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Thursday, December 21 • 10:10 - 11:40
NRIs Collaborative Session: Access and existing barriers on regional and national levels

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Session Title: 
Access and Existing Barriers on Regional and National Levels

Co-proposers/ Co-organizers:

This NRIs Collaborative Session is brought to you by:
  • Georgia IGF (GeoIGF), 
  • IGF Afghanistan (IGF-A), 
  • Latin American and Carribian IGF (LACIGF), 
  • Malawi IGF (MIGF), 
  • Mesa Colombiana de Gobernanza de Internet/ Colombia IGF (CIGF), 
  • Sri Lankan IGF (SLIGF), and 
  • West Arfican IGF (WAIGF).

Session Description:

Despite the billions of people accessing the Internet there remain about 4 billion people, mostly in developing world, who still do not have opportunity to access to the Internet-- constituting almost half of the world population (source: Digital Trends). This is among the main barriers to accessing key benefits such as healthcare, education, financial services, causing 58 million children not to have access to education and 783 million people not to have access to clean, safe water. There are several countries that attempt to restrict or control the content that users have access to. In the least developed countries only one in every 10 individuals has regular access to the Internet — there is also more access achieved by men than women, and by the wealthier members of society.

This session aims to bring a discussion around the issue of Access through the sharing of experiences from various National and Regional IGFs (NRIs) and to learn on how Access has been addressed by the NRIs and others in various regions. The session also  aims to exchange the outputs of these discussions.

Multiple discussion topics from NRIs have been proposed that includes: a) Concerns about Access in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by LACIGF b) Access for Inclusion and Development in Colombia by Colombian IGF c) Internet access and broadband gap, competition regulation issues and sharing of experience on the recently completed ISOC Tusheti project on connecting remote areas in Georgia to be discussed by Georgian IGFd); e) Access, price, quality of services (QoS) and diversity in Afghanistan to be discussed by Afghanistan IGF; f).Access to Internet with regards to the affordability and infrastructure development in Malawi by Malawi IGF; g) Internet Shutdown in West Africa by West African IGF h) Rights to Internet access, challenges and way forward in Sri Lanka by Sri Lankan IGF.

The NRIs are aiming to: a) discuss how to better exchange experiences among NRIs to facilitate access to unconnected and barely connected communities; b) promote these important discussions through facilitating a dialogue among diverse stakeholders; c)  identify ways that these outputs from the discussions can better be integrated in the global IGF, i.e. getting more involved in policy initiatives and  helping connect and enable the Next Billions; d) how to better participate in initiatives from the global IGF in this theme.

Some questions to guide the discussion include: the role of NRIs to promote affordable and equitable Internet access; case studies from the NRIs that are relevant can  improve access; NRIs models that are working well to make a real impact ; topics of interest for each the NRI; how NRIs are promoting solutions and best practices i.e. policies are facilitating access, access to spectrum; ways the NRIs engage policymakers in the legislative process of legislating related to the Internet shut down; how Internet shutdown (no-access) hurt the economy.


Session Speakers:

The speakers will be NRIs representatives by region, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, GRULAC, WEOG. There will be a maximum of seven speakers that will present the NRIs experiences, activities, discussions related to Access. The panel will be sharing their relations with other IGF initiatives and how these interactions are facilitating the evolution of the discussions. It will also evaluate how these discussions are facilitating the implementation of policies that are favorable to improving, in different ways, the Access and other aspects that the NRIs want to highlight from their experiences.

  • Mary Uduma, West Africa IGF (WAIGF) Coordinator

Mary Uduma is the current Managing Director of Jaeno Digital Solutions. Prior to this, she served as the President of the Executive Board of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), she became President September 2010, after serving as Vice-President since 2009. She has also served as Member of NiRA's Interim Board of Trustees. She is also a Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau with the Nigerian Communications Commission, which is the Nigerian Telecomm Regulator. She has worked for the Regulatory Authority for over 16 years. Uduma is a trained Chartered Accountant.

