WITSA-GIIC Workshop at IGF 2006

Organizers

  • The Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC)
  • The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)

The GIIC is a confederation of executives of business firms engaged in the development, manufacture, deployment, operation, modernization, financing, and use of ICT-based services and products that facilitate operation and use of the Internet.

The WITSA is a consortium of 70 national and regional ICT industry associations that represent over 90 percent of the global ICT market. Its members facilitate the operation of and rely upon the Internet. WITSA has members on all five continents, and a majority of its members are from developing countries.

Panellists

  • WITSA President Phil Bond, president, Information Technology Association of America;
  • GIIC Commissioner Masanobu Katoh, corporate vice president and group president, Law and Intellectual Property Group and Security Export Control Headquarters, Fujitsu Limited;
  • Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination Hideo SHIMIZU (International Affairs), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan (MIC);
  • GIIC Commissioner and Regional Director for the Middle East Hisham El-Sherif, chairman and CEO, IT Ventures;
  • Fred Kakaire, chief executive officer, Uganda Chartered Healthnet (UCH);
  • WITSA Vice Chairman for Latin America Jorge Cassino, chairman emeritus, The Argentine ICT Companies Association (CESSI), and chairman, Latin American IT Industry Association (ALETI);
  • Waudo Siganga, president, Computer Society of Kenya;
  • Coura Fall, Secretary General Delegate - SITSA (Senegalese Information Technology Association);
  • Mr. Abdullah H. Kafi (Bangladesh Computer Samity BCS & CEO, JAN Associates);
  • Mr. Nizar Zakka (CEO, Professional Computer Association of Lebanon & Union of Arab ICT Associations IJMA3)

Objectives

The objective of the workshop is to explore effective channels for creating policy frameworks conducive to improved access to and use of ICTs and the Internet. Presentations will include real life examples from different countries.

Background Information

Access to public communications infrastructure facilities and ICTs that empower the Internet and Internet users are threshold keys -- still missing in many regions, nations, and localities of the world -- to unlocking the potential of the Internet to drive economic growth and enhance levels of social well-being. Unless and until public policy barriers to access to ICTs and essential public communications infrastructure facilities are addressed and resolved, the transformative power of the Internet to trigger sustainable development will be retarded. Enhancing access to the Internet should be a primary and threshold topic of concern to those addressing Internet governance.

This workshop will examine successes in selected countries where multi-stakeholder participation has made a difference, and as such provide unique insight into experiences and lessons learned by stakeholders who have attempted to make a positive impact on the policy environment with a view to enhancing access to and use of ICT.

The first half of the workshop will be concerned with describing the challenges of establishing a participatory policy environment that is conducive to market growth and greater access to and use of ICTs. The second part will present examples from different countries.

In as much as ICTs and, in particular, public communications network facilities, constitute critical resources essential to providing Internet access, the proposed workshop relates specifically to subparagraph (j) of paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda. Further and to the extent the barriers to the provision of such access are surmounted the availability and affordability of the Internet in the developing world will be enhanced. Accordingly, the proposed workshop is also responsive to subparagraph (e). Inasmuch as it will foster an exchange of information and best practices and relate specifically to public policy requirements, the proposed workshop will also be responsive to subparagraphs (d) and (a).

Capacity building is a crosscutting theme for the IGF. Accordingly, the proposed workshop will complement those portions of the meeting devoted to these subjects and provide a venue within which to develop, elaborate upon, and clarify points made during the plenary sessions.

Agenda

  1. Opening remarks (Workshop co-chairmen introduce workshop purposes, agenda, participants.)
  2. Keynote (Speaker explains how bilateral, multilateral dialogues, and aid programs trigger capacity building in policy making processes.)
  3. First Session: "Policy Barriers to ICTs and Internet Access" (Session examines new public-private partnership forms that have broken down political, policy, and other barriers to access and use of ICTs.)
  4. One panelist discusses use of wireless handheld devices to collect and share information on a network of medical personnel in remote regions.
  5. Another discussant examines how his government and a service provider have deployed the largest broadband wireless network in the world.
  6. Q&A: workshop participants question and comment upon what has been stated.
  7. Second Session: "Policy and ICTs Access: Lessons Learned
    " (Session focuses on how ICT industries in specific countries organize and collaborate with other stakeholders to break down policy barriers to ICTs deployment and use.
  8. One panelist addresses how industry in his country established an IT association and improved its ability to create favorable market conditions.
  9. 9. Another discussant addresses how he, through IGF Advisory Board participation, has developed political linkages between developing and developed countries.
  10. Final panelist examines achievements in the Arab world attributable to the formation of a regional ICT association.
  11. Q&A
  12. Wrap-Up (Workshop co-chairmen assess what has transpired during the workshop, tie workshop outputs to the substantive topics and overall theme of the Internet Governance Forum, and suggest action responsive to what has been discussed.)

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