Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an annual forum that seeks to bring together representatives from different stakeholders as equals to discuss policy issues related to the Internet. The main goal of the forum is to exchange information on how to effectively benefit from the opportunities the Internet is promising by addressing the risks and challenges that comes with the internet and might hinder the use to its full capacity.
IGF was first officially recognized in 2005 from World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS-II) in Tunis. The working group on the Internet Governance issued a report (http://intgovforum.org/cms/2014/IGFBrochure.pdf ), which entails the nature of the Internet Governance Forum and its mandate, and since then, every year there have been forum meetings.
Consequently, continental, regional and national IGFs were formed, these are instrumental in facilitating the view and perspective of respective communities in the global IGF discussions.
Lesotho Internet Governance Forum (LesIGF)
Lesotho Internet Governance Forum (LesIGF) is Lesotho’s national IGF and was established in 2021 by the Internet Society Lesotho Chapter (ISOC Lesotho) and the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology. The first meeting was held in August 2021 in Maseru Lesotho.
LesIGF-2021 being the very first meeting for the country, the theme was Internet Governance for Development.
The event was a one-day meeting, which brought about different multi-stakeholders within the country, with the support from African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA).
The agenda for the meeting can be found here.
The meeting was opened officially by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Communications and Technology after the welcome remarks by the ISOC Lesotho President Ms Ithabeleng Chabana, and then the keynote address is done by the African Union Commission (AUC) delegation.
Then there were two high-level panel discussions:
- High-Level Panel Discussion 1: Bridging the Digital Divide. What contributes to the digital gap in Lesotho? What needs to be done to address the situation.
The panel was moderated by Ms Mamothokoane Tlali from ISOC Lesotho, and the panellists were Mr Mothepu Molupe, CTO Vodacom Lesotho and Ms Mapusetso Ntshekhe, Marketing Executive, Econet Telecom Lesotho.
High-Level Panel Discussion 2: Internet Governance for Development (Cyber Laws) The stakeholder approach to legislation development (Cyber Laws). Unpacking Cyber-Capacity Building for implementation of cyberlaws
The panel was moderated by Advocate Moipone Mhlekwa, from ISOC Lesotho. The panellists were Advocate Lintle Tuke, from Law Society Lesotho, Ms Nthabiseng Pule, Projects and Outreach Manager, C3SA, University of Cape Town and lastly Mr Molupe Molupe, ICT Manager, Lesotho Communications Authority.
The report for LesIGF-2021 will be available soon here.
School of Internet Governance Forum
The first Lesotho School of Internet Governance (LesSIG) was held from 3rd -6th August 2021, this is a 4-day workshop with the mandate to introduce newcomers to the concepts of IGF to ensure their effective participation on the national IGF, SIG normally precedes the IGF. The workshop was conducted physically in Maseru.