WINDHOEK, Nov. 25 — The Namibia Internet Governance Forum (NamIGF) hosted its 4th Internet Governance Forum conference on 22 – 23 November in Windhoek. The Forum is a multi-stakeholder platform that engages on issues related to internet governance at the national level, and how it intersects with internet governance development at the continental and international levels.
The event precedes the Global Internet Governance Forum, which will be hosted by the Government of Poland in Katowice from 6-10 December 2021 under the theme: Internet United. Speaking at the annual event, Hon. Peya Mushelenga delivered the keynote address. He stated that “The global theme for this year is an interesting and important one as is it clearly showcases why all stakeholders need to come together and be united in transforming the internet ecosystem not only in Namibia but globally. He further stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has proven to all of us how important the internet is in educating, creating accessibility, and informing our citizens on crucial local and international developments.
Josaphat Tjiho, NamIGF Chairman shared the objectives of the forum. “Since its official launch in Namibia in 2017, the NamIGF continues to play a crucial role in bringing different stakeholders in the internet ecosystem together to engage on critical ICT-related issues and possible solutions within the country. To date, internet penetration currently stands at just over 51% of Namibians having access to the internet, with the goal of having 100% accessibility for all Namibians.
At the conference, the NamIGF hosted several sessions that unpacked topics such as Our Digital Future; Addressing Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity. The Role of Community Networks in Fast-Tracking Digital Equality; Youth Policy Makers and Maximizing IGF Participation, amongst other topics. The second day of the program focused on the business session, where stakeholders discussed key challenges and barriers to increasing internet accessibility as well as adaptation of the proposals from the conference. Additionally, the second day also emphasized key issues to be deliberated on moving forward.
Going forward, the NamIGF will conclude the calendar year by presenting the 2021 NamIGF governance report to stakeholders in the ICT industry. This includes the Government, specifically the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), industry regulators, service providers, and stakeholders.