Remembering Dakar: An ICANN with an African taste

ICANN has not yet assimilated Africa fully and neither has Africa assimilated ICANN but there are good reasons to believe we are headed in the right direction towards assimilation. The organization is evolving faster than we had imagined, from an American nonprofit into a true international organization. It's time for Africa to embrace ICANN and make it even more international!

The ICANN Dakar meeting was a good bonding session between ICANN and Africa. Africa was able to bring its issues out in a clear and engaging manner to the ICANN community and Board, many Africans participated in various ICANN discussion  groups; AFRALO, representing individual African internet users, had its day in the sun as ALS(At Large Structures) representing 15 African countries attended the ICANN Dakar meeting. Many Africans interested in internet governance, from governments, civil society, academia had their first ICANN fellowship at the ICANN 42 meeting in Dakar.

ICANN needs Africa's participation to ensure the stability of the internet. African users are a part of the global internet community and participation that brings out our own unique set of challenges regarding the DNS and IP addressing issues is critical to the stability of the global internet and the multistakeholder process that drives the internet. Our participation also ensures greater global legitimacy for ICANN.

We need ICANN's help more in managing and developing our internet infrastructure as more of our populations find internet indispensable in their daily lives. There's need to ensure African internet resources-Domain name system and IP addresses- are available, stable, secure, open to innovation and competition, well governed through best practices as far policy oversight is concerned and that African internet leaders can participate in the management of these critical resources at the global decision making table table.

So hopefully, Dakar is the catalyst for greater future African involvement at ICANN  and DCA welcomes that. It's now time to contribute our  perspective and concerns on the various policy issues affecting us and help give the community, this multistakeholder internet community, an African voice too.