First National Internet Governance Forum Held

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Addis Ababa August 4/2022/ENA/ The first National Internet Governance Forum was held in Addis Ababa today under theme: “Internet for Inclusive Development.”

The forum stressed the need for internet governance system to address digital abuses.

Innovation and Technology State Minister Huria Ali said on the occasion that the daily activities of human beings, institutions and organizations have been influenced by digital platforms or the internet.

And digital platforms have been bringing fundamental changes in the social, economic and political movements of peoples and institutions, she added.

Though the internet or digital platforms have positive role for overall development by facilitating creativity and exchange of ideas, they have also bringing adverse effects  like cyber-attacks, and misinformation.

Stressing the need for legal frameworks in the information and communication sector to reverse  threats on the country and improve internet connection and provide safe services to the public, the state minister revealed that her ministry has prepared draft proclamation on internet governance and cyber crimes.

Ethiopian Communication Authority Director-General, Balcha Roba said digital platforms are essential to a vision of global online space that is vibrant, safe and open where diverse views can thrive.

According to him, digital platforms can become an amazing facilitation of communications, business and work opportunities.

However, people are facing enormous challenges in making this vision a reality, the director-general stated, adding that terrorist propaganda, provocations, hate speech, and misinformation are being spread digitally and systematically abusing the right to privacy.

Hence, the digital world requires new safeguards for human rights and it needs more open and transparent multi-stakeholder discussion on how to regulate online digital content to protect the privacy and human rights, he underscored.

The director-general further expressed the commitment of Ethiopian Communication Authority to contribute its part in ensuring that internet governance is fully entrenched in all sectors of Ethiopia’s economy and the country’s digital transformation agenda in line with Digital Ethiopia 2025 Strategy and the national ICT Development Plan.

In Ethiopia, there is 43.3 percent increment in number of internet costumers from 17.8 million users in 2018 to 25.6 million internet users now.

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