will keep accountability in mind as you think you're way through potential remedies for improving the Internet environment. Thanks for listening.
>> VINT CERF: I will say that being here the last several days it is clear that everyone does want a safer Internet. There is infinite incentive to want that to happen. How to do it on a grand scale in such a way that you achieve an effective safety for everything, and I think we are still struggling, there is plenty of incentive but we have to figure out how to do that.
So I hope by the end of this week, we will have ideas for actually making something work.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. It seems that the two speakers are agreeing among themselves. Roberto that you are helping with remote, is Sonia with us.
>> SONIA JORGE: Yes, I'm here, hello, everyone, can you hear me? Wonderful. Well, welcome all of you to our session of the Policy Network on Meaningful Access. It's really a pleasure to be here with all of you and see so many wonderful partners and friends joining us not just as speakers, but also in person and online here.
We have pretty nice room full of amazing folks interested in learning more here at IGF, and I would say also supporting because they are interested in our mission as a network. So thank you for giving me a few minutes and I will pass it to you to do the moderation from on site, and I will do my best here supporting all of us online.
All of our speakers are now here which is wonderful including Sofie, so we are ready to participate from online whenever you give us the green light. Thank you, and welcome, everyone. It's a pleasure to be here.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you Sonia. So let me briefly introduce the speakers and then we go with the first one that will be Sofie because she has to leave us for other engagement.
So there is one that I will not introduce because you already know who it is, and then on my left with us we have, this is the previous script where you were not in.
>> My name is Tagese Chafo, working with local content creators beginning in Ethiopia and also now PanAfrican. So I have come from the private sector, obviously the Internet security is very, very important to the business I'm in. I would also like to say that I was born here and left a while ago so I'm happy be to part of this panel and thank you for inviting me.
>> MODERATOR: Then we have Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u, and then we have Onica Makwakwa, and then we have Poncelet Ileleji and Roberto Zambrano who is helping and supporting with us last minute. And then we have Sofie Maddens from ITU, and we have Chris Hajecki. So we are all here and we can start.
We have seen from Vint's introduction which are the challenges that we have in front and you see that from this multistakeholder participation in the panel that is a concern that we shared across all of the constituencies, and I think that is good that we are at the level of consciousness that it's important for all of us to ensure that the Internet will be for everybody as has been reiterated by Antonio Guterres in the goals for the goals for the next SDGs.
And the Digital Compact, we will have to deal with that and the IGF is supposed to contribute to give input in this sense. The, as I explained to you before, the policy network is working identifying case studies that we have collected among old communities and thanks for those that have sent. This is the work that was supposed to be closed a few weeks ago, but in reality we are continuing to discover new cases, for instance, this arrived just yesterday. It provided that there are meaningful, that they could be repeated, these are always good for us, and will be included in the row.
This morning there was, for instance, the presentation of ICANN Initiative of Digital Africa that has just been launched, was not public until we arrived here so it is important to listen also on that. Among the cases you will find in the report that will be published by the policy network at the end of the session, at the IGF in the next days will be made available. You will find many cases like this.
Today we want to focus on some of these cases and the question for all of the speakers is, the first question, based on the case studies or experiences that you are bringing at our attention, can you explain why, can you pitch why these are cases that are of interest, why they can contribute to solve the problem with meaningful access.
And then the next question, but this will be the second round is how this could be replicated, because, of course, a case that has been made possible in Africa, not necessarily could be replicated in other countries, or has to be replicated in with a certain number of caveat and precaution.
So I give the floor to Sofie Maddens because the ITU has been among the biggest contributor to the exchange of ideas and they submit the through cases.
>> SOFIE MADDENS: It's a pleasure to join you today although I would have loved to be in Addis with you. We did contribute our work on developing a digital mapping platform, displaying Internet traffic routes to help identify digital infrastructure gaps and access possible solutions to bridge them. We submitted our last mile connectivity toolkit to identify the unconnected areas and select sustainable and financial solutions for affordable and accessibility to relevant connectivity services, and, of course, our spectrum management tools and experiences this for sustainable economic and social development including developing computerized frequency management and monitoring systems, but as you know, and Giacomo Mazzone as you know having participated in our Global Symposium for Regulators, I think it is very achieving that universal and meaningful activity and sustainable digital transformation.
To make sure as Vint said that we have everybody online safely, I think it's important to look at our tools and products relating to digital regulations, so our platforms, our products.
Our work continues to identify the regulatory trends and best practices for regulation through our platforms and products and services such as global symposium for regulator. Because we all know that regulators and policy makers are facing a number of issues related to the themes of this panel which I will summarize as adoption or connectivity, access and value creation, and access is really about creating the enabling environment in terms of governmental economic and technological environment for everyone and everything to connect, also adoption is making sure everyone is empowered to use the digital and the digital is affordable.
Value creation is about enabling everyone to contribute to reap benefits brought by digitalized society and economy. So we do need those strategies and tools and need them to be sustainable, and that has to follow guiding principles that are implementable and sustainable. I mentioned the work we have contributed as well as the work on digital regulation.
And let me focus in on one particular aspect. As we are in that sustainable digital transformation, our regulators and policy makers, all of our stakeholders we are all adjusting ways to connect with counter parts across economic sectors, industry and end users. So practices of developing regulation and Government interventions to leverage on digital transformation as an engine for sustainable development and to reach affordable and accessibility we have to be agile and flexible.
We need to be collaborative, locally grounded, comprehensive, inclusive, innovative and open minded. I know in the IGF, the multistakeholder model is one of the principle we all strongly believe in. We also need the economic and digital regulatory tools, processes and procedures to promote that engagement of the broad and diverse range of stakeholders in those collaborative regulatory approaches across the sectors and to foster informed, inclusive, evidence‑based rule making and decision making process.
That's the tools and the elements that we submitted to you including the mapping, the spectrum tools, the regulation tools and last mile connectivity and the costing out of what it is connectivity, and the costing of what it costs to bring others online.
