[AfrICANN-discuss] Invitation to IGF Cairo

Dandjinou Pierre pdandjinou at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 13:48:07 SAST 2009

Dear all,

I am sharing below the declaration by the Egyptian representative at the IGF
sessioon of the 34th ICANN meeting which has just concluded in Mexico.

best regards
Pierre Dandjinou

(Declaration by Mrs Manal, Egypt)

Let me first, on behalf of Egypt, start by congratulating the IGF chair,
secretariat and all MAG members on their tireless efforts in holding the
past 3 forums and to applaud the professional organization by the previous 3
hosts, in Athens, Rio & Hyderabad, which would definitely make our job much
more difficult.

Egypt is very proud to be hosting the coming IGF in Sharm El-Sheikh on
November 15th to 18th.  The IGF proved to be a perfect forum for discussions
and exchange of information and experience.  It’s flexibility in terms of
topics and format of discussion helps promoting it as a platform where
participants can converse freely, highlight common points of agreement and
identify points which need further discussion.  It also helps participants
to have common understanding of problems and try to reach a way forward.

Egypt believes it is important that the IGF continue beyond its 5-year
mandate, maintaining its multi-stakeholder approach in public policy
discussions and capacity building and acting as a venue for policy
coherence, inter-professional dialogue and enhanced cooperation.  We look
forward to further discussions on the future of the IGF  process during the
forth forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, hoping that we would be able to maintain the
balance and give enough time to discussions on both; the themes of the
upcoming forum as well as the IGF review process.

I would like also to share with you where we stand today in terms of
preparations both as a host country and as a participant to the forum.

As you may know, the topics and themes discussed at the IGF are normally
decided by members of the MAG, so it might be a bit early to talk about
those right now, yet Egypt would definitely like to see more focus on an
agenda that serves the region, which would certainly be more of a
developmental agenda.

Issues such as Multilingualism, policies that encourage local Content
development, promoting regional & global coordination on Cyber Security &
online Child Safety as well as challenges related to Access in terms of
availability and affordability are all topics of interest.

As Egypt has always been an active participant to the IGF process, we are
trying, within the multiple regions we belong to, to raise awareness of the
event and to promote it as an opportunity for raising issues of common
interest, as well as an opportunity for capacity building and for getting
introduced to new topics and to participating to the policy making of
emerging issues as well.  We're also trying to highlight how the forum is
flexible in terms of the topics discussed and the format of discussion as
well as the flexibility in means of getting one's voice heard either through
physical attendance or via remote participation as well as highlight how the
forum’s non-binding output still influences decisions made by other relevant

We are also aware that, on the national level, our interest in the IGF
agenda will never be pushed forward unless there is collective participation
from all national stakeholders.  It is no secret that the government of
Egypt is more active, on the international level, than other stakeholders
within the country.  So we are working on encouraging collective
participation from all national stakeholders.  We’re having various national
and regional activities taking place between now and November.

We've had a capacity building course with DiploFoundation on general IG
issues tackled from all different points of views, policy, technical, legal
and business.  We've also held a session on Internet Governance in
cooperation with the International Chamber of Commerce ICC-BASIS, which
tackled the issue from a business perspective.  The session aimed at
encouraging more involvement from the local business sector not only during
the upcoming IGF meeting but also afterwards.  The session focused on the
business sector as the driving force for Internet development, how the
business sector worldwide is directly affected by Internet public policies
and what role can the business sector play in shaping this policy making;
thus ultimately answering why the Egyptian business sector should care to
participate.  This awareness raising was very important not only on the
thematic level but also, and even more importantly, in terms of mapping and
linking our national dialogue to the global dialogue of the IGF where same
issues and many more are being discussed.  The Egyptian business community
has always participated in the making of national Internet policies since
early 90’s and hence the expertise are there and are aware of topics only
missing that link between our national dialogue and what's taking place on
the international level.

It’s not only the Egyptian business voice that is not adequately represented
but also other stakeholders from Egypt too.  We still have more activities
planned between now and November including a Summer School on Internet
Governance in cooperation with Arhus University and Prof. Wolfgang & the
Arab World Internet Institute, we also have plans for exchange of
experiences with other national IGFs as well as holding specialized thematic
workshops on topics of interest to our national stakeholders; thus trying to
bring everyone onboard.  We are also trying to put in place, in cooperation
with ISOC, a one-day African IG event during the next AfriNIC/AfNOG meeting
in May, which will be hosted in Cairo.  And normally we have ongoing
coordination with Arab countries through working groups of the League of
Arab States.

Now, before getting into logistics, I would like first to thank our Indian
and Brazilian colleagues who have been very helpful in voluntarily sharing
with us their experiences and giving us all the tips and advices that may
help us with our preparations.

As you may know, the next forum will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, a beautiful
famous resort which you will hopefully find peaceful and quite to work in
the morning and very enjoyable and entertaining after the meetings.  The
event will be held at the Congress Center which is a state-of-the-art center
used for all major events held in Sharm El-Sheikh.

As Sharm El-Sheikh is Known for its wonderful beaches and being a target
destination by tourists of all nationalities, there are hotels of all
different categories and widely ranging prices all over the city.  Preferential
rates of the event will range from around 80 USD up to 200 USD which we hope
would suit all participants.  Those special rates will extend 5 days prior
and after the event time for participants wishing to come earlier or extend
their stay in Sharm.  The city is not big and has no much traffic, so no
matter where you decide to stay, you'll still be a few minutes drive from
the venue, yet not a walking distance because it's sometimes a long walk
even to come out of the hotel.

There will be shuttling between the venue and the event’s official hotels
which will be announced, as soon as settled, on the event's website.  Sharm
El-Sheikh is a 45-minute flight from Cairo and there are already a number of
scheduled flights between Cairo & Sharm every day.  There are also flights
from some parts of Europe that go directly to Sharm.  There will be meet and
assist at both airports, in Cairo & Sharm El-Sheikh.  Egyptair will be the
official carrier of the event and will be providing 15-25% discount on air
tickets for conference participants.  Additionally, there will be an
official travel agent who can prepare in advance day excursions and other
local trips.

All this information and much more will be posted to the event's website,
which is igf09.eg, it is still under construction but is expected to be
ready by next week.

And last but not least we are arranging for an unforgettable social event
and are eagerly waiting to receiving you all in Sharm El-Sheikh.
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