The inaugural Zimbabwe School of Internet Governance (ZimSIG) will bring together stakeholders in the internet governance space for a 3-day virtual workshop. The workshop will focus mainly on the subject of Internet Governance, while also generally encompassing other broad Internet related topics.
Over the course of the workshop, participants will deliberate on issues pertinent to the development of an effective and efficient national Internet Governance Infrastructure. The organizers of the inaugural Zimbabwe School of Internet Governance envision this debut edition as the ideal ‘launch-pad’ from which participants are capacitated with the proper high-level, strategic thinking policy frameworks.
The workshop organizers envisage this debut edition as the ultimate learning package to prepare participants for future success in their respective roles as pioneers of Internet Governance in the country.
An overview on the history and development of the internet will kick-start the learning experience and provide participants with important background information and knowledge regarding the internet’s origins.
Unforeseen developments necessitating the banning of gatherings and suspension of intercity travel due to the local Covid situation have necessitated readjustments to the initially proposed workshop delivery strategy. The 3-day workshop will be delivered through a blended learning experience , a mixture of both online and offline facilitator-led group discussions and exercises, virtual guest speaker sessions delivered by presenters who are experts in their unique areas of specialization within the broader internet governance ecosystem, and a range of interactive learning activities. Key sessions will delve deeper into specific subject areas, which include an exploration of the role played by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and their contribution to the development of the internet, and the Internet economy, in-depth discussions dissecting the current state of the local Cyberspace legislation.
The SIG workshop will also deliberate on the subject of the development of modern Internet infrastructure in the 21st century, while also affording participants, the opportunity to understand cross-cutting issues surrounding the guaranteeing of universal access and preservation of inalienable human rights in this internet age.
By the end of the workshop, the ZimSIG organizers hope to inspire an improvement in the participants’ understanding of the internet’s operational mechanics. Such comprehension will in turn ignite and catalyze meaningful conversations and dialogue regarding the various roles available to stakeholders within their respective communities to help define the local internet governance policy landscape for the benefit of future generations.
Upon graduation, participants are expected to become proactive internet governance ambassadors advocating for the development of responsible and progressive governance structures in their respective communities.
Zimbabwe School of Internet Governance founder and Inaugural conference organizer, Wadzanai Chihombori-Ndlovu, who is also the Policy and Governance Head of Committee, ISOC Zimbabwe Chapter, reaffirmed policymakers on the benefits of adopting a multi-stakeholder governance approach towards Internet Governance.
“This is hopefully the first of many editions to come of the Zimbabwe School of Internet Governance. Through such initiatives, we are hoping to contribute towards the development of a progressive Internet Governance policy environment that is inclusive and reflective of the needs of a broad range of stakeholders. In this 21st century and especially in the covid-19 era, the Internet is a catalyst for positive economic development. ’A strategic weapon within our arsenal that should be fully harnessed in order to improve our own development outcomes and ultimately improve the quality of livelihoods of our people,” said Chihombori–Ndlovu who is also the Vice- Chairperson and the African representative in the Chapter Advisory Council of Internet Society Global.
The inaugural edition of the Zimbabwe School of Internet Governance is also supported by the Internet Society Global and The Internet Society Foundation, which aim to build, promote and defend the Internet.