16 December 2016

Internet Governance Forum 2016 Library Diary: Day 4

This was the last day of the Internet Governance Forum 2016.

In the session on Networks & solutions to achieve SDGs agenda - Internet at play, the discussion focused on the impact of innovation on achieving the SDGs at a national level. One speaker shared experience of using the Internet to help take care of tigers in Asia – it’s not just grumpy cats that are receiving more attention thanks to the web!

The main obstacle to realising the potential of the Internet to reach the SDGs is the lack of ICT access, capabilities and skills. "In India," said Anja Kovacs, "you are considered literate if you can sign your name - that's not a very high standard."

In the same session, IFLA Deputy Secretary General Stuart Hamilton talked about the negotiations at the United Nations during the development of the 2030 Agenda. He underlined that the focus isn't on libraries, but rather on the access to information provided through libraries not only for citizens, but also for journalists, researchers, and other sectors.

The session on Public Wi-Fi/Open Access Models in Developing Countries saw an interesting discussion about the public and private cooperative models to provide public access. The actors explained the challenges they face when extending their business models into rural areas in order to make access to communication affordable for all.

In the same session, libraries’ value was highlighted by Moctar Yedaly, Head of the Department of Information Society at the African Union Commission. He noted many reasons that universal access strategy policies failed in many countries: devices are expensive, infrastructure is lacking, or there are inadequate information policies. He therefore mentioned that more investment in public places like libraries was needed, and explained why by telling the story of a successful project with libraries in Kenya.

WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society), Access to information, IGF, igf2016, Public Access, Internet governance, 2030 Agenda

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