Digital cooperation between African and European parliamentarians – Opening plenary 2023
This session will be be organised in direct response to the recommendations made during the 17th Internet Governance Forum's stocktaking process, as well as the valuable feedback and suggestions shared by participating parliamentarians during various IGF events. The objective is to facilitate dialogue between African and European Members of Parliament who are members of parliamentary committees related to Internet Governance or key drivers shaping the global common digital future.
The round table discussion aims to:
- Follow up on discussions and progress from the annual IGF and coordinate continent-to-continent cooperation efforts.
- Discuss current and future digital cooperation between Europe and Africa.
- Make meaningful investments in building capacity in the region.
- Strengthen comprehensive and harmonised policies and regulations governing personal and non-personal data.
- Share best practices and lessons learned from citizens of the two continents.
- Promote enhanced partnerships for investments in green, secure data infrastructure.
The 17th Internet Governance Forum took place in Addis Ababa from November 28 to December 2, 2022, and focused on the theme of "Resilient Internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future". One of the main issues that the forum brought to light was the challenge of achieving Universal, Affordable, and Meaningful connectivity, which remains out of reach for many people worldwide and in particular in Africa.
At the continental level, the African Union (AU) has adopted a human-centred, inclusive, and development-oriented approach to digital transformation, with a focus on leaving no one behind. To achieve this goal, the AU has implemented several noteworthy instruments, including the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030), the Data Policy Framework for Digital ID, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), the Malabo Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Security, the Declaration on Internet Governance and Development of Africa's Digital Economy of 2018, the Personal Data Protection Guidelines for Africa, and Regional Model laws on data protection and cybersecurity. In February 2022, the African Union achieved a significant digital milestone with the unanimous adoption of the African Union Data Policy Framework. This framework comprises a common vision, principles, and key recommendations aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of the transformative potential of data across the continent.
As Africa undergoes digital transformation, it is confronted with various complex challenges related to safeguarding the safety of women and children from online abuse, ensuring cybersecurity, protecting human rights, and upholding digital rights such as freedom of expression and privacy. These challenges are further compounded by persistent factors such as Iinternet shutdowns, censorship, and surveillance, which heighten the associated threats and risks. It is crucial to prioritise the harmonisation of Internet governance frameworks both nationally and internationally. This will facilitate a coordinated and cohesive approach to Iinternet governance, which can strike a balance between respecting fundamental human rights and ensuring national security, while simultaneously promoting innovation and driving economic growth. Furthermore, it is of paramount importance to prioritise the capacity building of Members of Parliament as they hold a critical responsibility in spearheading the development of an open, secure, and accessible Iinternet infrastructure at the national level. Equipped with the necessary digital skills and expertise, they can effectively leverage the latest technologies to expedite progress towards attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the spirit of fostering greater collaboration and unity, in 2020, the Secretary-General issued a Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, calling for strengthened global digital cooperation in addressing issues such as connectivity and digital inclusion, capacity development, human rights in the digital space, and trust and security. This session will behas been organisedorganized in direct response to the recommendations made during the 17th Internet Governance Forum's stocktaking process, as well as the valuable feedback and suggestions shared by participating parliamentarians during various IGF events. The objective is to facilitate dialogue between African and European Members of Parliament who are members of parliamentary committees related to Internet Governance or key drivers shaping the global common digital future.
The objective of this round table discussion is to provide a platform for African and European MPs to exchange ideas and discuss best practices for effective Iinternet governance.
The discussion will focus on the following topics. The panellists were asked to indicate on which topic they would like to speak on accordingly to their expertise:
- To identify existing cooperation between Europe and Africa on digital issues, what are current best practices that can be shared for enhancing collaboration and coordination? Discuss effective approaches that can strengthen the partnership.
- What is the role that MPs can play in the development of international, interoperability approaches to Internet Governance? Identify the knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to empower MPs to take up their role in Internet governance?
- Developing digital skills is key to meaningful connectivity. To develop Internet governance leaders, what skills do parliamentarians need to develop? Discuss the digital skills and knowledge needed to participate actively in Internet governance, especially for MPs in Europe and Africa.
- In preparation for the UN Summit of the Future, how can the two continents work together to contribute to shaping the Global Digital Compact? Explore how Europe and Africa can collaborate to provide input and jointly advocate for their priorities in the Global Digital Compact.
- How do legal instruments such as the Budapest Convention and the Malabo Convention play a crucial role in facilitating regional and international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime? Based on your experience, where have you seen the Conventions’ impact proven most effectively in addressing this issue across various domains?
Round Table discussion among African and European Parliamentarians
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as of 2022, approximately 2.7 billion people, or one-third of the world's population, still lack access to the Internet. In Africa, this lack of connectivity is particularly pronounced, with 60% of the population still without access. This makes Africa the continent with the lowest level of connectivity. See the ITU Report "Internet surge slows, leaving 2.7 billion people offline in 2022"
In the spirit of fostering greater collaboration and unity, in 2020, the Secretary-General issued a Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, calling for strengthened global digital cooperation in addressing issues such as connectivity and digital inclusion, capacity development, human rights in the digital space, and trust and security. Visit the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation
Organising Team (Org Team) List Org Team members here as they sign up.
- Sorene Assefa, CYBER CZAR , South Africa
- Wout de Natris, De Natris Consult
- Yrjö Länsipuro, ISOC Finland
- Sandra Hoferichter, EuroDIG Secretariat
- Pasi Hellman, Under Secretary of State (International Development), Ministry for Foreign Affairs;
- Noémie Bürkl, Head of Unit Digitalisation, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (online)
- Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Member of the Europan Parliament
- Sirpa Pietikainen, Member of the Europan Parliament
- Moustapha Daher Mahamoud, Member of the Parliament of Djibouti (online)
- Amina Ali Idriss, Member of the Parliament of Chad (online)
- Sarah Opendi, Member of the Parliament of Uganda (APNIG) (online)
- Neema Lugangira , Member of the Parliament of Tanzania (APNIG) (online)
- Modestus Amutse, Member of the Parliament of Namibia (APNIG) (online)
- Mephato Reatile, Member of the Parliament of Botswana (APNIG) (online)
- Mbongyor Epse NFOR NAOMI, Member of the Parliament of Cameron (APNIG) (online)
- Patrick Penninkcx, Council of Europe
- Sorene Assefa, CYBER CZAR , South Africa (online)
- Wout de Natris, De Natris Consult
to be identified
Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:
- are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
- relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
- are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
- are in (rough) consensus with the audience
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:
- dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
- short summary of calls or email exchange
Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.
A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.
Will be provided here after the event.
Will be provided here after the event.