The Southern African Internet Forum has three key objectives:

1. To help create a shared strategic agenda between the private sector, the regulators and civil society that will help each advocate for change that will overcome current obstacles.

2. To offer high-level training through experience-sharing that will enable the private sector and civil society the ability to identify new opportunities and to act boldly in tackling them.

3. To allow participants the opportunity to put in place a Southern African Internet Forum as a way of pursuing these discussions on a regular basis.

The South African Internet Forum be a three-day event with a high-level training workshop on the third day (11-13) April 2003, Kwa Maritane Game Lodge, Pilansberg, South Africa). There will be a plenary stream with breakout panels to discuss specific topics. It will precede IDRC’s Acacia event ­ Lessons of Empowerment from Communities enabling participants to attend both events.

The plenary stream will cover:


Plenary: Setting an agenda for action
William Stucke (AFRISPA) and David Meintjes, UUNet

Regulators, policy makers, civil society and the private sector: Forging new relationships to make things happen
Speakers to be announced.


Thinking the Unthinkable - African regulatory challenges for the 21st century (VOIP, the international bandwidth monopoly, interconnection and rural operators
Lishan Adam (To be confirmed)

Digital rights - The minefield of censorship, personal privacy and much more: What users are entitled to
Ryk Meiring (South Africa)
Bretton Vine (South Africa)


Lobbying government and regulators: Getting your voice heard, influencing others - Lessons to be learnt
Charley Lewis, LINK Centre (To be confirmed)
Mike van den Bergh, Gateway Communications

Universal Service Policy: Putting TRASA’s Universal Service Policy into action
Speaker to be announced.


Domain names - How can Southern Africa regain control of this process
Calvin Browne
Brian Longwe

Plenary: Creating a Southern African Internet Forum

The high-level training session will be:
Creating national and regional Internet Exchange Points: reducing costs and speeding up content delivery
Brian Longwe (Kenya)

Panel discussions will include:

Technologies to reach the parts others cannot reach
Bassit Bulbulia, Witel Africa, Mike Jensen, Russell Southwood, Balancing Act.

Who represents the user? - Finding a role for Internet user groups
Charley Lewis, LINK Centre (To be confirmed)

E-rate: Why it is needed and what it can do

Encouraging active virtual communities:
Bev Clarke, Kubitana (Zimbabwe) and David Barnard, Sangonet

The rural challenge - Getting beyond the cities and towns

Telecentres and Cyber-Cafes - Finding the best approaches to opening access

The Kwa Maritime Bush Lodge is two hours from Johannesburg. Transport arrangements will be confirmed with you upon booking.

The forum is being organised by AITEC and Balancing Act, with support from the Southern African Open Society Initiative.

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