We believe rules and decisions should be based on current and granular evidence and market data. Processes and tools must be adapted to create the virtuous dynamic for innovation and inclusion, and while the regulatory basics apply and core regulatory mandates need to be thoughtfully used, the job of regulators and policy makers requires new skills and thinking to create the enabling environment so we can attract investment, ensure access for all of and all of this in a safe, secured and informed manner.
I hope I will still be here for a second round because I have to jump to the Study Groups where I'm the focal point on consumer protection and our meeting starts in 20 minutes, but it was definitely an honour to be with you today.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your contribution. Until you can stay with us, please do. If you want to take the floor, Sonia and Roberto will warn me and we will give you the floor if you want to react to any of the next speakers' discussion.
Do we have Carlos with us?
>> CARLOS REY-MORENO: Yes.
>> MODERATOR: Just a warning before to give you the floor, don't look at what Sofie did, because Sofie used more minutes because she will not be at the end. The five minute rule applies from you on wards.
>> CARLOS REY-MORENO: Thank you everyone for having made this opportunity for me speaking here, but also to Chair the Policy Network on Meaningful Access. It was great last year, it is great this year. With it is submits submission for progressive communication together with martyr ins, a number of case studies, we worked with several partners across Global South highlighting ‑‑ so I'm only ear amplifying the work.
It's not work that I do, I just support many people that are on the ground, many organisations that are on the ground doing the work in their own communities. And this is mainly the gist of the contribution from all of those contributions and case studies we submitted that there are many communities out that as Sofie was saying they don't find value on the current commercial Internet as we know it.
They feel that their communication needs is not covered by those, by that Internet either because of the affordability, because of the language, because of the formatting with the community case is processed because they don't find it safe according to what Vint was saying, and safe in a different way.
That's where meaningfulness comes in. In relation to how those commercial interests are actually jeopardizing or may jeopardize in many cases that we are working with indigenous communities and may jeopardize traditions that weigh, the language, the culture, so on, so forth. Taking communication into their own hands allows them to think about alternatives that they don't put their own ways of putting a living at risk. While at the same time maximizing the benefit that's communications infrastructure bring to us all.
One example that is highlighted in the report is in India. They are putting a lot of the efforts technologically‑wise into some sort of a locally contextualized spoken web. You can read about it in the report, making content relevant and affordable for poor, economically poor and I'll literal people is important for this.
Managing your own infrastructure allows you to exercise that type of autonomy over your communications and that's where the other contributions come into play that appear in the report. It is the school of community networks that started, that ABC put together and started in 2012 from an exercise in Mexico with those working with communities, and they realized that the pedagogical strategies that were required for communities to do this need to be rethought and centred around the autonomy, fostered in the autonomy of these communities.
So community networks all around the world are proving this. And around the conditions, the second part of the first question, what are the conditions? Well, if the commercial Internet was covering those needs, people would not have gathered, pooled effort, resources, time, into creating these alternatives, into creating this complementary ways of using the Internet. So one condition is the need, and it's proving to be a huge need in many communities around the world.
The other one that I want to focus on is contextualization. In the submission from Mexico, it is acknowledged that what they did cannot be fully replicable because all of the pedagogical processes must be contextualized, but a methodology using the design there was created, and it was, it is the basis for development of other community networks that started last year and that we are supporting in South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, I will put the link in the chat.
And then just to say that one thing is contextualized across countries. The other one is contextualized within the countries, and there are these mass organisations are sharing multistakeholder Advisory Committees to contextualize this farther, but then those taking part in the schools contextualize this farther to the context of their own communities to their local context and own needs.
So that kind of three layer or multilayer contextualization I think is a basic condition. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: I agree that there are many interesting examples, the two you mentioned are quite surprising. I suggest you to read the report. For the moment it's in draft, but the cases are already there, and there are the links that are very interesting. You mentioned, Carlos, the community network. I think that the next speaker with us could eventually tell something about that coming from Gambia.
>> I think one of the most important things in looking at meaningful access is how do you engage the right stakeholders? In engaging the right stakeholders, you are talking of getting the Telecom sector to be more engaged directly with the Ministry of Digital economy and in some cases in some countries they use the Ministry of Finance responsible for the universal access policy, but if I'm to contextualize it within the Gambia framework whereby we have $5 costing for one gigabyte of mobile data, so even for the average man in the village that's less than a dollar a day.
I would emphasize access. And the interesting thing is that the taxes are high on telecos because they are the new cash cows of paying Government a lot of taxes in a lot of African countries and the only way to go about it is in rural communities for meaningful access to exist is these telecos should be given a tax leverage that is set up in villages, because most of it is teleco like the Gambian case will tell you why will I set up a tower in a place, in a village that you only have 300 people, and at the same time you have a health centre, you have a primary school and maybe 10 kilometers going further you have a high school serving ten villages so it is not profitable.
The only way that that can be addressed is for telecos to be given tax leverages and then communities can come together with civil society like what we are trying to do in working with policy centers knowing that the cost will come down. That will be a model that will work because a lot of countries, they have the cable in the case of Gambia, we are getting the submarine cable. We had only one, but getting the cable is not just enough because at the end of the day most people even though broadband network to take it to the last mile is becoming expensive and most people depend on mobile data. That is why we have to have really making the multi‑stakeholder process which the IGF is all about to walk in delivering meaningful access.
Not just talking about the policies, but making all actors do what we are supposed to do. That is why you cannot exempt especially in the Global South Governments. I will stop hear.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Poncelet Ileleji. That is a useful reflection. Until now we have gone through connectivity case, but you have listened in reality connectivity is intimately linked with the rest, linked with digital inclusion, linked with capacity building, so going to capacity building, I think that Margaret Nyambura Ndung'u can talk about another experience in the report.
