The President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said he is moving ahead immediately with plans to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent.
“ICANN used to say if you want to participate in Internet governance come to ICANN. We’ve changed that, now ICANN is coming to the stakeholders. We’re not waiting for you to come. We’re coming to you,” said Fadi Chehadé.
Chehadé made his comments during the Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two-day meeting ended Friday after drawing Internet leaders from across the continent.
“We will have ICANN staff, at least one, in each of the 6 regions of Africa. North, South, East, West, Central and the Indian Ocean,” said Chehadé. “I want African on-ramps into the ICANN structures. I will give you the on-ramps, but you need to climb them.”
The ICANN boss added that he would like to see a dramatic increase in the number of accredited Domain Name Registrars on the African continent. Currently there are only five accredited Registrars in Africa among more than one thousand worldwide, but Chehadé said he wants to see that number increase five-fold in less than two years.
“This is about us moving the needle forward. Africa will not wait,” said Chehadé.
The two-day event in Addis Ababa was attended by about two hundred people, including Ministers and other government representatives, leaders from the African business community, civil society and from ICANN structures in Africa; AFTLD and AFRALO.
The multi-stakeholder IG event was co-organized by the African Union, ISOC-Africa, AFRINIC and the African IGF. It was preceded by a two-day workshop about the development of the DNS (Domain Name System) Industry in Africa.
During the event the implementation of an African Strategy for better engagement in Africa was discussed in detail. This strategy was prepared by representatives from the African community last summer and announced during the ICANN meeting in Toronto in October. Fadi Chehadé reiterated ICANN’s commitment to help implement the three-year strategy in coordination with our global and regional partners in Africa.
To hear an audio recording of Fadi’s Chehadé’s comments to the Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Meeting, go here.
ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.