West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) 2023: Building Economic Resilience and Digital Sovereignty in West Africa

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

The West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) is pleased to announce its annual meeting, which will be held on May 25th and 26th, 2023 at the Azalaï Hôtel in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The theme for this year’s forum is “Building Economic Resilience and Digital Sovereignty in West Africa“.

The WAIGF is a regional platform that brings together stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, technical communities, and academia to discuss and develop policies for the governance of the internet in West Africa. The forum provides a platform for dialogue and collaboration on issues related to internet governance, including cybersecurity, data protection, digital rights, access and affordability, among others.

This year’s forum will focus on the critical issues of building economic resilience and digital sovereignty in West Africa. The forum will examine how West African countries can leverage the power of the internet to drive economic growth and development, while also maintaining control over their digital ecosystems. Participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, share best practices, and learn from experts in the field.

“We are excited to bring together stakeholders from across West Africa to discuss the critical issues of economic resilience and digital sovereignty,” said Mary Uduma, the Cordinator of the WAIGF. “The internet has become an essential tool for economic and social development, and we must ensure that West African countries are able to fully harness its potential while also maintaining control over their digital ecosystems.”

The WAIGF invites all stakeholders with an interest in internet governance in West Africa to attend the forum. Registration is now open, and more information can be found on the WAIGF website at www.waigf.org.

About the West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF)

The WAIGF is a regional platform that brings together stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, technical communities, and academia to discuss and develop policies for the governance of the internet in West Africa. The forum provides a platform for dialogue and collaboration on issues related to internet governance, including cybersecurity, data protection, digital rights, access and affordability, among others.

Contact: info@waigf.org

WAIGF 2024 Call for Workshop Proposals

All stakeholders are invited to submit proposals for workshops at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) through the workshop application e-form. The deadline is 30 May  2024, 23:59 UTC.


Themes in the WAIGF ‎‎2024 Programme

The WAIGF 2024 programme will be organized according to the following four sub-themes:

  • Digital Connectivity, AI & Emerging Technologies for Development
  • Advancing Digital Economy & e-Governance
  • Digital Inclusion & Innovation
  • Digital Rights & Online Content

After reviewing inputs from the WAIGF 2024 call for issues, the themes above were decided on during the WAIGF 2024 First Open Consultations.

The IGF’s thematic inputs and stocktaking processes are open to everyone, with a combined 286 submissions received this year. The overarching theme of WAIGF 2024 is “Disruptive Technologies: How Far, Thus Far?”. 


WAIGF 2024 Workshops

WAIGF 2024 will be organized in a hybrid format allowing for equitable online and onsite participation. Proposals should be designed to take this hybrid meeting approach ‎into account; 

Proposers are invited to make submissions under the following themes:‎

  1. Digital Connectivity, AI & Emerging Technologies for Development
  2. Advancing Digital Economy & e-Governance
  3. Digital Inclusion & Innovation
  4. Digital Rights & Online Content

It is important that the organizers of the proposed workshops prepare their proposals clearly aligned to one of the themes described above. However, it is even more important that the description of the sessions show a specific and completely focused approach to the chosen theme, considering that for this year, this characteristic will be considered as one of the main evaluation criteria when choosing the proposals that will be included in the WAIGF 2024 programme.

West African School on Internet Governance Scholarship

The ECOWAS Commission as the Secretariat for the West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) along with the WAIGF Team plan to organise the 15th edition of the West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) from 25 to 26 May 2023. To precede the WAIGF is the 6th West African School on Internet Governance (WASIG) to be organised from 22 – 24 May 2023.

Curriculum:

The school is structured as a three (3) day intensive learning program intended to introduce participants to Internet governance (IG) from the global and West African perspectives. The format will include fireside discussions with experts in the field and participation in the Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa’s (PRIDA) virtual training platform. Certificates will be issued to participants who successfully complete the training. The key areas covered by the program are:

  • Evolution of the Internet and the history of Internet Governance
  • Mapping of Internet Governance processes and actors
  • Classifications of Internet Governance issues (infrastructure, legal, economic and development) from African contexts
  • In-depth analysis of opportunities and challenges of emerging issues (cybersecurity, digital economy, human rights) from the West African context
  • A practical exercise on a key Internet Governance issue affecting West Africa

Applications: Stakeholders from West Africa are invited to apply. Prospective candidates should ideally be involved as key actors or decision-makers in Internet governance or ICT policy processes. They should also be able to contribute now or soon to IG activities or/and processes within their institutions, countries, continent and globally.

Candidates should be from all stakeholder groups including:

  • Youth and Women groups
  • Civil society
  • Private Sector
  • Media
  • Government offices and Regulatory agencies
  • Security and Defence forces
  • Academia and technical community
  • Archives, Libraries, and Documentation centers
  • Parliament
  • West African regional institutions, etc

Women and youth are particularly encouraged to apply. Spaces are limited. Candidates are kindly requested to complete the online form and submit it by 1st April, 2023. For further information on WAIGF and WASIG, please visit the website – “www.waigf.org

Call for Issues -West African Internet Governance Forum 2023

The West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) invites Internet Stakeholders to submit issues for discussion at the 2023 forum.

We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics related to internet governance, including but not limited to:

  • Cybersecurity and online safety
  • Access to and affordability of the internet
  • Digital economy and e-commerce
  • Digital rights and freedoms
  • Internet infrastructure and connectivity
  • Digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Internet governance policy and regulation

Please submit your issues via the online submission form on the WAIGF website by February 11, 2023. Selected issues will be discussed during the forum, which will take place in May 2023.

We look forward to your contributions and participation in shaping the future of the West African digital ecosystem.

WAIGF 2022 in Photos

The 2022 WAIGF was themed “DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY: DATA INNOVATIONS FOR POST-COVID RECOVERY’ and it happened at Ghana

West African Internet Governance Forum 2022 – Call for Issues

The West Africa Internet Governance Forum(WAIGF) calls all stakeholders in the Internet Governance Community to shape the theme and discussions for the 2022 WAIGF by highlighting pertinent issues affecting the region. This is a call for issues and not a call for sessions or workshop proposals. In order to structure submissions, there are a number of proposed categories to which you may attribute your issue. If you think your suggestion does not fit into one of the categories, kindly propose a new one

on the link below.

The deadline for submission is the 11th of February 2022.