>> MARGARET NYAMBURA NDUNG'U: Thank you. Good afternoon to all of us, and thank you for choosing to be in this particular session. So I'm going to discuss a project I have been working on the last three years, PRIDA? PRIDA is a joint initiative of the African Union, European Union and the ITU, what we are doing at PRIDA, it has three main tracks, the first one being to address various dimensions of broadband demand in Africa. That's what we have been talking about, access at the remote parts of this country and it has been implemented by ITU.
We are also harmonizing measurable ICT telecommunication policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. We know as a continent there are 55 countries. When we realize harmonization it will not be possible because we have to contextualize. We have to come up with frameworks an that's what we are doing. The third one which is why we are doing is mainstreaming the IT structures and processes and building capacities of African Union.
So why do with have PRIDA for this case. In 2018 there was an African Union declaration on Internet Governance, and development of the African digital economy. That is after realizing that as a continent we are not yet there. We are not discussing issues at the international level, at the regional level and we need to be there.
So the declaration encouraged participation of African stakeholders in the global through engagement at the national, regional and continental level so when we are coming at the global level we are going there as a common voice. It is based on multistakeholder process on IG principles, open, accessible, resilient and interoperable Internet with localized related policy matters.
How are we doing it? Through streamlining IG processes. We are doing that by ensuring we are supporting schools of Internet Governance at the national level the regional and continental level and ensuring that issues are escalating and dealing with issues that are cross cutting.
So we are going in terms of Internet Governance and also in terms of schools of IG. So we are implementing a strategy that we have developed in 2019 with two main issues, processes and capacity building, and this is about capacity building. So in terms of capacity building, what have we done? In 2020 during COVID, we realized that the guardrails of this we still have to build capacity and we came up with an online curriculum of Internet Governance. It has seven modules, contextualized while it is addressing the global issues, the baskets of Internet Governance as part of Diplo because we are also trying to contextualize it at the national level.
We came up with the curriculum and simplified it to ensure we can run it in the period of five days. And through that curriculum, we have trained 17 countries, and our model, again, we looked at the 55 African Union Member States and we realized out of these 23 African Union Member States, 23 did not have any Internet Governance structures or processes.
So we focused on those countries, and you can see, I'm not going to mention them so these are the countries we have supported so far, 17 of them. We are still short of three which we are still working on to ensure that by the end of the PRIDA project which is June 2023 that we will have dealt with the countries, we will have started doing capacity building using the same curriculum available in French, English and Portuguese.
We have been able to port regional Internet Governance, we have done it with Central Africa IG, we are doing it in January in North Africa. Basically we are working with countries to make sure we are contextualizing that particular content and discussing issues at the national level, at the village level to ensure that everybody is included.
Again, what are we doing? We are using local experts. We have trained people across the continent to be facilitators, to understand from a country perspective so when we are discussing at the regional, continental and the like, we have experts from that country to help us with that.
We are working with the Ministry of ICT to ensure that the Government is involved because the whole idea is not just to build capacity, but to create a multistakeholder environment. So far we have done 29 sessions and we have been able to train more than 1,466 participants.
So in terms of results, just to show you that particular slide that shows the outcome in terms of gender, because for us gender is very important to realize that women must be brought in this digital space, and in terms of recruitment when we go out on our way to ensure that we get as many women as possible, we don't get 50/50, but in terms of completion, women complete more than men which means we need to encourage more women because we are more resilient when we get into something we ensure we go to the end.
So PRIDA is a good practice and basically it's because of our continental approach, that we are doing a continental project and contextualizing at the village level. Most of the people have not used computers, but the Government or national convener they bring them together to ensure we are doing that. We are doing multistakeholder approach, we are contextualizing content to ensure we are addressing all of the things that are affecting us individually, flexible training approaches, you can use the curriculum at your own pace.
We focus on inclusion, 50/50 gender and we focus on the youth. We realize if we don't go with the youth we won't be in a good place, so we are emphasizing that. We realize once we do the training we need to have multiplier effect. The facilitator we are working with, we are working with PanAfrican university to ensure that our curriculum is embedded into their curriculum as a master's course that can be used as an elective course. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you Margaret. You will have less minutes later. I need to be fair to the others. We have moved across the building as you see, and I ask somebody in the room to prepare himself to discuss an example of digital Africa that is existing in capacity building too, but well come to him in a minute.
While I think we can go to Onica Makwakwa, because Onica Makwakwa you are on the border between capacity building and digital inclusion.
>> ONICA MAKWAKWA: Thank you. It's always great to speak about digital inclusion after someone has made it quite clear that gender is important, so we don't have to fight about that one. So I'll give a few examples on how we have used capacity building to build out on digital inclusion. But first, I just want to make a comment that it's really important for us to make sure that the digital space does not replicate the gender inequalities that exist in our society.
We need to continuously, you know, make sure that that happens, and it's not going to happen on its own just because it's digital. We can't use the we build it and they come approach. We have to actually be quite intentional about making sure that the digital space is actually include women to our development goals need to be very clear on setting targets.
To that, our team worked on developing a curriculum for mainstreaming gender and ICT policy to actually do training for policy makers actually to assist them with how do we mainstream gender and ICT policy. Unlike in this room at times we have to start with why that's important, but I'm happy we don't, you know, have to do that here. I think we all agree it's important that gender is mainstreamed and so we developed this program.
And before that, I think it's important to say that part of the impetus for working ash mainstreaming gender and ICT policy specifically actually came as a charge from a Summit of African women who, and girls who had a Summit in Ghana working at the intersection of technology and policy and gave us marching orders around how we need a policy environment that is intentional about closing the digital gender divide.
In this we trained policy makers in West Africa as well as east and Southern Africa. Out of the West Africa training, I can give two examples where Senegal in the digital Senegal plan have better high level commitments to mainstream gender in broadband policy for that particular country with very clear target of 33% rate of E‑commerce participation and public services by women specifically in the rural areas.
