I was lucky to be part of the participants in the African school of internet governance in 2017. The orientation was of high academic knowledge and sharing/learning where I was able to interact with different personalities from different countries. Most inspiring was the fact that women played the biggest role in this training. At the end of the school, I was able to understand what internet governance was along with other terms and events that interested me the most. These included the internet of things, multi-stake-holderism, and practicum.
Internet Governance was defined as the handling of technical coordination required for and policy issues related to the smooth functioning of the different components of internet infrastructure and the exchange of information over the internet. Having understood this concept clearly, questions formed in my mind especially questions on security; mostly cybersecurity and the state of Africa. Furthermore, I understood that there are established cybersecurity policies and laws at the international level, and yet the majority of African states do not have proper cyber laws to protect the people, more so women.
There are influential frameworks and conventions that need to be practiced here in Africa. While ensuring that law enforcement powers be subject to safeguard and ensure that rule of laws and human rights requirements are met. There is also a need to harmonize international cyber laws and national cyber laws in the inter-net spaces. After knowing that internet security is expensive and capacity building is important, cybersecurity strategies should be adopted to protecting citizens and women from cyber-attacks here in Africa. While attending school, I fully understood that cybersecurity is a process that belongs to all stakeholders. These would include; youth, women, children, civil society organizations, Inter-Governmental institutes, the business sector, and the society at large in all aspects. However, there is need to create a climate of confidence and trust towards resolutions of disputes especially clarity on women in the field of internet governance. This climate should be protective towards the women, which can be secured through striking a proper balance between legal and technological security, integrated into the international order while promoting meaningful articulation between the national, regional, and global level.
The term internet of things was a bit complex for me when I first heard of it from one of the sessions during the school. Although the term was a bit complex and too technical, I learned that it is a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. I tried to learn and understand as well as how compliances and the network of physical devices work as well. Other tough concepts included, names and numbers, and the technical issues revolving around the internet. Being that I work on issues concerning women’s first approach in a research institute, I was purely pleased to find out that the ICT industry is much concerned as well about the women’s issues in terms of human rights and women’s inclusiveness. Although this is a little on a low level and seems silent on the outside, I am glad that there was a level to which women issues were presented.
In conclusion, on return from the school to my office, I carried with me articles, writings, and different material shared by the faculty which explained different fields of internet governance and gave more explanatory and elaborate notes for further reading and usage. These have been helpful in terms of referencing and knowledge sharing with the communications team of my organization. I am very grateful to have been part of the African school of internet governance 2017, where I learned, understood, and am now sharing the knowledge I have with those who find value for it.
Sheila Nsekanabo – is one of the female participants sponsored by WOUGNET in 2017 and at-tended the gender and internet governance exchanges as well as the African School on Internet Governance held in Egypt