Speech of Dawit Bekele at the Intercommunity 2016 in Praia, Cape Verde Thumbnail
Building Trust 21 September 2016

Speech of Dawit Bekele at the Intercommunity 2016 in Praia, Cape Verde

By Dawit BekeleRegional Vice President - Africa

Bom Dia

Your Excellency Eng. David Gomes, Board Chairman, ANAC

Your Excellency, Commissioner for Telecoms and Information Technologies at the Economic Community of West African States

Dear Mr. Richard Barnes, member of board of trusties of the Internet Society

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to speak on behalf of my organization the Internet Society, in Praia at the Intercommunity, a novel meeting that talks about the Internet on the Internet. For those of you who do not know the Internet Society, please allow me to say a few words about it.

The Internet Society was established in 1992 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, two pioneers of the Internet, with a vision to bring the Internet to everyone. This vision seemed unachievable back then. Today, we have about a third of the world’s population with access to the Internet and more and more organizations are joining us in our vision to bring universal access to the Internet. Even though the Internet Society focused initially in supporting the activities of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), today the Internet Society is a worldwide organization working in the Internet technology, policy and capacity building areas. In particular, it facilitates open development of standards and protocols and the multi-stakeholder administration of the technical infrastructure of the Internet. In Africa, the Internet Society is known for its pioneer technical capacity building programs, its more recent and hugely successful interconnection and traffic exchange program, its support for the development of the DNS industry including the ccTLD registries, its support for Internet standards deployment such as IPv6 and DNSSEC and its support for the creation of community of practices through its African Interconnection and Peering and the African DNS Forums.

In Cape Verde, we organized, together with the African Union, two workshops on the development of Internet Exchange point in 2014 under the AXIS project.

In the last few years the Internet Society focused its activities in Africa and around the world on two important issues: bringing Internet to the unconnected and improving trust on the Internet. These issues are also the focus of our meeting today.

The Internet Society is backed by more than 80,000 members, 110 Chapters around the world amongst which 31 are in Africa, as well as more than 140 Organization members.

Now, let me say a few word about our meeting Intercommunity 2016. InterCommunity is designed to celebrate the Internet’s ability to rise beyond boundaries and bring people together. Today, thousands of people from around the world will discuss about three important issues for Internet Society and Internet in general, namely, Internet access, trust on the Internet and Internet Governance. There are fifteen physical meetings interconnected through the Internet like here in Praia. But there will also be people participating from their homes and offices as well.

But why do we have this meeting and more particularly, why do we have it in this format? The answer is simple. The Internet offers new possibilities, enables new meeting formats and empowers people who might otherwise not be able to join discussions at the regional and global level. It is a natural move for the Internet Society to make use of the power of the Internet and thus bring together its global community to discuss, exchange, learn, share and, last but not least: HAVE FUN!

InterCommunity thus offers an opportunity for the regions to talk about their initiatives in the area of access, trust and Internet governance on both regional level during the intra-regional part of the meeting, but also to profile some of the regional aspects at a global level.

More specifically, here in Praia, we will start with one hour of opening speeches confined within this room. This will be followed by an hour and a half of discussion with other African cities that have been selected for this meeting, which are Yaoundé in Cameroun, Maseru in Lesotho, Ndjamena in Chad, Accra in Ghana, Johannesburg in South Africa, Calabar and Lagos in Nigeria.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for taking a few hours of your precious time to come and attend this meeting. The Internet is built collaboratively by people from all around the world and from all the sectors and I do believe that this discussions will not only help the Internet Society push its mission but also help promote the Internet in Cape Verde and around the world.

Thank you, Obregado!

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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