Stakeholders from North African countries met in Marrakech, Morocco on March 10th on the sideline of the ICANN 55th meeting to discuss ways forward to revive the North Africa Internet Governance Forum(IGF). The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Ridha Guellouz, the interim forum coordinator, in the presence of Mr Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager at the United Nations Secretariat for the Internet Governance Forum, Mrs Marilyn Cade, representing the IGF Supporting Association. Other participants from the region were able to participate remotely.
The North Africa IGF is an initiative that was launched back in 2012, were a first meeting was held on side of the ICT4ALL Forum in Hammamet Tunisia, but unfortunately nothing happened since that meeting. The Marrakech meeting permitted to revive interest of the different stakeholders from the North Africa region to make the forum happen and become a solid corner of the regional African IGFs along with the West, Central, East and South African regions.
The open Marrakech meeting was a great opportunity to discuss the next phases and get the community agree and commit to accelerate putting in place the structure of the forum including electing a Multistakeholder Advisory Group ( MAG ) and the Secretariat.
In order to form the first MAG, participants approved the creation of a Nomination Committee ( NomCom ) that was tasked of drafting the process of nominating the MAG. The Nomcom will be composed of 3 members as follow :
- Christine Aridha – Egypt
- Hanane Boujemi – Morocco
- Khaled Koubaa – Tunisia
Participants of the meeting welcomed and approved the proposal of appointing the Tunisian Internet Agency ( ATI ) as the Secretariat of the North Africa IGF. They also welcomed the proposal from Egypt to host the first forum by the end of 2016.
Mrs Cade confirmed that the IGF SA is supporting financially the organisation of regional IGFs and will be happy to include the North Africa IGF in the list of the regional initiatives.