On June 16 and 17, the islands became the stage for the first ever Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a pioneering event organized by Womenintechmv on behalf of the Maldives IGF.
A Glance at the Event
With 13 engaging sessions spread across two days, the forum attracted a myriad of participants. From telecom service providers and tech enthusiasts to lawmakers and youth representatives, the event was a melting pot of ideas, suggestions, and collaborative discussions.
Here are some event highlights:
- Diverse Participation: 197 participants from 42 organizations represented a wide range of sectors, including Civil Society, the Telecom Sector, Academia, the Tech Community, Legislative bodies, Local Councils, Youth and Private Sector, Government, and Independent Bodies.
- Wide Reach: The event was not just limited to on-ground participants. It enjoyed a significant online presence as well, with 631 online views.
- A Platform for Change: Key discussions revolved around how organizations, service providers, educators, and businesses can refine their perspectives and improve the state of internet governance.
Acknowledging Our Pillars of Strength
The momentum and success of the Maldives IGF were fuelled by several hands and hearts. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to:
- Our Partners: The invaluable backing of the Maldives National University, the National Democratic Institute, and USAID was instrumental in turning the IGF vision into reality.
- Womenintechmv Champions: A huge shout-out to our indomitable members who wore multiple hats – as volunteers, facilitators, and organizing members. Your dedication, hard work, and passion were the backbone of this event.
- IGF Exco Team & Advisory Team: Your guidance, expertise, and relentless efforts played a pivotal role in steering the forum towards success. The event’s triumph is a testament to your commitment.
Key Takeaways from the Maldives IGF
- Make space for additional internet service providers to foster global competition and innovation.
- Strengthen investment in internet infrastructure for the nation's maximum benefit.
- Ensure technology and the internet are affordable and safe, leaving no one behind.
- Use technology to enhance service sectors and promote the technology sector as a whole.
- Enable access to local language databases and resources
- Focus on building expertise in technology-related fields, especially in training technology-based educators.
- Increase youth participation in internal governance-related activities.
- Introduce computer science into the school curriculum and provide technology-based career guidance.
- Facilitate the exercise of the right to information by urging state actors to disclose information.
- Design public services with digital inclusion in mind, ensuring all have a voice in the digitization process.
- Take measures to protect women and the youth from online harassment.
- Increase public awareness on digital literacy, cybersecurity, and the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence.
- Emphasize the importance of public and private sector roles in cybersecurity.
- Incorporate technology in council governance and address associated challenges.
- Promptly develop cyber and technology legal frameworks, policies, and standards.
- Place restrictions on misinformation spread while balancing privacy and freedom of speech.
- Overcome barriers like resource scarcity and technical limitations for policies like open data.
- Encourage feedback on public service digitization from diverse societal sections.
- Gain insights into how youth perceive and engage in policy-making and decision-making.
- Create awareness about AI ethics and the role different stakeholders play.
- Reform the educational system to match the pace of technological advancements.
- Enhance women's participation in the tech sector and cultivate interest in the field.
- Increase both government and private sector investment to boost innovation.
- Proactively modify institutions' information-sharing practices for the benefit of both providers and recipients.
Women in Tech Leading the Way
The initiative by Womenintechmv to host the Maldives IGF underscores the organization’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive, safe, and progressive digital environment. As digitalization continues to shape our world, having such platforms ensures that no voice is left unheard, and all stakeholders play an active role in sculpting the future of the internet in the Maldives.
Missed the event? Fret not! The entire event was livestreamed, making it accessible to a global audience. You can watch the sessions, engage with the discussions, and be part of this historic event by accessing the livestream links:
Download the Comprehensive IGF Report
For a detailed look at the sessions, discussions, and outcomes of the Maldives IGF, you can download the full report. Dive deep into the deliberations and get insights on the future trajectory of internet governance in the Maldives. Download the IGF Report Here.
We, at Womenintechmv, are immensely proud of this milestone and remain committed to leading the charge for a better digital future for all. Join us in our journey, and let's shape the digital landscape of the Maldives together!