Very important. As well as Benin, in their universal service and access policy, actually includes the mainstreaming of gender and some very gendered targets to make sure that women are included because if we don't have targets, we can't really measure the progress we are making towards attaining these goals.
On the southern and East Africa part, those two actually took place together as opposed to just separately, but Uganda specifically the regulator there embarked on a gender data research project immediately after going through this training because one of the challenges that we find is that because if the data, sometimes the data is not segregated, so you need to be able to do segregated data to be able to know and understand exactly where the women are in your country, and be able to develop policies and strategies to ensure that you are addressing the inequalities there.
And because, directly because of that particular project, Uganda has actually gone as far as including very specific targets and goals to address gender divides in the U.S. service and access projects that include items such as subsidizing devices for poor households more specifically.
And I can also give an example with Ghana where Ghana also in the USF as an instrument to mainstream gender and address the gaps that exist for women and girls through skills development, and you find that most of these are also on the demand side. So while connectivity is important, it's really equally important to make sure we address the demand side issues because for the most part women are not online because of affordability, but it's also because of skills and also because of safety and environmental issues that exist in our online spaces presently.
So who else? So in terms of the policy recommendations that we look at, and this is, I'm just wrapping up, it's important that we take the advantage of leverage in the USF so that they can explicitly, they can be used to explicitly address digital gender gap and support women's connectivity, especially demand side issues like I have mentioned with skills. But we should be open to making policy processes that are public through consultations, because it's only through making sure that women are included in the policy consultations, processes, that we are able to understand exactly how to implement and work on interventions that directly benefit them.
So I like to use the slogan of "Nothing About Us Without Us." So as we look at policy development, let's be inclusive, let's find a way for women to engage and tell us because then we won't end up with situations of digital centers where women are not coming because of either transport issues or safety issues, however, if we consult them in advance we are able to do so.
Lastly but not least, we need to be open to not only new digital technologies such as using community networks to be able to connect, but we need to begin to look for different financial models, including the possibility of using funds that exist to subsidize devices and education for women. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Before we pass to the next speaker, I would like to ask Lauren if he is here from ICANN to tell us a word about digital Africa project, the capacity building project, and that was presented this morning, so we don't know too much yet, but he will tell us.
>> Thank you. Yes, digital Africa is not an ICANN project. ICANN has a lot of different partners including ITU, for example. We have this global coalition called digital Africa, but we have this global coalition, we have different projects. And there are several projects which are capacity building activities, especially when it comes to there are supports we are planning to provide to assist here in Africa.
You know that in Africa some countries are still struggling with their activities, and for us it's clear that you have got to develop in a strong, in a good services without goods system.
>> MODERATOR: You have identified these ten countries or are they a work in progress.
>> AUDIENCE: We already select ten countries. We are trying to work through and different situations. So we have ten countries.
>> MODERATOR: We are looking for three countries to join PRIDA as Margaret told us.
>> AUDIENCE: So this part is finished, we will, it's ten countries, and we will be able to have a global group rate for support. We have partners and this is that for many years, ICANN and other people are doing typical capacity building supports. But it was a success because we can train tech people, but these people will not stay with your organisation. They will do other business.
So this is why we understood that we need a more holistic approach and try to help them from a technical capacity, technical perspective from training to develop their business, and then the marketing. Obviously this is what I can do. This is we are doing this with additional partners. ICANN is dealing with the capacity building, technical capacity building and we have other partners we will train in different fields of study, marketing, developing strategy, in India, in the country. Of course, it's a realistic approach. We are planning to work with different stakeholders at the local level, and there is a governance discretion that every country should have.
But the, ICANN, ITU‑D, and other the other partners, we are not planning to come to a country and tell them what they have to do. We are coming with a toolkit, with experience, with knowledge, with prospectuses from some countries in Africa and helping people to develop their own strategy.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I took this as a voluntary conscription that you will write now a case that we will add that in the report. You have one week to do so because we have to deliver the report, so thank you for your intervention. I see that Tulio is going far away, but I want it have him in two minutes, if possible. Can you stay? Roberto you have been a member of the network of experts that contributed to the intersessional work which today is the final cherry cake.
What do you think, what you have learned what the speakers told us until now.
>> Thank you very much, since this is a new intersessional format, it's an evolution, perhaps, of the Best Practice Forums we used to have, but part of the particular history of this policy network is based on that intention originally three years ago. I will say that the main objective is to gather all of this great experiences, such as the ones that we have heard about recently.
Because it's important to spread this kind of experiences all over the world in order to our countries, our communities, our multistakeholder communities learn from this experiences. Even all of the, even though the great work that we have done during this last year, we didn't get all of the great contributions that we know there are in different other countries and regions, and hopefully if this policy network continues to work in the following years, because as you know, every year it's a part of the MAG decision to know if this is going to continue.
Hopefully this network since it is greatly important to continue the debate about connecting everyone, and meaningfully, hopefully we will have this in the next year. And for the next year, one of the important things we are going to repeat is to make this call for examples of policies all around the world again to spread between all of the community. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: As I said before Tulio has to leave us, but you have heard from many speakers that talking about the importance of national governmental policies, subsidies, incentives. What is the view of Brazil Government that has been involved in this for many years.
>> Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: I have to warn that you were not prepared so don't feel obliged.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you so much, addressing digital divides is a priority for Brazil and our regulator has been doing an amazing work in achieving universal access to the Internet, and this is a great opportunity actually because five minutes after we finish our session here, another session at banquet hall B will be starting on community networks as human rights enablers.
And so they are going to be covering a lot of these examples and the meaningful activity. The challenge that we have now in Brazil is related to how to expand the meaningful access not only from the perspective of providing struck, which would be analogous, for example, to a first generation kind of connectivity rights, but also to enable the meaningful access which is actually at the very core of the invaluable work that the policy network is doing.