During her time at NiRA, Uduma was concerned with Telecommunications regulation. She advised the Commission on matters related to Licensing, Policy, and Telecommunications Market competition, Tariff regulation and approvals. She also ensured consumer compliance and managed consumer code of practice issues. Her work also focused on zonal coordination, corporate planning and research. She served as the focal person on International Relations covering the ITU, ICANN, CTO, AUC, ECOWAS, etc.

Mary worked at Deloitte and Touché, before joining NiRA. Her portfolio also includes work at a public accounting firm and a bank. She is also a Member of the WSIS.

Mr. Ansari is a founder, a mobilizer and an innovator. He is an award-winning senior entrepreneur and researcher in Afghanistan’s ICT sector. Since 2010 he has been the full time President of TechNation, a Kabul-based tech and IT consulting firm. Mr. Ansari is a co-founder and Chair of the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan (NICTAA), the country’s largest consortium of ICT players, board member of the World IT and Services Alliance (WITSA). He is also appointed by the UN Secretary General to the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and Vice Chair of the Internet Society (ISOC) Afghanistan. Mr. Ansari continues building tech startups and communities. Mr. Ansari worked in PR, business accelerators, startup support programs, public policy, research and technology. Most recently, he coordinated the very successful IGF in Afghanistan (http://igf.af).

  • Julián Casasbuenas G. Colnodo Director Colombian IGF

With more than twenty five years of experience in environmental and information and communication technologies - ICTs. Director of Colnodo www.colnodo.apc.org,  a non-profit organization established in 1993 with the main goal of facilitating the communications, the exchange of information and experiences among Colombian organizations at local, national and international level. Colnodo's strategic programs includes: e-government and e-democracy; Citizenship promotion and participation in the use and appropriation of ICTs; ICTs policies; Research, management and development of ICT knowledge. Colnodo works with three transversal axes: Free and Open Source Software, Gender and Sustainable development.

Council member of the Association for Progressive Communications - Apc  and   of the Executive Board. Member of the Internet Governance Forum IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) since 2016.Member of the Internet Society and Internet Governance Forum Ambassador for the 2007 and 2009 Forum. Member of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus.

Has been participating in multiple ICTs events such as the ISOC conferences (1993-1995),  Global Internet Governance Forum and their preparatory meetings in Colombia and LAC, Responsible from Colnodo with .CO Internet SAS of the preparation of the Internet Governance   Forum LAC preparatory meeting held in Bogotá in 2012, ICANN meetings (2010 Cartagena), Latin American Ministerial Conference on the Information Society (2010 and 2015), Telecenter  meetings in Europe and Latin America.

  • Maheeshwara Kirindigoda, Sri Lanka IGF
  • Kevon Swift, Head Strategic Relations and Integration, LACNIC, LACIGF

Session Format and Facilitation:

  • The session will be 90 minutes - Round Table (Mix) Introduction from moderator: 5 minutes.
  • Statements from NRIs representatives by region, maximum 7 representatives (5 min each - 35 minutes).
  • Questions from moderator to aim discussion and participation from onsite and remote participants (15 Minutes)
  • Summary and key points (5 minutes)


The room will be organized in a circle (or round table) to give all participants an equal weight in the discussion. The moderator can be located in a prominent seating position and may walk around in the middle of the circle to engage participants.

A preparatory meeting will be organized with speakers, co-organisers and moderators so everyone has a chance to share views and prepare for the session.

The moderator will present the questions prepared in advance to encourage interaction among NRIs representatives and between participants, if conversation were to stall. During the group discussion the moderator will make sure that all participants have equal opportunity to intervene.

Moderator, guided questions, online moderator.


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Session Organizers
avatar for Julián Casasbuenas G.

Julián Casasbuenas G.

Director, Colnodo
MAG (IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group) member since 2015 - civil society. Chemical Engineer, University of America 1984 - Bogotá Colombia, with more than twenty years of experience in environmental and information and communication technologies - ICTs.Director of Colnodo www.colnodo.apc.org... Read More →


Thursday December 21, 2017 10:10 - 11:40
Room XXIII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Attendees (51)