The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Information Society Division of the African Union Commission (AUC) and Research ICT Africa (RIA) are pleased to open the call for the ninth annual African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG 2021). This year’s edition will take the form of a two-week online programme with sessions on selected days from 4 to 19 October 2021.
AfriSIG’s primary goal is to give Africans from various sectors and different stakeholder groups the opportunity to gain knowledge that will enable them to participate confidently and effectively in national, regional and global internet governance processes and debates.
This year’s School will take place over the course of 12 days as an interactive learning, knowledge-sharing and networking event. The curriculum will cover:
- Digitalisation, the digital divide and data localisation.
- The internet governance ecosystem, the multistakeholder approach and internet governance forums. The role of government and intergovernmental forums.
- Internet architecture, infrastructure, standards and protocols. Management of internet names and numbers.
- Data governance: data protection, security, data flow sovereignty and localisation.
- Internet governance and social issues: gender, human rights, political participation and access to information.
- Cybersecurity, trust and safety.
- Content regulation: self-regulation, oversight boards, national regulation, misinformation and disinformation. Cross-border content regulation and jurisdiction.
Fellows will participate in a practicum that will simulate a real-life multistakeholder process by tackling a current internet-related policy challenge with the goal of arriving at an agreed solution in the form of a statement, position or policy brief.
Who can apply?
AfrISIG is not aimed at beginners. This call is only open to applicants who have relevant work experience and/or are involved in internet governance or information and communications technology (ICT) research, policy and regulation and are positioned – through their current employment or studies – to make a meaningful contribution to strengthening internet governance in Africa and African voices in internet governance globally.
The school will only accept applications from current or emerging leaders and professionals from:
- Government ministries and departments.
- National and regional communications regulatory authorities.
- Public sector information and communications services such as public libraries.
- Members of parliament, particularly if they are involved in parliamentary portfolio committees that deal with media, communications and information technology issues.
- Service providers and other businesses that form part of the internet industry.
- Civil society and non-governmental organisations that interact with or operate in the internet-related information and communications sector.
- Human rights institutions dealing with internet issues, such as national or regional human rights commissions.
- Community-based information and communications services and the broader community informatics sector.
- The judiciary and other members of the legal community working with internet and communications law.
- Members of law enforcement agencies who deal with internet issues.
- The internet technical community, including those involved in the management of internet names and numbers, engineers, systems administrators, programmers and others involved in internet development, management and security.
- Academic and research institutions that deal with internet issues.
- Media organisations and outlets that focus on the internet. Individual bloggers and journalists who focus on the internet are also encouraged to apply.
To apply, please complete the form here by 23 August.
The AfriSIG organisers have limited support available for successful applicants. This support will cover a tuition fee (estimated at USD 2,000 per fellow) and, where necessary, connectivity costs. Both self-funded and sponsored participants are encouraged to apply. All participants, even those who are self-funded, will be expected to attend all courses for the duration of the school.
Please note that as part of the application, you will be required to answer a quick five-question quiz and upload a recent CV and two reference letters. For more information, visit the AfriSIG website www.afrisig.org or contact the AfriSIG organiser, Koliwe Majama at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AfriSIG is a member of the Dynamic Coalition of Schools on Internet Governance, a growing global community of practice for promoting and strengthening active multistakeholder participation in internet governance spaces. Similar internet governance schools are held in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The first AfriSIG was convened in 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Last year’s School was the first virtual school as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It took the form of a networking and enrichment programme open only to the 400+ AfriSIG alumni and trainers under the AUC’s Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa programme.
Over the years, AfriSIG has built a multidisciplinary cadre of expertise in internet governance on the continent through the participation of current and emerging leaders drawn from government, business, academia and civil society. The diversity of participants emphasises the school’s objective of enhancing multistakeholder cooperation in national to global internet policy and development. Last year, AfriSIG published a second tracer study examining the impact of the programme on participants over seven rounds of the School from 2013 to 2019. The study revealed how AfriSIG continues to reflect a positive personal and professional impact on individuals who attend the School.