ICANN to appoint six Africa representatives

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY WINFRED KAGWE

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers president, Fadi Chehadé, has said he is moving ahead immediately with plans to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent.

The organisation responsible for Internet Protocol address space allocation and co-ordination said it will have at least one representative in each of the six regions of Africa - North, South, East, West, Central and the Indian Ocean.

Chehadé said he would like to see a dramatic increase in the number of accredited Domain Name Registrars on the 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.

“ICANN used to say if you want to participate in Internet governance come to ICANN, we have changed that, now ICANN is coming to the stakeholders. We’re not waiting for you to come,” said Chehadé during the Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two-day meeting ended on Friday after drawing Internet leaders from across the continent.“I want African on-ramps into the ICANN structures. I will give you the on-ramps, but you need to climb them.”

“This is about us moving the needle forward. Africa will not wait,” said Chehadé.The two-day event in Addis Ababa was attended by some two hundred people, including ministers and other government representatives, leaders from the African business community, civil society and from ICANN structures in Africa; The Africa Top Level Domains Organization and African Regional At Large Organisation.

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.

Chehadé reiterated ICANN’s commitment to help implement the three-year strategy in coordination with our global and regional partners in Africa.