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Monday, November 25 • 15:10 - 18:15
Pre-Event 51 - IGF Regional Dialogue: Overcoming Barriers to Meaningful Participation in the MENA Region

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In his speech at the IGF2018 in Paris, António Guterres, UN Sec-Gen, highlighted the importance of an inclusive dialogue on new digital technologies and policies around them in order to maximize their benefits to the humankind whilst minimizing their negative unintended consequences. He stressed the notion of “leaving no one behind” as a prerequisite to reaching workable solutions for challenges posed by these new technologies and the way they affect societies, and to achieving the globally agreed 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  
During IGF2018 recap session in Paris, it was noted that the voices of the Middle East and North Africa are among those particularly missing or underrepresented in the global debate. A more concerted effort is obviously required to identify the barriers and to boldly rethink the current approaches.
This session aims at bringing together various actors in the region and beyond, including from organizations, entities, and initiatives addressing key Internet-related policy and governance areas. Speakers and participants will have equal opportunity to share experience, and outline both efforts aimed at better engagement in the region, and also barriers that might be limiting the realization of the full potential of these efforts.
The session will also seek to identify synergies and gaps, where actors can further their efforts, rethink activities, or commence on new partnerships to bridge existing gaps.  It will also touch upon existing mechanisms to draw on best practices and lessons learnt, identify needed developments, and collectively outline envisaged plans for the region.
Session will adopt a moderated roundtable format to allow for maximum engagement.

  • NTRA of Egypt 
  • Internet Society


  • Introduction and Session Overview (10 min)

Hisham Aboulyazed, Sr. Manager for Information Society, NTRA

  • Segment 1: Focus Topic - Regional Engagement and Capacity Development Efforts (80 min)
This segment will focus on engagement activities, highlighting current efforts to build capacities and develop necessary skills, in order to advance regional participation in policy development. It will discuss the following questions:
  1. How to increase meaningful stakeholder participation from the region in Internet governance and digital policy discussions?
  2. What are the challenges and barriers to regional engagement in policy development? What are missing ingredients?
  3. How to integrate efforts to collectively advance development of capacities and necessary skills in the region?

Moderator: Christine Arida, Executive Director, Planning and Telecom Services, NTRA


  • Manal Ismail, Chair, ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee
  • Chafic Chaya, Regional Communication Manager for Middle East, RIPE NCC
  • Fahd Batayneh, Stakeholder Engagement Sr. Manager - Middle East, ICANN
  • Susan Teltscher, Head of ITU-D Capacity Development Division, ITU
  • Adil Sulieman, Senior Policy Officer, African Union Commission
  • Vladimir Radunovic, Director of e-diplomacy and Cybersecurity Programmes, DiploFoundation 

  • Segment 2: Focus Topic – Initiatives around Digital Policies in the Region (80 min)
This segment will look at existing national and regional initiatives.  It will try to identify gaps as well as synergies and potential opportunities for collaboration and integration. It will discuss the following questions:
  1. What are the current initiatives within the region and what is their impact on policy development?
  2. What are existing gaps and how to bridge them?
  3. Which synergies can be identified and built upon and what are the challenges?
  • Moderator: Hanane Boujemi, Executive Director, Tech Policy Tank


  • Jane Coffin, Senior Director to the CEO, Internet Society
  • Ayman El Sherbiny, Chief of ICT Policy Department, ESCWA
  • Qusai Al Shatti, former Co-Chair of Arab IGF Review Team
  • Nadira Al-Araj, Member of ICANN NomCom
  • Tijani Ben Jemaa, MAG Vice-chair, North Africa IGF
  • Zeina Bou Harb, Co-convener, IGF Lebanon
  • Sasha Rubel, Programme Specialist, Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO 

* Wrap up (15 min)

The sessions will be conducted in a moderated roundtable format.


Session Organizers
avatar for Hisham Aboulyazed

Hisham Aboulyazed

Sr. Manager, Information Society, NTRA

Monday November 25, 2019 15:10 - 18:15 CET
Raum V