But one very important dimension that the IGF here in Addis Ababa and on African soil has provided us with is also meaningful connectivity that is related to data divides. I would also take this opportunity to ask the panel for some questions that would relate to the presentation of the UNCTAD Digital Economy Report in 2021 which has indicated the risks of digital divide for Developing Countries has put Developing Countries in a position of mere providers of raw data material.
And one particular concern that we would have would be how to prevent that digital access wouldn't expand a model that is already related to the GIG economy which instead of promoting human rights and promoting SDGs actually impair agency in power and human dignity. How will we actually ensure, go beyond the infrastructure and access to a model in which we would prevent what we have been raising here in Addis Ababa, the model of digital colonialism or digital imperialism in which humans themselves would be turned into raw material in the global supply chains. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: This means that when the report will be ready, we will send a copy to you and ask what the Brazilian Government can learn lessons from what we are suggesting here.
Thank you very much for your warning. And in fact, we are moving to the last question that is about digital inclusion. Even if you see that the barriers are not so strong between the pillars we are discussing, but now we are going, we are moving something different, and this is the services and the products that are made in the languages of the people living in a certain country, that this gives the meaningful content to the people, meaningful service, not transforming them from few consumers into citizen, digital citizens.
So in this, we have two examples that strike the attention of the team. One of the examples comes from news and we have Chris with us that will briefly present this case.
>> CHRIS HAJECKI: Thank you, everyone. Is that coming through?
>> MODERATOR: Okay? The meantime, you know that one of the main consequence of digitalization is that in many countries disappearing local media outlets because they don't have anymore the advertising revenues to survive. So internews take care of this problem and try to transform disadvantage into an opportunity in order to ensure the local media. Is this correct?
>> CHRIS HAJECKI: That's a great introduction, yes. Thank you. I'm Chris Hajecki, Director of ads for news initiative within inner news and I will jump right into the model. Ads for news supports trusted local news by driving increased programmatic ad revenue to their websites. And before I go into more details, let me set up some of the conditions for why this is viable today.
So first off, the problem local news is being cut out of digital ad spending as you mentioned in the beginning, and that's resulting in local communities losing access to quality journalism, and also culturally relevant information to help them make better decisions about their lives.
We have heard this story, of course. We have heard the story again and again. In terms of cutting digital ad spend we have heard about collusion lists, black lists, global grants avoiding news altogether. We have heard about big tech taking a bigger chunk of revenues, and, of course, we have also heard that more ads are going to social media. But all of that said, the digital ad market is still massive.
It's around $560 billion annually in 2022 and it's growing at nearly 15% year‑over‑year. So if we think about publishers and as a media development practitioner, of course, we always recommend diversifying revenue streams, subscriptions, consumer revenues, commercial revenues and other streams but it's hard to ignore and we recommend that programmatic advertising be included and digital publishers striving to ensure they are capturing some programmatic revenue.
Aside from the growth, the other dynamic that lends itself to the model is that brands and agencies are looking for more brands inventory outside of social media networks. There is a great Article in Financial Times called whole killed the social ad boom. More recently you may have seen the ad about Twitter and global brands pulling back from that platform.
The last dynamic is that brands are making more socially conscious or socially responsible purchasing decisions throughout supply chains from product packaging and now even to media buying. And that's, and socially responsible media buying or ethical advertising is a bit of a new concept. It's just in the last 18 months or so has made it onto the agenda of global brands.
So how we accomplish our goal is by vetting news websites by country according to journalism and advertising industry standards, and the big part of this is we leverage local media experts in each country where this research is being conducted, and we are in about 35 markets right now.
We have active research going on in about 12 markets, and hopefully by the end of the 2023 well be in 60 markets globally. The key to this whole thing working is, of course, identifying and partnering with the demand side, the agencies and brands that actually value reaching quality content, and buying more ethically, and that list is small but growing. And then the last additional result of this work is defunding websites that publish hate speech and mis and disinformation. For the last slide I would like to share an end‑to‑end look at the process and share some thoughts around it. First thing to say here is that this is really about inclusion.
We are trying to open the door to as many legitimate news outlets as possible. It's quite easy to identify the award‑winning journalist outlets out there, the Malkins of the world, and it's also very easy to identify the bad actors, the ones that are doing some maliciously bad stuff, but it's actually that middle group, the outlets that have one, two, three, four journalists that are producing original content and offering a valuable service to communities that they serve that we want to surface for the global agencies and global brands.
Because it's that middle group that really is not on the radar of global agencies and brands. So if this wasn't a PowerPoint, the funnel would be upright.
>> MODERATOR: Okay, Chris, please, if you go to a conclusion.
>> CHRIS HAJECKI: Yes, thank you. The whole process works with, this is an example of Indonesia. We had a total universe of about 20,000 websites. We boiled that down through analysis and algorithmic analysis of 1200, and then we ended up with a trusted news website list of about 650 sites, and those will be then handed over to agencies and brands to target.
>> MODERATOR: I think he can refer to his friends in blue mountain about that. I will ask you later. First, I would conclude with the last speaker. We are talking media and we are talking of media citizen in certain region.
>> Exactly. Actually I would like to say first of all, we have got a very gender balanced panelists which is very about to see because normally you would only see one side. I want to take up the previous panelist's comments and what I would like to do is talk about the inclusive and affordability of content. As I said earlier, what we have done is trying to promote locally created contents in its own original languages.
First of all in 2015 we tried to build a platform that is accessible for everybody, which will be people are able to watch it globally, and we also focus on locally created contents. We tend to also use the original language, we don't believe in dubbing. That means we are transferring culture straight‑away from the original content creators.
We also give platform for content creators wherever they are so they can monetize. One of the things we heard is how difficult it is to get data. Obviously I come from the private sector so my angle is different to my other panelists. Talking about data specifically in Africa, that's one of the major barriers of accessibility and affordability. Streaming platform like ours and many others depends on providing content that people can access it easily and affordability. We can provide it for free or we can provide it with effort, but, again, if they don't have the data available or they can afford to pay for it makes it difficult.
