• Kyoto, Japan
  • Recap

Recap: Internet Governance Forum


The Internet We Want – Empowering All People” – this was the title of the 18th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Kyoto, Japan, from 8 to 12 October 2023. As part of the multi-stakeholder forum for political dialogue on internet management and governance issues, around 8,000 participants addressed the topics of artificial intelligence, disinformation, human rights and data governance. In his opening speech, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasised the importance of the IGF, which is one of the most important forums for international digital policy. He formulated three priorities in the area of internet governance: firstly, bridging the digital divide, including the digital gender gap; secondly, bridging the governance gap by improving coordination and alignment between the IGF and other digital governance formats; and thirdly, taking human rights into account and promoting a people-centred approach to digital cooperation.


The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the IGF

The BMZ hosted an Open Forum entitled “Planetary Limits of AI – Governance for Just Digitalisation?”. Martin Wimmer, Head of Division G 1 – Principles of Development Policy at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), opened the panel, which discussed the interaction between climate change and artificial intelligence (AI). One of the central questions was how framework conditions can be created to mitigate the adverse effects of AI on the climate. It was emphasised that environmental and climate considerations must be included in the development of AI: AI should not create new problems, but serve people and the planet.

The BMZ was also involved in presenting the African Union’s (AU) policy framework at the African Union Commission’s forum “The African Union Approach on Data Governance“. The framework is intended to promote the use of the potential of digitalisation and data in and between African countries and at the same time mitigate the risks of cross-border data flows. It is also intended to help African countries participate more actively in global discussions on data with a common agenda and help shape them.

The BMZ also contributed to the event “Transforming Technology Frameworks for the Planet“, which highlighted cooperative approaches to digital inclusion in the technology sector and opened the panel “African AI: Digital Public Goods for Inclusive Development” with the presentation of the BMZ initiative FAIR Forward, which promotes a more open and sustainable development and use of artificial intelligence. The panel presented how AI applications can be used as digital public goods and discussed the opportunities and risks of AI for the African continent.


Links to the sessions with BMZ participation
  1. IGF 2023 Day 0 Workshop Room 7 Transforming technology frameworks for the planet 1 – YouTube
  2. IGF 2023 – Day 1 – Workshop Room 5 – African AI: Digital Public Goods for Inclusive Development – YouTube
  3. IGF 2023 Day 2 Workshop Room 8 Planetary Limits of AI Governance for Just Digitalisation – YouTube
  4. IGF 2023 Day 3 Workshop Room 7 The African Union Approach on Data Governance – YouTube