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How internet governance can effectively empower sustainable development

by Bram Fudzulani

Internet, and the technologies that enable it, allow people of every nationality, race, faith, and point of view to communicate, cooperate, and prosper like never before. Today, an Africa company can do business anywhere in the world with an internet connection, supporting countless jobs and opportunities for the African people. A mother in rural Africa can sell agro products to a family in America through an internet connection, advancing broader economic development. Every day, internet plays an increasingly important role in enhancing the lives of people around the world.


All of this has been possible because of the multistakeholder approach to the way in which the Internet is governed.  An approach that includes contributions to the governance process from civil society, private sector, governments and others. As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, governments like other players in this multistakeholder approach have an important role to play in helping facilitate access to the Internet for their people. And if governments play their critical role in the internet governance it can spearhead the sustainable development within communities, citizens can be empowered to hold their governments responsible through the use of the internet.

Government can for example lobby for better prices on internet to allow more people connected to the internet and it can also play its role in making sure that internet is not taxed especially in poor countries where internet gets to be taxed. It’s only when governments compliment such activities that allow its citizens access to the internet by allowing a conducive business atmosphere within countries. We cannot talk about internet empowering sustainable development when citizens are being denied these very same basic services due to bad laws and bad policies influenced by governments and these can only be addressed at government level. Therefore it’s no longer a question of whether internet can bring about economic change anymore but on how government can play its role in the internet governance to empower sustainable development.

On the other hand the internet was developed and deployed outside the sphere of government influence, with the academic and technical communities playing the leading role, and if these communities play their respective critical roles which can also ensure sustainable development.

With the technical community ensuring continued development of new standards and protocols which are critical internet resources, these have functioned well over the past years before governments did not interface with their core functions and this must continue if we’re to truly have sustainable development among nations.

But when it comes to developing solutions to matters such as economic development, cyber security, and the Internet’s technical management, these problems are most effectively addressed by the multistakeholder community. Which brings together all players and if there’s no monopoly in a true bottom up process on internet governance without discrimination of the region or race but only taking into consideration all voices can ensure and promote the development of sustainable both socially and economically.

It is only through a fair distribution of internet resources to everyone without discrimination of gender, race, faith or nationality that can also ensure that all citizens across the globe are empowered. In short internet governance which upholds to these norms of ensuring a multistakeholder approach towards internet and its resources can effectively empower sustainable development to everyone and all.


In conclusion empowering sustainable development through internet governance is possible when all players in the internet governance process take play their leading roles without interfering with others. And if only if everyone is treated equally without bias of their region or continent.

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