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The African Union Commission has a “Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA)” Project funded mainly by the European Union. They proposed late November 2019 to the North African IGF their support to organize the first North African School on Internet Governance (NASIG) using the PRIDA Funds.

The NAIGF MAG Chair and Vice Chair, together with Hisham Abulyazid worked closely with the AUC to organize this NASIG from 22 to 24 December 2019 (before the closure of the 2019 year) in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

With due consideration of the gender and geographic diversity, a list of 28 future learners from the 7 countries of North Africa has been selected among the most active young people in the IG ecosystem: 3 from Algeria, 3 from Egypt, 3 from Libya, 3 from Morocco, 2 from Sudan, 2 from Tunisia and 12 from Mauritania.

In the opening session, after the welcome address by Mr Aziz Hilali, Chair of the NAIGF MAG, the Mauritanian Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and ICT underscored in her opening remarks that “Indeed, information and communication technologies (ICT) are today a tributary to the entire economy and society as a whole and provide important means to implement the goals of sustainable development (SDG) and poverty reduction”.

Mr. Cheikh Bedda, African Union Commission Director of Infrastructure & Energy Department noted that “As Africans, we need to articulate our own Philosophy, Ethics, Policy, Strategies and accountability frameworks for Cyberspace and Cybersecurity”.

Over the 2 first days of the SIG, courses about Internet basics, Internet governance, Access, Inclusion, Digital Divide, Rights, Laws & Regulation, DNS Industry & Digital Economy, Data Protection, Cyber-Security, and National IGF Tools kit have been given. An excellent interaction with the trainees made it a clear and digest content for this first Internet Governance School of North Africa.

The third day was dedicated to practicum that gave participants hands-on experience of multi-stakeholder negotiations, through role play. The learner presentations have been of great quality.

Following this activity carried out successfully by the NAIGF, and given the remarkable involvement of the Mauritanian stakeholders in Internet Governance, we made a request to the Mauritanian Minister to host the 4th edition of NAIGF to be held in the 4th trimester of 2020 in Mauritania with the second NASIG organized as a back-to-back event. He kindly and officially accepted our request and promised to do everything to make it a great success.

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