lighting, Diplomacy

Strengthening Africa’s digital diplomacy

08 December 2023

Event description

Permanent Mission of Kenya
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Permanent Mission of Namibia
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Digital and AI governance through African perspectives 

Friday, 8 December 2023 | 14:00 – 15:00 

CICG | Room B

African voices need to be stronger in digital and AI governance. As negotiations on the Global Digital Compact, AI governance, and other tech issues accelerate, the need to amplify African perspectives has never been more critical. Join us for an insightful conversation with an esteemed panel of thought leaders and practitioners on the future directions of African digital diplomacy. 

The event, dedicated to Heads of Missions and experts covering digital issues, will address the following questions:

  • What are priority AI and digital issues relevant to African countries (e.g., AI, data governance, cybersecurity, and the digital economy)?
  • How can Africa’s digital priorities be aligned with international digital policy frameworks?
  • How can African countries participate actively in the negotiation of the UN Global Digital Compact?
  • How can African diplomats in Geneva actively follow the tech shift (AI and digitalization) in health (WHO), human rights (UNHCHR), trade (WTO), intellectual property (IPR), humanitarian (ICRC, IFRC), and other priority policy areas?  
  • What are AI and digital tools that can help small and understaffed missions follow negotiations and policy processes meaningfully?
  • How can African countries develop individual and institutional capacities for digital diplomacy?


Katherine Getao is the former Chief Executive Officer of the ICT Authority in Kenya, who was among the first African cyber negotiations in the UN GGE process. Katherine is well-known for her clarity of thinking, anchored in practical experience in digitalising Kenya and participating in global negotiations. 

Moctar Yedaly is the former director of ICT at the African Union Commission (2008-2021)  and Minister of Digital Developments of Mauritania (2022-2023). Moctar is conceptualiser of AU’s approach to digitalisation and cyber governance, including the AU Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030 and AU Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection. Moctar also led complex negotiations on the redelegation of  the ‘dotAfrica’ top-level domain. 

Amr Aljowaily is Advisor to the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Egyptian ambassador. Since 1996, when he wrote the first paper on ICT (information and communication technologies) and diplomacy, Amr has been practising and reflecting upon the interplay between technology and diplomacy.

Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. Since 1992 when Jovan pioneered work on AI and diplomacy, he has been leading research and teaching on digitalisation and diplomacy, including writing books and articles translated into more than ten languages. Together with Sorina Teleanu, Jovan worked on the landmark publication ‘Stronger Digital Voice from Africa: Building African digital foreign policy and diplomacy’.


The event is organised in the context of the eWeek. Registration is required.