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Access, Inclusiveness & Diversity (AID)

Empowering Rural Agricultural Community

The track traditional goal is focus on addressing barriers and other challenges hindering Internet Access, Inclusiveness & Diversity considering global principles on open Internet and the global stakeholders community intervention through a policy options for connecting the next billion. However, NIGF 2017 is redefining local stakeholders approach by aligning the critical need for Internet access and inclusiveness with the demand of National Economic Recovery Plan and Sustainable development goals of addressing Hunger and Poverty in Nigeria.

In this instance, rural agricultural community is one of the focus of NIGF 2017 policy dialogue being one of the six prioritised sectors of our national economic plan. The goal is stimulate stakeholders’ discussions in enabling Internet for Agriculture Promotion Policy of the current administration, ensuring Nigeria rural agricultural community is included in the Internet economic revolution, bring up various initiatives that will help to harness opportunities offer by the Internet.

The track session outcome is expected to be fed into the national Agriculture Promotion Policy and Economic Recovery implementation framework of the Federal Government. It further provide our national IGF initiative with opportunity to make input into the third phase of the policy on Connecting the next billion which aims at addressing SDGs Goal 4 on Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning; Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, in our own case through empowering rural agricultural community.

Internet Economy (IE)

Empowering Trade, Investment & Industry for inclusive growth 

Our country has a growing active and massive presence on the Internet in Africa. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission current report on Internet Subscribers in the country, the nation has over90 Millions Internet Subscribers as at April 2017, while on social media,for instance the facebook, Nigerian users are growing at over6 millions with local internet growth rate at 47%, therefore makingNigeria 1stamong the top 3 Internet nations in Africa.

How much of this online presence economically impact our local trade and SME industry? How can the country exploit its active growing presence on the Internet to reshape implementation of National economic recovery plan priorities, regional trade, empowering and impacting its commerce, the SMEs, investment and industry sector for inclusive digital dividends and economic growth? 

Soon the current global trade policies such as Trans Pacific Partnership which is being redefined by the new US administration policy will reshape the direction and dimension of global international trade. This will have tremendous impact on our effort to compete favourably in international market.  Recently, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) releases a national action plan to be implemented across three priority areas – entry and exit of goods; entry and exit of people as well as government’s transparency and procurement – over the next 60 days to deliver tangible results for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. It also working with the legislature to pass some important bills like the National Collateral Registry Bill and the Credit Bureau Services Bill to allow the SMEs access credit with ease. Also, the government is understudying the Georgian government to tap from its experience with a view to turning the business climate around nationwide. 

However, the National Economic Recovery plan is not prioritizing and classifying investment on  ICT as sector. Nigeria investment and commerce environment remain largely traditional, unregulated and un-digitalized to fully embrace Internet as the platform for global and regional trade integration. The track session will provide opportunity for stakeholders on critical intervention in this regard, and enhance dialogue on how government can harness Internet policy for development addressing various gaps and other issues as identified by stakeholders. 

Cybersecurity & Trust (CST)

Enabling Internet Regulations with Innovations

Building trust and confidence in local and global Internet communities demand a strong commitment from Stakeholders. Learning from the Dutch Government approach, it recently published a report on Duties to Care, in which it states that all companies involved in ICT have a duty to care, for themselves, for their customers and society as a whole’’ to ensure collective trust, security and safety on the Internet. However, stakeholders need to be informed to what extend sensors are already being sold and placed deep into networks. It was reported questions on cyber security were simply ignored by the company selling and placing these sensors. It therefore call for "harmonisation of duties to care as a global issue". Furthermore global IGF is taking this discussion forward in its open forum and main session on ‘’Empowering’’ Global stakeholders cooperation on Cybersecurity in Geneva this year.

Similarly, this brings the NIGF2017 to mind and its ability to start a discussion on the principles and motives behind  ‘’Internet Code of Practices’’ recently introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission, impact on the openness of Internet, stakeholder Internet access right, internet user protection and privacy.  Again to initiate discussion on how the country can achieve cooperation of local stakeholders towards implementing national cybersecurity programs in line National Cybersecurity Strategy. 

Enhancing Multi-stakeholder

Cooperation (EMC)

Empowering Sub-national Community for Sustainable Internet Governance Partnership

This is the post global IGF renewal period with clamour for the improvement of IGF at the global, regional and national levels. Nigeria Internet Government Forum (NIGF) is one of such national initiative that play active at the regional and global IGF. Therefore, this discussion session will be a hub for key representatives of all local Internet Governance stakeholder groups, to discuss the current state of Internet Governance in Nigeria, and harness effective partnership mechanisms for empowering Sub-national Community engagement in sustainable Internet Governance dialogue process.

The session seeks to attract key policy makers from state governments, private sector players, leading non-governmental organizations, technical community, and academic community in a productive discourse on improving NIGF process, Internet Society, ICANN. Stakeholder discussions will be raised as to how to engage in the process and input towards the shaping of the Internet Governance. The key areas of focus will be strengthening National IGF process, funding sub-national IGF initiatives,  policy research and innovation, use of NIGF stakeholders policy recommendations, and balance representation of various stakeholders communities in the national IGF dialogue mechanism.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Enabling digital intervention for Sustainable  Development

Nigeria subscribed to the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development which identifies ICTs and the Internet as horizontal enablers for development. This goal can only be reached by adapting strategies to local needs and specificities. The NIGF stakeholder discussions at this session aim to reflect the importance of Internet Governance  for the fulfilment of different SDGs and also identify some best practices to inform policy makers on the ways in which Internet can serve as broader and more strategic developmental objectives.