I would like to go back to the gender balance. In terms of when we are talking about Internet and inclusivity and accessibility, it's a good way of covering both genders, because if, for example, 50% of women or 50% of the population tends to be working from home or would not be able to have access, they could still access content or information and documents such like by using Internet.
That's one of the things I would like to say. And the next thing is also how do we make it relevant to the person who is actually watching that content.
That's very, very important. I think we are all aware how dynamically big streamers and the big companies are coming to Africa in floods in the last three, four years, even five years we have seen large streamers and production companies are coming mainly because the next market is in Africa and there is a huge continent with a huge population where the middle class is growing quickly.
Again, this means that we need to focus in home grown content that actually reflects the culture and the origin in the language of those countries. There is nothing wrong with importing international content because that does show us how the world lives outside, but it's important to preserve the cultures of those countries. That's also where we focus on trying to make sure that the languages, the cultures are honored and we do when necessary add subtitling to make it accessible.
Again, the art industry probably as most people would know is one of the struggling one. We have technology which does well and then we have art and culture which tends to struggle financially getting a production done because they are expensive and financially it's very, very hard but by monetizing some of the content we are able to let the content creator continue telling the stories again without the restriction of either depending on the large organisation who dictate how much content is available or what is actually told as well.
So I want to focus back onto home grown. As I said earlier, I'm Ethiopian. I'm an entrepreneur. We have an office here, so working from the grassroots, how do we bring content to international market without limiting the ability to tell the story as they see it rather than customize it to suit a western audience. Language is very important and preserving cultures which are the minority. I hope that answers that also.
At the moment, we work in most African countries. In Ethiopia we use the languages, Harek being, we have all of the languages we use. Our system also, we invested a huge amount, and it does have automatic translation so we can use it in East Africa West Africa Southeast Asia. So the translation, some languages are automatically translated and others are manually.
We are providing this platform for working with telecos which is very important. We want to get their very inexpensive data if we are able to do so and the broadcasters and content creators to use it so we could like this platform to be a PanAfrican platform that anybody can use it and monetize content.
>> MODERATOR: I see a lot of synergies with platforms if they accept to invest in local content and to support the local connectivity. This will come in a minute. Sonia, you have followed very passionately and silently. That is hard for you, I know, to hold a discussion. What is your reaction first and do you have collected any reaction from remote participants?
>> SONIA JORGE: Thank you, Giacomo. No questions or reactions from the remote participants. I'm incredibly pleased to hear fantastic examples from the speakers. It's a testament of how much incredible work and most important impactful work is taking place across the world from different kinds of organisations, from the most grassroots organisations to the private sector.
And I think that's really encouraging to see for those of us who work on digital inclusion, and frankly, seeing how much is still to be done and really instead of progress, quite a bit of regression in terms of how things have taken place recently. It's good to be listening to all of you and seeing the possibilities.
I enjoyed all of the cases, but I'm not going to say much now because I know time is flying, so I want to hear from the panelists so I will pass and ask them to come back and share more with us. I think everyone is learning a lot just as me and I'm very thankful to be hearing from them. So back to you for more of our panels.
>> MODERATOR: Have a look because Carlos Alfonzo said he would intervene from remote. If you see him around, asking if he wants to eventually intervene. The ball is again here, before to go to the panelists for the second round, very, Vint, the privilege of the age. He is the youngest among us.
>> VINT CERF: Well, I don't take this off, then I hear myself twice. I just wanted to emphasize something that I heard more than once in the various interventions today. One of them has to do with taking actions that have an enabling effect, and to come specifically to what is evident is that localization is more than just language.
Localization is about local content that's relevant, and simple maybe silly example is that if you are in Nairobi and you are searching for help with a plumbing problem, it doesn't help you to find out a plumber in New York City.
So localization is more than just local languages. It's also local content. That raises a very interesting policy possibility. In Canada there are some rules about content, and where the content that goes into entertainment comes from, and there are limits on how much non‑Canadian content is allowed. So I could imagine a kind of practice that says to even those big companies that are eager to reach African audiences, that certain fraction of what is made available has to be of local origin and local relevance.
And it seems to me that we should be thinking more and more about regulatory choices that are simultaneously enabling for local sources to be heard and to make use of platforms that enjoy significant capacity. So I'm really glad to hear this focus on localization because I think that's a key way of making the Internet meaningful in local contexts.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. That's very about that it comes from you. Okay. There is time for a few questions.
>> AUDIENCE: Thanks so much. Kyrgyzstan chapter, I wanted to bring perspective of small countries. Kyrgyzstan population is half of Addis Ababa, and creating content is very difficult. We didn't realize how big of a problem this was until we started this digital skills project with the support of EU. We have this little knowledge books called two terabyte, we could only fill it by one third. So it's two‑thirds empty because there is no educational content in the Kyrgyzstan language. What helped us was open materials produced globally.
We found repository of science experiments, biology, chemistry which we translated into the Kyrgiz language and we thought this would be helpful for rural kids, but it's been helpful to rural teachers and what is more it's been helpful to kids of migrants working abroad. So this was a surprising discovery for us.
And another example that we have been using is the GSMA toolkit. What I wanted to highlight here is that big organisations when you produce this kind of knowledge products, they are really helpful, thank you for that, and if you design them from the beginning, adaptable to local languages that will be even more helpful. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: So I assume this is not a question, but it is some examples. If you send to us, we will try to include. If not in this report, in the next one, because it looks quite interesting. So the gentleman near the lady.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is plumber I'm from the Electronic Frontier Finland and we agree that connecting the last mile doesn't make business for the ISPs. I have reached the same conclusion as Poncelet Ileleji that the Governments need to give a matching tax exemption from ISPs in exchange for free bandwidth, and the actual Internet to get out of the community networks to the actual Internet that's the real most interesting part of the Internet.
And I think this approach could also be popular with the politicians who could actually be, effectively be opening the Internet for the rural areas and the so called last mile especially. And at least for me, trading tax income for connecting people to the Internet seems like a popular policy indeed. My question is do other panelists feel that this kind of free bandwidth given by the ISPs or the community networks could be achieved and do you know if this has happened somewhere already.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you so much, I would like to thank you, the panelists, all of you, you mentioned the most critical issue on local content and how important it is to have local content and content that is relevant because we can have meaningful access without local content. My other point which would also come from there is I don't know how many organisations are in this building, but are we looking also at device access and device cost?
Because if we are looking from an African perspective, and from a rural women, rural perspective, it's very difficult for you to get a phone, but when you do get a phone, you get not those expensive phone that you can download, you can stream, you can use information, you can access information that is meaningful.
So is there any way or any interventions that you are doing on device access and device cost so that in as much as we might have access to the Internet, if you do not have a gadget that is going to help you access it. And I am from Zimbabwe. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is Al from Kenya, from the open institute. So in the time that I have been here, I have heard a lot of work that is being done by many, many organisations and civil society organisations and private sector, and I just wanted to know, considering the fact that the contract doesn't speck most of our languages, is there an initiative of any kind that the panelists are aware of that sort of brings together the various activities or initiatives of different groups to try and push for a unified global set of principles or policy or Convention?
>> AUDIENCE: I will go in French.
Well, thank you for this excellent presentation. I wanted to go back to gender aspects because there are a number of international organisations such as GUN, ILO and others as well as the EU who apply the gender standard to all strata of society.
I would ask a question to the panelists, what are the bottlenecks? What the obstacles for us actually to complete this discussion? And what are the bottlenecks on which we could work together and so as not to, we would like also for our recommendations to be included in the report for IGF 17, particularly to technologies and relating as well to the Internet. So the recommendation would be for an Action Plan that could be inspired by the marshal plan that back in time when the U.S. had devised it so in terms of increasing sensibility with all of the players, we need to have a list of actions that will be commensurate with a marshal Action Plan as to make it more effective.
>> AUDIENCE: Do you describe your business model as giving local uses and local cultural content a chance to monetize using technologies on your platform? Can you talk about how you address issues of affordability relative to the reaching power of the countries you are serving in Africa?
>> MODERATOR: So I think that we have many consequences on the table. Poncelet Ileleji, you want to cover about the community network.
>> PONCELET ILELEJI: Yes, I think one of the things if we are linking the community networks to especially to localization and content, we have to discover that in Africa, there are few places and Tagese Chafo can mention about Amharic and all of those things, those are standard, Swahili. But take West Africa, for example, different dialects, Mundinka, different dialects. It goes on different dialects.
And you want to do localization with that, and the best example I know about that, we have an organisation in Gambia that was actually incubated, and the work on gender‑based violence and also online violence to women, and they record all of these messages in the local language, so in voice, and they send it by Whatsapp messages in different groups and the women can now use it to solve their various problems.
Because with the issue of language, the reality in most African countries is we have to adopt better our French, Portuguese, English, Arabic we inherited, and if that cannot be done in a lot of rural communities, voice is the best option. It's not like East Africa where the Swahili or Amharic and you have all of those things so we have to know that the dialect is a big issue.
I remember some years ago Google wanted us to do something on Philani to translate it to become online in just six countries. We had about ten different dialects. So voice is the way to go. I will stop there for now.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. And I think that, I don't know if you have heard it was UNESCO Deputy Director General here, he was talking about the effort they are doing on multilingualism on the Internet. I think if you are interested in that, you have interest to follow what they are doing.
There have been a couple of questions about gender, the last in French, I briefly translate he is asking if what is the main point of blockage that you see hampering the participation of women through this process, please, Margaret.
>> MARGARET NYAMBURA NDUNG'U: First of all, it's from my experience is about localized content. There is too much content and we are talking broadband up to the village level, but our people have the right content to do what they need to do in the digital space?
And I get worried when I go to my village because I like working from there and you find all of these young people grouped together, young women accessing content but this content may not be addressing their socioeconomic needs. We need to contextualize what we are doing.
Go to a particular village, particular country, see what do they need, what do they do for their socioeconomic livelihoods and with that customize the content. Every person whether you are educated or not in Kenya, they have Empasa, and they know what the money is not the right amount. There is interest. It is addressing their needs.
So women we need to ensure that we are really focused on that, and again when it comes to digital hygiene at the household level because, again, women will fear when their introduction to Internet is through content they did not appreciate or it is not appropriate. With that they even block their children. So we have to combine that, digital hygiene. Let us ensure that the right content is being shown. Thank you.
>> ONICA MAKWAKWA: I will add affordability is still an issue, even at the now not so great one for two target, we still have many countries in this continent that are still spending more than 2% of average monthly income on 1 gig of data per month. So affordability is huge issue for women and the second is the issue of digital skills and affordable devices. The devices are still very expensive.
Our last research showed that some countries it's 40 to 60% of average monthly income. That's the cost of a micro wave, small appliance for a household.
And lastly, the issue of violence against women online needs to be addressed to make sure women are safe and they are not now associating being online with something negative. Not addressing violence online is actually an impact on the next generation of young girls who will also opt out of the space.
>> MODERATOR: And young boys because they get the wrong impression that the world is a jungle. Absolutely. The last question I think that, no, the one about the devices, nobody there to answer. Affordability has been by everybody, and also for Chris online, please.
>> I fully understand the affordability is a criteria as well as the lady over there said how do these consumers actually access devices? It is still expensive in Africa let alone we can't have the very brand new big names as well as little ones.
From our point of view what we have been trying to do in part of Africa we are trying to ask telecos who have been kind enough to allow us to give some not very high technical but lower type of devices for people to use our service, that's one. It's not everywhere. And I think it's very important to have partnership with telecos, manufacturers or the Government of each country to be able to provide that device to the people who need it the most. When I say content, I'm talking about entertainment, education, language, maps, children's content.
