IGMENA Pre-Event to the Arab IGF: Arab Leaders' Voices on Internet Governance  

December 14, 2015

Growing numbers of Internet freedom and openness advocates are becoming involved in the Internet governance debate in the Middle East and North Africa region. On the occasion of the fourth edition of the Arab Internet Goveranance Forum, which will take place in Beirut December 17-18 2015, the Hivos IGMENA community will gather to discuss the implications of technological and Internet governance developments in the context of the Middle East.

This pre-event on December 16 will bring together members of its 2015 fellowship programme to discuss key questions related to Internet governance and share their experiences related to Internet governance in the local context. The session will include an overview of Internet governance concepts and stakeholders. The discussion will also explore possible solutions to policy challenges, encouraging fresh ideas. The conversation will be open, action-oriented, and  facilitated by Hivos tutors, fellows, and programme champions.

Current questions concerning Internet governance in MENA include:
  • Name something you learned for the first time in the online Internet governance course.
  • Give an example of how you will apply what you learned in this course to your work or activism.
  • How do you plan to share what you learned in the Internet governance course to concerned stakeholders in your country?
  • What do you envision your role/contribution to Internet governance in your country?
  • How do you plan to continue developing your understanding of Internet governance issues and on what specific areas would you want to focus?
  • Some Arab states have started enforcing cyber laws through which crimes committed online are given stiff and mandatory penalties. How do you feel about such legislation?
  • There is still a very wide divide between Arab states when it comes to accessing and using the Internet. For example, Gulf states have a much higher penetration than other poorer Arab states. How could one tackle this divide?
  • How easy is it to understand and apply multistakeholderism within the Arab context? What are the main challenges and how do you overcome them?
  • How can Internet governance empower Arab youth to utilize the Internet in more constructive ways?
This round table discussion will explore Internet governance topics, including personal experiences, best practices, and policy needs through a vibrant and open discussion.