This session is focusing on the strategic areas of Internet Governance interventions in SGDs relevant to our National Economic Recovery Plan:

§  Energy Sufficiency

§  Agriculture & Food Security

§  Healthcare delivery Service

§  Trade & Commerce

§  SME Industry empowerment

§  Transportation Infrastructure

Critical Internet Resource (CIR)

Internet Broadband for accelerated Economic Recovery 

The Connecting the next 50 million to the Internet, enablement of Smart Cities initiative through the integration of IoT devices, and expansion digital frontier of e-governance framework and development through the sub-national government strategy will requires a well-planned massive roll out of connectivity infrastructural backbone.  In this regard, according to the Ministry of Communications, the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap articulates how the Federal Government of Nigeria intends to increase broadband penetration from 6% to 30% by 2018. Though the country is lagging behind considering its target timeline for achieving the Strategy. The current broadband penetration rate hovers between 10 to 12% while there is a form of a good news that the current administration has set up a new National Broadband Council to help facilitate coordination and collaboration in the delivery of the National Broadband Plan, as well to provide periodic evaluation and progress report.

During the last two edition of the NIGF (2015 and 2016), stakeholders’ feedback is strongly reflecting the huge concerns on the challenges of broadband access in the rural and suburban communities. This session track will provide opportunity for a multi-stakeholders interaction with the policy makers, seeking explanation for policy actions for addressing their concerns, and harness ideas for awareness, collaboration and inclusive investment opportunities open to stakeholders.   


·         Addressing Fake News on Social Media   

The growing concerns on political extremism such as displayed during the current sectional conflicts, the Brexit and the US presidential election, the term “fake news” has been widely invoked and often misunderstood, but the phenomenon that inspired the term, involving the apparent spread of false information online by actors with both commercial and political agendas remains of serious general public interest and concern.

Nigeria law makers have been canvassing for a new legislation to combat this new malicious trends. Learning from other clime, there are emerging legislations designed to curtain the problem, such as the one been proposed in Germany, with an inquiry launched into the matter in the UK, and the proactive response from digital platforms providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter who have announced their own efforts to curtail the apparent problem of fake news on the internet.

This track session involve engaging the stakeholders on the understanding of what digital fake news in the context of social media is all about, what stakeholders need to know, what should be the roles of Internet community in Nigeria to help address it, and how should government and industry work together to tackle it through a multi-stakeholder process.

The special edition of NIGF 2017 brings together a group of online stakeholders, government, Civil Society Organizations and industry to help harness the issues from bottom up approach to intervention. 

Digital Coins & Cryptography

Blockchain technology is transforming economic payment and transaction system on buying of goods and services through Internet. Blockchain system is the technology behind the emergingcryptocurrency. It is adigital asset currently being embraced globally to work as amedium of exchangeusingcryptographyto secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies arespecial forms ofdigital currencies with common ones invading our national internet and digital space such as Bitcoin and its other derivatives such DigitalCoin, Namecoin, Litecoin and host of others.

These currencies use decentralized control using blockchain technology to enable a distributed ledger system in contrary to the popular centralizedelectronic money/centralizedbankingsystems This will certainly pose as a huge disruption to the Government approach which traditionally control the supply of currency in the circulation.

Central bank representatives in some countries have stated that the adoption of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin pose a significant challenge to central banks' ability to influence the price of credit for the whole economy and their important functions of monetary and exchange rate policy, and the impact of the widespread use of cryptocurrency on gathering statistical data on economic activity, which are used by governments to steer the economy.

However, in a recent paper published by researchers from Oxford and Warwick it was shown that bitcoin has some characteristics similar to the precious metals market such Gold more than to traditional currencies. For instance, United StatesInternal Revenue Service(IRS) subject bitcoin tocapital gains tax. One benefit of this ruling is that it clarifies the legality of bitcoin. Many government agencies, departments, and courts in the international community have classified bitcoins differently.China Central Bankbanned the handling of bitcoins by financial institutions inChinaRussia, making it illegal to purchase goods with any currency other than the Russian ruble, while UK government recently commissioned it Treasury to do a study of cryptocurrencies, and what role, if any, they can play in the UK economy. The study was also to report on whether regulation should be considered.

The bitcoin ecosystem is growing and overflowing into darknet market.  By May 2017 1189 bitcoin ATMs were installed around the world with an average fee of 8.82%. An average of 3 bitcoin ATMs were being installed per day in May 2017.

This Track session will engage stakeholders on interactions, awareness and harness ideas towards examining how Nigerian Internet Stakeholders groups, including government should respond to crypto-currency revolution, what bitcoin currency is all about in the context of local and international transaction through the Internet, the implications of engaging in the crypto-currency, its impact on our evolving social media network and security.    

Way Forward

Wrap Up Session

This is wrap up session aggregating and synthesising stakeholders contributions, input and outcome of dialogue into the local IG policy output and input into the regional, Africa and global IGF in 2017, Geneva.





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