The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is moving ahead immediately with plans to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent.
This is according to president Fadi Chehadé, who says: “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.”
Chehadé made his comments during the Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which drew Internet leaders from across the continent.
“We will have ICANN staff, at least one, in each of the six regions of Africa. North, South, East, West, Central and the Indian Ocean,” says 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 leader also says 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 says 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,” says Chehadé.