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A Look Back at Our Africa Engagement in 2017

18 December 2017

As the year comes to an end, we wanted to reflect on milestones achieved with the support of you, our community. Your dedication, relentless effort, and collaboration with us, ensured that the 2017 flagship events and meetings were not only successful, but also seamless.

2017 saw new initiatives that helped increase the capacity and awareness of specific stakeholder groups and promoted their meaningful participation in ICANN and the wider Internet Governance ecosystem. We also developed better collaboration with the regional economic blocks in Africa, participating in ECOWAS, CRASA, SATA, EACO and AUC meetings to further our regional engagement with governments.

Key Highlights of 2017

  • The First Capacity Building Workshop: In January, ICANN held the first high level Government Advisory Committee (GAC)'s workshop. It marked the culmination of our long planning and coordination efforts with various GAC members, the GAC Underserved Regions Working Group and the Government Engagement team. The workshop was the first of its kind and is now a model for other ICANN regions. Göran Marby attended this meeting during his inaugural visit to the region, as President and CEO of ICANN.org.
  • Workshop for the West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA): Inspired by the GAC workshop, WATRA requested a similar workshop for its members. It took place on 25 and 26 April. The event was hosted by the Liberian Telecommunication Authority and drew 82 participants. Africa Internet pioneers Prof. Nii Quaynor and Prof. Alex Corenthin were among the speakers.
  • Africa Internet Summit (AIS) –[21 May to 2 June in Nairobi, Kenya]: This year saw a few key sessions.
    • ICANN DAY – This has become a signature day at the AIS, dedicated to introducing the community and newcomers to the current work at ICANN. Current topics covered this year were: KSK Rollover, ICANN registrar accreditation process and an overview of the policy development processes.
    • Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Workshop: Organized to raise awareness for Africans to join the IDN working groups and promote African scripts online, such as the successful case of the Ethiopic script. We are pleased to report that new community members joined the Label Generation Rules Panel for the Latin script after this workshop. More will be organized next year.
    • Academic Outreach: We seized the opportunity of having visiting ICANN staff in the region, to further our engagement with academia, please read our recent blog here.

  • ICANN59 in Johannesburg, South Africa: The policy forum witnessed a large turnout from the African community. We look forward to this increasing the number of Africans effectively participating in the new Empowered Community framework. To learn more, read our ICANN59 blog.
  • Africa DNS Market Study: As part of our outreach efforts, to support and develop the regional DNS Industry, we released the first Report on the Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Market in June.
  • The Africa DNs Forum turned Five: This marked an important milestone in our combined efforts with our partners to further the growth of the DNS and Internet industry in Africa. Africa DNS Industry players used the event to praise the African Internet community efforts throughout the years. For more on this, read our blog here.

Going into 2018

We will continue to further advance our engagement and capacity building by:

  • Partnering with existing regional events and platforms, like the Africa Internet Summit and the Africa DNS Forum.
  • Leveraging topical webinars and our existing online platforms such as ICANN learn, to boost our reach and enhance our capacity-building initiatives.
  • Initiating and/or confirming Memorandums of Understanding with the institutions in charge of regulation of the Telecommunications and digital economy in the African region.

At the same time, to help us evaluate our performance and plan ahead, we are asking for your continued input and even greater involvement in ICANN by Africa's technical community.

Once again, we want to thank you - our community, for your dedication and support. We wish you all Happy Holidays.

Merci, Asante Sana, Akpe Kaka, Shukran, Obligado, Nagode, Thank you…


Sagbo Pierre Dandjinou

Sagbo Pierre Dandjinou

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Africa