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More tips for fellowships and support for conferences: Mwende

As a follow-up from this series of interviews with fellows who got support to participate on the policy side and practice their Internet governance skills, here is a short one done with my friend Mwende Njiraini, from Kenya. Many of you know here since she is a longtime tutor.

Mwende in Athens IGF presenting her research

SEIITI: Mwende, what can you tell of your involvement with Diplo?

MWENDE: My involvement with the DiploFoundation began in 2005 as a participant on the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP). During the programme I had an opportunity to develop a portal on Local content as well as write a research paper titled “IP Allocation and IPv6” in collaboration with Marsha Guthrie and Jean Philémon Kissangou.

I have since then been involved with DiploFoundation as a tutor for the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP) foundation phase in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

SEIITI: Seems like great work was done since then! Did your engagement in IG themes stay on the theory side or did you also manage to be involved on the practical side?


MWENDE: On the basis of my participation in IG capacity development in the African region, DiploFoundation and its partners have sponsored my attendance to the following IG events:

· World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) ,2005, Tunis,

· Internet Governance: The Way Forward in February , 2006, Malta,

· 1st Internet Governance Forum (IGF) , 2006,Athens,

· The joint ICA-AIAMCR Symposium on Internet Governance: New Political and Regulatory Frameworks for Global Network Communications, 2006, Germany

· 3rd Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, 2008, India.

SEIITI: Very interesting. And what was the result from all this? How these experiences empowered you and multiplied results in your local community?


MWENDE: This year I have been engaged in tutoring 13 participants from across Africa. My participation in capacity development and attendance to the above forums has opened doors for me. These include moderating the Kenyan Internet Governance Forum (KIGF) online discussions in 2008 and 2009 facilitated by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet).

Some of the issues discussed in the KIGF online discussion included infrastructure, management of critical internet resources, cybersecurity and trust and the examination of the desirability of the continuation of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).


SEIITI: Mwende, from your experience, what are your 3 best tips and advice to share with those interested to seek a fellowship to the IGF?

Award of fellowships is strictly on merit. Therefore, hard work and active participation in the IGCBP is a prerequisite for the award of a fellowship to attend IG-related forums.

Secondly, it is essential that one is a team player. Collaboration and information sharing is key in the fellowship selection. The IGCBP is based on the principle of collaborative learning. The sharing of information and ideas is therefore essential in the IGCBP open and receptive atmosphere.

Thirdly, it is important to have a personal objective that seeks to contribute to IG capacity development. My personal objective is to facilitate meaningful participation of African countries in the IG-related international forums specifically the IGF.

SEIITI: Excellent! For those of you interested in exchanging ideas with Mwende, please leave a comment here or add her as a friend on the Community to send her a message. Thanks, Mwende!

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Comment by Solomon Mburu on May 20, 2010 at 11:20am
This is an interesting article. I have interacted with Mwende through KICTANET, Kenya IGF and EAIGF and she is my tutor in the 2010 IGCBP.

Through these processes ( and her facilitation), I have been equipped with much understanding on internet related issues and how to go about the challenges that might come in way .

Great work Mwende!!!
Comment by John Ngahu on October 19, 2009 at 8:07am
This is very intereseting to see. I have been a little bit out of touch with IGF issues since taking up assignments out of Kenya. Mwende is really doign EA proud and i urge her to keep the good job going, If Mwende can get in touch with me, i can share a document i core-authored on Multilingualism in Cyberspace which we jointly wrote with other participants fo teh first European Summer School on internet Governance in Meissen, Germany.

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Deirdre Williams (St. Lucia)
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