The United Nations Office at Nairobi or UNON is from September 27 to 30 set to host the sixth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) aimed to discuss how and by whom the Internet is governed.
According to the local organizing committee, chaired by Alice Munyua, over 1,500 stakeholders from several countries around the world are expected to be at the forum, including Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet among others.
The meeting, whose theme will be “’Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation,” comes at a time when the Internet has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide and has been recognized as one of the most important infrastructure in the information age as it influences economics, cultures and politics at local and global levels.
Internet issues like e-commerce, new market opportunities, intellectual property rights, security and stability, freedom of expression, privacy, and security, cybercrime, network neutrality, the digital divide, infrastructure development, are set to feature during the deliberations.
For Kenya, the ongoing development and spread of the Internet and mobile phones – Kenya now has over 10 million internet users, most of them accessing the net via mobile devices – is opening up new horizons for connecting people and communication to a global network for sharing information and ideas.
In this regard, the Nairobi 2011 IGF will act as a key forum for discussions of policy issues related to the Internet will give the Kenyan community a chance to engage in discussing Internet governance issues with stakeholders from around the world as well as showcase workshops to the international community present.
Since its inception in 2006, the Internet Governance Forum has brought together representatives from the United Nations, national governments, the private sector, the civil society and NGO’s to discuss public policy issues related to Internet governance.
So far, meetings have been held in 1st Athens, Greece (2006), 2nd Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007), 3rd Hyderabad, India (2008), 4th Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (2009). 5th Lithuania (2010).
The sixth annual IGF to be held in Nairobi will be the first time the global Internet community meet is hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Registration closes on September 15 2011 via this link: http://www.igf.or.ke www.igf.or.ke