Malawi Partners With NEPAD To Launch Malawi’s E-Governance Forum
Olive Chikankheni, Malawi’s E-Government Principal Secretary, said that government must appreciate the need to have a governing body over the internet. Given that the internet is a global network of networks comprising of millions of private, public, government, academic and business networks all linked through a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical network networking technologies. Thus the internet carries a very extensive range of information resources and services, all of which need to be responsibly governed.
“As a member of the United Nations, African Union and SADC organisations which have called on their member to have IGFs, Malawi celebrated the Malawi-IGF and committees to ensure that there is maximum multi-stakeholder participation in the forum foe internet related policy dialogue,” Chikankheni said.
She said that the forum ought to ensure more participation in promoting ICT to achieve an all-inclusive and sustainable development. The current market indicators show that there is a need for more concerted efforts in that area. She pointed out that the ICT sector contributed to 3.5% of Malawi’s GDP in 2010, 3.8% in 2013 and in 2014 it is expected to reach 3.9%.
Seyani Nayeja, Chairperson of Malawi’s National ICT Working Group (NICTWG) tasked with the coordination of the forum’s functions said the country will now attract global recognitions through the launch of the forum.
He said, “This will give us an opportunity to give platform to discuss the use and misuse of internet and provide solutions in internet use. We need to make this work. This is a live activism of voluntary participation. We should work towards a common good.”
Prior to its launch, stakeholders agreed to launch the forum and agreed to call the Malawi Internet Governance Forum (Malawi IGF) Charter. The Forum is intended to provide a platform for an inclusive multi-stakeholder discussion on issues pertinent to the internet in Malawi in general and specifically issues dealing with Internet Governance.
According to the charter, NICTWG will coordinate all of the Malawi IGF activities and the Malawi Department of E-Government will be the secretariat and coordinator of the forum, and will review all of its activities within a given timeframe.
The charter also states that the forum will also establish a multi-stakeholder process that will be responsible for shaping the development of the country’s internet economy with reference to a number of defined objectives.