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Wednesday, November 25 • 7:00am - 8:30am
#WS 4: Policy Considerations for Community Networks in Africa

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Zoom Link: https://afigf2020-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAlduqspjorE9BpBK17DUDIbrXQ0TiMHPPR

Session Description: 
While Community Networks (CN) are increasingly getting recognition as a way to bridge the connectivity gap around the world. In Africa, the progress and growth are hindered by poor policy and regulatory frameworks that do not support CN development. African policy makers should consider creating innovative licensing processes and licenses to enable community networks. In granting innovative licenses, regulators should recognize that community network operators are different than traditional operators, and require an easy, transparent, and streamlined process for obtaining licenses, with less severe bureocratic and financial requirements. Regulators should consider including community network experts on regulatory policy-making advisory panels to help bring increased perspective to policy and regulatory decision-making.
 ISOC and APC has a long history of making a difference in this area. They have worked to support CN deployments, create capacities in communities by training local people, built new communities of interest, and focused on changing policies and regulations to encourage the development and deployment of Community Networks. 
The proposed session will serve as an opportunity to discuss unique policy challenges faced by the community in implementing connectivity projects. It will bring together communities, technical experts, policy makers and civil society organisations representatives to share their views on how an enabling policy environment can help Community Networks in the regions thrive and become a viable option to help connect the unconnected. 
It will give special focus on policy and regulatory frameworks discussing challenges and solutions envisioned to implement and promote this complementary model of connectivity. Representatives from different stakeholders will share their perspectives on their local access initiatives as well as on their responsibilities to create an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives in developing countries.
Session Format: Virtual session – 1hour 30 mins
Organizers : Internet Society and Association for Progressive Communications
Proposed Speakers:

Verengai Mabika, Senior Policy Advisor, Africa, Internet Society
Carlos Rey-Moreno, PhD, Co-lead Local Networks: Policy and Strategy
Association for Progressive Communications


Carlos Rey-Moreno, PhD

Co-lead Local Networks: Policy and Strategy Association for Progressive Communications
avatar for Verengai Mabika

Verengai Mabika

Senior Policy Advisor - Africa, ISOC
I joined the Internet Society as Senior Policy Advisor for Africa. In this role I provide expert and policy advice to the several projects. I work very closely with the External and Community Engagement teams in improving and maintaining our relations with regional partners such as... Read More →

Wednesday November 25, 2020 7:00am - 8:30am GMT
Room 4