ICANN Launches Initiative to Advance Africa’s Digital Transformation

Digital Africa Coalition Collaborating for Greater Internet Access, Connectivity

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today launched the Digital Africa Coalition, focused on expanding the Internet around the world. Africa. Established by ICANN, the Coalition is an alliance of like-minded organizations committed to building a robust and secure Internet infrastructure to bring more Africans online.

ICANN logo (PRNewsphoto/ICANN)

It is home to the youngest population on the planet, with 70 percent under the age of 30. Africa has one of the fastest growing Internet penetration rates in the world. Internet connectivity is growing by leaps and bounds—from 1.2 percent in 2000 to 43 percent in 2021—driven by a young and educated urban workforce with digital literacy that makes accessing and using online services second nature.

“The Digital Africa Coalition provides an opportunity for new ways of collaboration and cooperation between various stakeholders,” said ICANN President and CEO Gӧran Marby. “Although ICANN is the initiator of the coalition, its success depends on joint synergistic work with other organizations – whether local, regional or international – to strengthen it. of Africa Internet infrastructure, increasing Internet access speed, strengthening Internet security and increasing the level of participation Africa in the preparation of multilateral policy”.

The coalition will further promote innovation aimed at building technical capacity and promote entrepreneurship by enabling people to access the Internet using their own languages ​​and scripts. Although officially launched during a press conference at the 17th annual Internet Governance Forum, the Coalition has already begun working toward its goals.

Making the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure Africa more robust to respond to rapid growth, the Coalition announced the installation of an ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) cluster. Kenya last month. Another cluster is planned to be built in the second place Africa next year. These clusters allow regional Internet requests to be answered within the region rather than depending on networks and servers in other parts of the world. IMRS clusters will also reduce the impact of potential cyber attacks Africa.

“The launch of the coalition brings us one step closer to strengthening the Internet infrastructure Africa. The coalition provides an important tool to ensure better protected DNS and a more secure Internet infrastructure Africa” said Mr. John Omo, Secretary General, African Telecommunications Union. Noting further that the creation of the Coalition will play an important role in increasing trust in many of the online systems that are now mainstream, he also looks forward to the growing penetration of the Internet on the continent. Africa from the current 43% to a globally competitive level.

The coalition’s focus is on creating meaningful connections everywhere Africa. The coalition will begin work to make the internet more compatible Africa creating opportunities to enable digital inclusion and drive local content and business growth. Key to this effort is Universal Acceptance, or UA, which ensures that all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of length or script, are used by all Internet-connected applications, devices, and systems. People who have already connected to UA, and those who will join in the future, can connect over the internet and access local content in the languages ​​and scripts of their choice.

One way the coalition will address this is through a project led by the Association of African Universities, which aims to make email and other systems within higher education UA-ready. This is an important step towards providing an Internet that is both useful and empowering for all people.

“This is an important and positive initiative Africa. Improving the technical capabilities of higher education institutions across the continent is essential for digital Africa” he said Olusola Bandele Oyewole, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities. “We are excited to be a part of this journey to enable African Internet users to be part of a truly global, inclusive and multilingual Internet.”

The Digital Africa Coalition includes governments, regional and international organizations and the local Internet community. Early partners of the coalition include the Africa Information Network Center, AfRegistrar Association, African Top Level Domain, African Telecommunications Union, Association of African Universities, Française pour le Nommage Internet en Cooperation, International Telecommunications Union-Development Sector and Network Startup Resource Center. .

More information is available here www.coalitionfordigitalafrica.africa.


ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To contact another person on the Internet, you need to enter an address – name or number on your computer or other device. This address must be unique, so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers worldwide. ICANN was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public benefit corporation and community with participants from around the world.



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