It's a wide variety of content that we are providing as a company that results from third party producers, studios and such lick. We are also very aware of gender violence, both for men and women, boys and girls.
We are weary of making sure that we work every content that's produced and given to us and that's on our platform. If it doesn't conform, we do put a warning. Obviously we don't want to sensor anybody, but we do add a warning to that. That's one of the device accessibility. Downloadable, I think somebody asked as well, bearing in mind piracy is a big problem in Africa, all over, I will say, but I can speak from part of Africa it's become acceptable that you can download and share the content.
It makes it very difficult for a company like ours and others to say download the content and use it. Because at the end of the day the producers need to earn money to support their families so that's very important as well. Telecos and Governments are important in providing access to data. I think a lot of telecommunication companies in Africa are earning quite substantial amount of money. They could probably afford, I'm sure the ones here will not be happy, but I would say they could afford to allow accessible data or zero data to some households that need them.
I think there was affordability payment. I think you asked earlier about packaging, which I think is very important for me to answer that as well, I was born here, I know how difficult it is to have income in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, so the way we have designed our system is that we have already spent a lot of money with the platform, so that's an investment, we don't need to recoup that, but we are monetizing the contents we have within reason by doing day pass. As well as subscription based and then free content.
Some of the educational material we have are free because our content owners want to have access to that. At the end of the day, the producers have to be paid, and they are earning money. They have got families to support and they have to earn money so not everybody can provide them for free. Hope that answers.
>> MODERATOR: Journalists, if they want to present reliable news, isn't it, Chris? Do you want to add something from your side? If not, I will pass to Carlos.
>> CHRIS HAJECKI: Pass to Carlos. Sewn Carlos Rey‑Moreno has a couple of comments and Carlos Alphonso had to leave, so that's find. Carlos, go ahead from APC.
>> CARLOS REY-MORENO: Just to comment on the idea of reducing taxes in exchange of bandwidth. I think many countries have proven that. I think many times bandwidth has been subsidized through Universal Service Access Fund through many, many providers and if something we know by now is that that doesn't work.
Many of those projects when either the funding runs out, the ISP doesn't have interest, and, therefore, there is a change of law or there is a change of regulation, that doesn't quite work. So what I would encourage is policy makers and regulators to actually be a bit more bold and actually promote other ISPs. There is an agreement the ITU had recognized recently at WPDC at the plenipotentiary in many other foras, even in the Global Symposium for Regulators that we need to expand the operators ecosystem, that we need new actors to close the digital divide. Those providers will continue investing in areas where those majority of people are.
So those that are excluded will continue being excluded regardless of the taxes. And, therefore, those new actors need to be, whether for profit not for profit, whatever, but we need to have more actors to cover the needs of those that are not covered by the commercial Internet, and I'm going to say another resource that we actually submitted for the Global Symposium for Regulators to enable this type of broader Keiko system of actors to provide in Argentina and Mexico and many countries where the enablers are taking place, you can see how that's actually happening. So I invite other regulators to do the same.
>> MODERATOR: There was another Carlos asking for the floor. I don't know if he is connected.
>> SONIA JORGE: No, thank you for asking. Carlos Alphonso has level. That's okay. Back to you. We have to close soon. I will see if there are any comments from here, but I don't think so. I wanted to thank all of the panelists if you don't mind from my side here online, it's been really enriching to hear from all of you, and we hope that the report from the session will also reflect these not just the cases, the amazing examples, but also the really interesting suggestions and questions you shared with us.
Back to you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. If you don't mind I will give the close to Vint, because he opened, then he contradicted himself and probably he can find synthesis.
>> VINT CERF: First of all, I really appreciate being here and an opportunity to listen to extremely useful stories about what works and what doesn't work, and where the gaps are. I wanted to respond to the device cost question by suggesting several possibilities, one of them is driving cost out by design, another possibility is local manufacturer, and a third one is Side, at least some ISPs and some telecos will offer a device at no charge at all as long as you sign up for a long enough period of subscription.
So there might be several different ways to deal with that. With regard to content and language, one thing, I'm not an expert in this space, but I have learned at Google that our research on machine translation is telling us that when we build a single very large language model that covers multiple languages, that we can sometimes do translation successfully even if we did not have particular language pair samples to drive the translations, and normally you would think if you had let's say 100 different languages, you would need 100 times two different networks in order to do the translation in each different direction.
Lumping it all together into one has a very peculiar and not well understood property of being able to translate languages from one to another where you don't have samples of a particular pair. So that's an exciting thing. The last point I wanted to suggest, this is going to sound funny coming from some guy from Google but we found that advertising drives a lot of usage because we can afford to pay for services from the advertising revenue, and as a result we can make those services available at very little or no cost.
So one wants to look other than just two‑way business models that will take care of some of the cost and make things available to everyone. And making things more affordable. The most important thing that can happen as a result of this session is to capture what you have heard and make that available to the Leadership Panel. It's one of the things we are eager to get from you is distillation and insight to the problems that are faced around the world in terms of getting meaningful access to the Internet.
So the input you make for us gives us the opportunity to deliver those insights in venues where parties may not normally have come here, but as they say, if the mountain doesn't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed will go to the mountain.
>> MODERATOR: We are not far from where Mohammed was too. It will be easier to go from here than from mountain blue. Thank you very much. I think we have to close. We are even some minutes beyond the schedule. I think it was very fruitful conversation, but it will be more fruitful if each one of you will continue to do the home duties that we have listed. So, for instance, Chris can write to Google asking if they can convey advertising to your local media or to the streaming sector or if the solution that we have for community networks or for subsidies for devices, et cetera, could be put in practice.
We have international organisation working on that, we have Government, the IGF is the beautiful of the IGF is this and we take for granted what Vint promised that if we send a message to the panel, is that this will be heard and transferred in the other arena. Thank you very much for your patience. Thank you to Sonia for being with us. So long and all of the people that has attended online and offline. Thank you.