Nowadays, the Internet has become a fundamental component in the economic, social, and political spheres around the globe. It currently connects more than three Billion people, and it is estimated that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. The stable and flexible functioning of the Internet is therefore increasingly important for developed, emerging, and developing countries and their citizens.
The governance of the Internet Ecosystem has long been the concern of a selected group of stakeholders, but the number of interested parties, both state and non-state stakeholders, is increasing as global connectivity spreads.
Internet Governance is a contested topic, where the Middle East and Adjoining Countries School on Internet Governance (MEAC-SIG) will try to offer understanding, framing, and actions to be taken in this Internet governance environment. It will offer potential governance scenarios and analyse its international, regional, and national implications at the political, economical and technical levels.
As Middle East stakeholders are under-represented in Internet governance deliberations, the objective of the Middle East and Adjoining Countries School of Internet Governance (MEAC-SIG*) is to address this problem.
MEAC-SIG is one of the few Internet governance education platforms in the Middle East. It provides a rare opportunity for regional stakeholders to learn about and participate in deliberations on Internet governance issues. MEAC-SIG prepares them to take part in governance processes, empowering them to become advocates of important local issues in global Internet governance fora.
We believe that the MEAC-SIG is one of the few tools available in the Middle East to introduce the various stakeholders groups, especially youth, to an independent perspective on Internet governance. We also believe that the MEAC-SIG will greatly benefit the region by disseminating the principles of openness, collaboration, and inclusiveness upon which the Internet’s success has been based.
* The Middle East and Adjoining Countries include the 22 Arab States, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey