The Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) is aimed at “providing a sustainable National Forum and structure that engages industry, government, lawmaker, the academia, civil society and all Stakeholders in a strategic national debate on internet governance.”

The third-annual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum was held in Abuja on June 9-10, 2014. The first day looked at ways of encouraging positive online activity among youth with the goal of job creation. The main event followed the next day with usual themes of cyber security and multi-stakeholderism in the spotlight.

Despite criticism of their long-term effectiveness as a catalyst for policy change, annual collaborative discussions between internet stakeholders are enough to influence Internet governance and economic growth. For one, ICT policy cannot advance without a spirit of togetherness. Sharing progressive ideas leads to an environment where change is embraced – even if noticeable improvements are years away.

The first day of the NIGF event, addressed at the youth of the country, looked at the untapped benefits of the Internet, appropriate online behavior, and social media as an enabler for job creation.

Discussion at Day Two of NIGF 2014 revolved around six main themes:

  • Building a democratic framework for digital inclusion & internet governance in Nigeria
  • Infusion of Internet Governance framework for local content growth, education development and healthcare delivery
  • Engendering framework for balancing internet surveillance in a trusted community through multi-stakeholder engagement
  • Making internet access an essential economic tool
  • Connecting at internet Exchange point Nigeria for affordable internet in Nigeria and security
  • Emerging issues

Dozens of important points were shared using #NIGF2014:

  • security, access, and management of critical internet resources speak to Nigeria
  • priorities of the Alliance for Affordable Internet include pricing, open access framework, and spectrum policy
  • stronger technical ICT capacity for economic growth is needed
  • there are reportedly 163.7 million mobile phones in Nigeria and 36.2 million internet users
  • the internet is too expensive to youth to not innovate with it
  • the focus needs to shift from cyber crime to cyber security
  • too many youth think that spending time on the internet is “bad” when it can actually be used for good – they should think about what they are passionate about
  • positive online activities: university eduction, certification courses, programming, blogging, e-commerce
  • online content is still lacking – for example there is no Wikipedia article dedicated to the traditional hat worn by Yorubas

Visit the NIGF website for more information as Nigeria is set to host the 3rd edition of the Africa Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) in July. This year’s theme will be “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance.”

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