ROAM-X: UNESCO and African ICT Foundation to host West-Africa Internet Governance Forum 2022 Session.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the African ICT Foundation (AfICTF) is set to host the West-Africa Internet Governance Forum 2022 Session, with focus around the UNESCO ROAM-X framework for understanding and improving digital governance.

The Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators framework consists of a set of 303 indicators including 109 core ones that are designed to assess how well national stakeholders, including governments, companies and civil society perform in adhering to the ROAM principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation, as well as 79 cross-cutting indicators concerning gender equality, youth, ethical dimensions, and sustainable development. 

A statement by the Director of Communications of the African ICT Foundation, Mr. Isaiah Erhiawarien said that the West-Africa Internet Governance Forum 2022, which holds in Accra, Ghana, May 26, 2022, was put together by the UNESCO and the African ICT Foundation to highlight how an evidence-based policy making process can trigger critical policy discussions to shape Internet governance and digital transformation for sustainable development in the region.

“This knowledge-sharing session, organised jointly with UNESCO and the African ICT Foundation, aims to showcase key outcomes and share good practice from the methodology and overall process of the Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators’ implementation from national leading experts in Africa”, the statement said.

According to the statement, the forum will help to foster digital collaboration at regional level by pinpointing gaps and making actionable recommendations to improve digital governance policies and offer opportunities to exchange the good practice and lessons learned in the implementation process of the national assessments.

The President of the Foundation, Mr Tony Ojobo and the Director for Partnership and Operational Programme Monitoring, UNESCO, Marielza Oliveira will both deliver the keynote address at the forum meant to encourage more countries and stakeholders to conduct voluntary assessment of ROAM-X.

Currently ongoing in over forty (40+) countries across five continents, including Benin, Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Niger, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Tanzania, Gambia, Cameroon, Burundi, Gabon, Congo RC and Congo RDC in Africa, the ROAM-X assessment fills a standard-setting void at the global, national, and regional levels and proves a holistic research tool to unite all Internet stakeholders in all countries.

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