Launch of the French version of the course ‘Introduction to Internet Governance’, organised in cooperation with the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF)

Geneva, 20 January 2022 

Ce communiqué de presse est disponible aussi en français.

DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), with the support and collaboration of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), have launched the first-ever capacity building programme on internet governance in French. 

Screenshot of partial view of the online room at the launch of the Intro to IG course in French

Partial view of the online room at the launch of the Intro to IG course in French 

The online Intro to Internet Governance course will last eight weeks, and will encompass themes linked to infrastructure, cybersecurity, legal issues, human rights, and development.

The introductory course session took place online on 20 January 2022, with welcome remarks from the Director of the Digital and Economic Francophonie, Mr Henri Monceau, and by the Founding Director of Diplo and the GIP Prof. Jovan Kurbalija. 

Monceau expressed his appraisal for the composition of this first group of students who will learn more about digital governance. This first iteration attracted wide interest from the 54 OIF state and government members. The 26 participants come from over 20 countries, most of which are developing countries. 

He expressed his gratitude to, OIF Secretary General Ms Louise Mushikiwabo who recognised the need to develop the capacities of officials on digital issues, since ‘internet governance is a subject which affects all domains, and it is impossible to work in the international field without mastering these crucial emerging issues’. Monceau thanked all his colleagues from institutions engaged in the development of this course, as well as the Senghor University of Alexandria which will also take part in the course. 

He closed his intervention by expressing his wish that this ‘learning adventure’ may become a long-term effort that will hopefully target specific issues such as those related to digital commerce and cybersecurity, according to the needs of Francophone countries.

Prof. Kurbalija reminded the audience that 2022 is a special year for Diplo and the GIP for two reasons.

First, it marks the 20th anniversary of Diplo’s commitment to capacity building in the field of internet governance during which Diplo has trained more than 6,600 alumni from 203 countries and territories, including individuals working in governments, the private and civil sector, media, and academia.

In the past years, Diplo has partnered with many institutions, including the African Union, the Organization of American States, and many countries (such as Mexico, Malta, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates) to achieve ‘a more inclusive diplomacy’, especially for digital policy discussions. 

The second reason for Diplo’s celebration in 2022 is its cooperation with OIF as this is the first time Diplo’s expertise has been specifically adapted to the needs of the Francophone audience.

Kurbalija affirmed that ‘despite much work being done internationally to make the internet more equal, profound differences still remain. Much more is needed to be done on all fronts. Francophonie countries must play a much more important role in shaping global digital governance, from cybersecurity and AI to digital commerce’.

He concluded by expressing his gratitude to Mr Monceau and the OIF for this collaboration.