Ghana’s Nii Quaynor, a leading African Internet figure and the head of the Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG), has, alongside other stakeholders in Africa’s Internet community, revealed an initiative aimed at improving the continent’s involvement in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) multi-stakeholder model.
This will help bring about a dramatic increase in Africa’s involvement on the Internet.
Quaynor and his team presented their plan to the corporation at its 45th public meeting held in Toronto, Canada. The working group was formed after the encouragement of ICANN president and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, for Internet professionals from Africa to have a stronger input in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model.
“When we met three months ago at the ICANN meeting in Prague, I felt a sense of frustration at our inability to come together and move the African agenda forward. It’s incredible what this working group has achieved in such a short period of time by engaging with many concerned groups and individuals through the multi-stakeholder process,” Chehadé stated.
Quaynor said that a bottom-up, open and public process was used by the organization in coming up with the initiative.
“We think this plan will lead to dramatically increased African participation in ICANN and greater presence for the organization on the African continent,” he said.
He stated that the thoughtful plan was prepared with contributions, support and inputs gotten from ICANN’s African community, Africa’s Regional Registry for Internet Number Resources (AFRINIC) and other reputable organizations in Africa that play prominent roles in maintaining internet ecosystem in Africa.
Tarek Kamel, senior advisor to ICANN President, hailed the new approach that the organization is taking to Africa.
“This plan is based on capacity building, business development, specifically developing the Domain Name System (DNS) business in Africa and ensuring inclusion,” he said.
The initiative that has a timeline of 36 months was titled “ICANN’s New Approach to Africa” and presents clear goals and milestones, in addition to an action plan for the first 12 months. It is expected to bring about appreciable improvement in the continent with Internet users who currently represent some 6 percent of global Web users.