The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is set to hold its annual meetings ‘ICANN5’ at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on 25-29 June 2017.
ICANN is expecting around 1500 participants at the global event, bringing together various regional and global stakeholders from government, business, civil society, non-government organizations, research institutions, technical communities and others.
Speaking on the importance of Africa in the digital world and for ICANN, Buket Coskuner, the Global Communications Coordinator, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that with the world now rapidly moving to full scale digitization, the Internet has become universal, making it a critical resource platform that needs governments and the private sector across the world to invest in its reliability and sustainability.
She said that ICANN has embraced an all-inclusive process through its multi-stakeholder model. An ICANN ‘stakeholder’ refers broadly to anyone who has an interest in using the Internet. “With respect to this model, it is important for ICANN to increase the African voice. Implementation of the Africa strategy remains key to help leapfrog the DNS industry, by facilitating capacity development and conditions for the emergence of an Africa grown domain name industry and business,” Coskuner said.
Interestingly, ICANN has made frantic efforts to show its desire for the growth of internet community in the region:
Participation of Africa in the Internet Governance
The Africa strategy was the first regional strategy for ICANN to be developed in 2012, as a tool for engaging with the continent.
The strategy itself was crafted by the African community. It called for better participation of Africa in policy development at ICANN, and an effective presence of ICANN in Africa.
Also, the strategy indicated capacity building as a key factor in transforming African DNS ecosystem into a thriving one which supports the Internet economy and uptake in the continent.
A recent development for the Internet sphere in Africa has been the delegation and launch of .africa domain name.
This delegation has helped toward molding an Africa identity in the Internet and also was widely covered in the media both regionally and globally, drawing attention to the business opportunities created within and through the DNS marketplace.
ICANN wishes to see more of these partnerships in the continent, helping develop Africa’s participation both economically and socially in the Internet.
ICANN has also spearheaded a project for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) to enable people in Africa to use domain names in their local languages and scripts.
As part of this ongoing project, ICANN has been organizing IDN workshops throughout Africa to assist in the development and promotion of a multilingual Internet.
Report on the Africa Domain Name System
During ICANN59, there will be a public presentation launching the final report of the Africa Domain Name System market study commissioned by ICANN.
The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses in the Domain Name Service (DNS) sector in Africa and develops recommendations on how to advance the industry to better utilize the opportunities available and address identified challenges.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, ensuring the network's stable and secure operation.