As Africa gets closer to acquiring its own top-level domain name, called dotAfrica, an African of Nigerian descent has been nominated into the ICANN, a move widely anticipated to enable the continent achieve broad representation at the global Internet community.
ICANN’s 2011 Nominating Committee (NomCom) Adam Peake announced Lanre Ajayi’s nomination yesterday into the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) council of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The global Internet community is also responsible for managing the Internet Protocol address spaces and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries worldwide, in addition to maintaining registries of Internet protocol identifiers and manages the top-level domain name space, which includes the operation of root name servers.
The dotAfrica TLD is a newly proposed gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) for the promotion of African business, people and culture on the Internet. The African Union strongly believes that the introduction of the dotAfrica gTLD will create an attractive regional home for the Pan-African Internet community.
Ajayi, the immediate former president of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and Chief Executive Officer of PiNet Informatics, will now work from the ICANN Headquarters in California United States with seven other personalities selected from across the globe.
ICANN’s primary principles of operation is to preserve the operational stability of the Internet, promote competition, achieve broad representation of the global Internet community and develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.
Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) said Ajayi’s appointment means a new dawn for Nigeria as it gets recognition for its advances on Internet penetration.
Currently, Nigeria has a 16.1 percent Internet penetration while Africa as a whole has some 140 million internet users with a penetration of 13.5 percent.
Nigeria has about 23 million Internet users, according to the ITU with and ICT contributing to about 4 percent on its GDP. Nigeria is also moving to have more than 70 million Nigerians online by the end of 2012 from its population of some 150 million nationals. The federal state is also lobbying for all government agencies to migrate to .ng domain.
Ajayi was listed as one of the icons of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country in a compendium compiled in 2004 and was named the Nigerian ICT Personality of the year 2007.
Ajayi is a council member of Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and has also served at the council of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) as the chairman of Research and Statistics committee.