IGF Delegates Highlight the Need for a Safe, Secure Cyberspace


Participants at the Ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) have identified “digital trust” as an important factor for a safe and secure online space.  The IGF participants opined that such trust will enhance free expression and create digital confidence of citizens for the Internet.

The IGF was held in Istanbul, Turkey from September 2 to 5, 2014,  with the theme: “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance” is the largest global gathering of different stakeholders involved in internet governance.

The meeting had over 2,500 participants in attendance, with another 1000 participating through remote hubs. It featured sub themes on Human rights and the internet; Multistakeholderism in Africa; Enhancing Digital Trust ; and Policies enabling access amongst others.

The participants encouraged the involvement at future meetings of other ministries in government such as ministries of economy, finance, agriculture and health to attend future IGFs. It also encouraged opposition parties to make presentations at the IGF in order to get a more holistic picture of the true reality in the country. They also called on the African Union Commission to ask national governments in Africa to send multi-stakeholder delegates to IGF meetings aside government officials.

Due to the multi-stakeholder approach endorsed as the medium for intervention to address internet governance issues, participants were of the opinion that outcomes of every decision must reflect equality of every stakeholder in the governance process.  They also called on the IGF to develop clearer actionable messages in the format of the NETMundial process held in April, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

They called for national and regional IGFs issues to be resolved at these levels. These IGFs can help in reducing the challenges and level of intervention faced or brought before the global IGFs. They asked for capacity building and knowledge transfer as key to solve these problems and allow for a meaningful participation of all parties as these bridge knowledge gap.

These changes and suggestions, it is hoped will reinforce the multi-stakeholder approach and further strengthen interventions at future IGFs.