Internet Resilience in Africa Webinar Series

Increasingly, African governments are banking on the digital economy to grow their economies and employ the youth. The Internet Resilience in Africa is a series of web discussions organized jointly by the African Union Commission, the Internet Society and the African Telecommunications Union and in partnership with regional and International organizations working for the development of the Internet on the continent. The webinars explore insight knowledge and experience for the Internet from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disruptions and how those lessons can be used to make the Internet a tool that contributes to the socio-economic development of Africa and even beyond the pandemic.

Fist webinar: Internet Resilience in Africa in the context of COVID-19

In this new era of lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, more Africans are discovering the importance of the Internet during these social distancing times. They use the Internet for livelihoods, education, businesses and for entertainment. This exceptional moment has also shown the resilience of the Internet as well as the shortcomings of Africa’s Internet infrastructure and digital economy.

This first webinar, which takes place on June 1 assesses the growing impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods and work in Africa and examines the readiness of the continent’s Internet infrastructure to help mitigate those challenges. The event will discuss the impact of the quick and major changes in the use of the Internet that occurred in the last few months due to COVID-19 on the operations of organizations such as AFRINIC, Internet Service Providers and Cable Operators. It also discusses how the Internet has allowed business continuity during lockdowns and how governments, regulators, operators and the private sector have used the Internet to ease the disruption of our social and economic life. Last but not least, it will discuss how the Internet is being used in the fight against COVID-19.

Expected Outcome

The discussions are expected to lead to comprehensive policy and regulatory recommendations that enable governments and regulators to better understand how to create a stronger Internet to help Africa not only during COVID-19 times but also after the pandemic.

Draft Agenda

  1. Introduction: Moctar Yedaly, Head Information Society Division African Union
  2. Opening Session: African Union Commission Official (TBD)
  3. Virtual panel discussion:
    • Eddy Kayihura, CEO, AFRINIC
      Was there significant change in Internet traffic in Africa since the COVID outbreak? How did the Internet cope with those changes?
    • Dawit Bekele, Regional Vice President – Africa, Internet Society
      Was there a change from the users’ side? Did the pandemic change how Africans use the Internet?
    • Funke Opeke, CEO, Main One
      How were the changes of traffic and user behaviour impact Telecom operators? How did you react to those changes?
    • John Omo, Secretary General, African telecommunications Union
      Was Africa’s regulatory environment ready for these changes. How did regulators react?
    • Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo, Member, African Union Commission Cybersecurity Expert Group
      Was there any increased cybersecurity issue in Africa due to COVID-19?
    • Hossam El Gamal, Chairperson, Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance (AfICTA)
      Did the Internet help business continuity for African businesses during the lockdowns? Some say COVID-19 is the beginning of the African dot-com boom, what do you think of that?
    • Andile Ngcaba, Founding Partner & Chairman at Convergence Partners
      How did the ICT sector contribute to the fight of the pandemic?
  4. Q&A
  5. Closing Remarks


The event is expected to bring tog

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