iGmena Summit 2016: Together for a free and open Internet
Update: see the iGmena Summit 2016 press release here!
Since its inception in 2012, iGmena has been on the forefront of developing and reinforcing knowledge as well as building capacity on Internet governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Over the course of four years, iGmena has successfully implemented a range of projects, including the Internet Policy Analyst program (IPA), the Internet Legislation Atlas (ILA), the Click Rights initiative, regular iGmena Hangouts with policy experts, iGmena alumni, and grassroots activists, and local roundtables throughout the MENA region. In order to accomplish this, the iGmena team has received tremendous support from a range of stakeholders since the start of the program, which culminated in iGmena Summit 2016 – held at Cogite Coworking Space in Tunis, Tunisia, from 30 September – 2 October 2016.
We invited these stakeholders, which includes our alumni, local partners, program contributors, and other regional collaborators, to the Summit in order to take stock of the work we have done so far, reflect on iGmena’s achievements, and learn from their experience with the program so we can create a more effective and sustainable program. Over three days, more than 75 human & digital rights activists, journalists, technical experts, nongovernmental organizations, Internet governance professionals, and other stakeholders came together – many meeting for the first time in person – to share their work with the community, reflect on the achievements of the program, and formulate relevant steps and strategy for the next four years. This included sharing their perspective about the program openly with the community, discussing how iGmena can support them in the future, and how to strengthen Internet governance as well as civil society in the MENA region.
The Summit covered the following themes (the official Summit schedule is available here):
Transparency and inclusiveness of the decision-making process
The legal framework of human rights in the digital sphere: online privacy, data protection, and freedom of expression
Quality of service: Internet infrastructure, penetration and access, speed and bandwidth, VoIP, and zero rating
Internet and sustainable development
ICT-related tools for the MENA region
All of the photos taken during the Summit are located on the iGmena Facebook page. We also produced a video with highlights from the Summit (link):
Summit schedule and session reports
The Summit featured many engaging and informative presentations and sessions from across the iGmena community. Many community members shared challenges they face in their respective countries (as well as solutions to address them), and provided updates about their work to the community. Below is the outline of the Summit schedule with the session reports and presentation slides where available, which are linked to the session names below. Note that some slides and/or reports have not been published due to privacy concerns. Please email us if you have any questions or notice any errors.
Day 1: September 30
Organization (if applicable)
09:00 - 09:30
Welcome, iGmena program mission, & Summit objectives (iGmena team)
09:30 - 10:10
Inclusive decision-making in the MENA region (slides)