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A Preview of the ICANN80 Policy Forum

6 March 2024

The upcoming ICANN80 Policy Forum is set to take place from 10–13 June 2024 in the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda, at the Kigali Convention Centre. Rwanda is notable in Africa for its advances in the digital economy, exemplified by its innovative initiatives fostering tech innovation and digital infrastructure development.

Organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and led by the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, this four-day meeting will delve into critical issues facing the Internet ecosystem. At the forefront of discussions will be preparations for the next round of the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program. With a focus on Internationalized Domain Names and the Applicant Support Program, participants will explore ways to foster inclusivity and accessibility in the domain name space, ensuring that the Internet remains a truly global resource.

Another highlight of the meeting will be the ongoing dialogue surrounding access to gTLD registration data and the mitigation of Domain Name System abuse. As Internet usage continues to soar globally, safeguarding against abuse and ensuring the transparency of registration data are paramount to maintaining trust and security online. Participants will engage in collaborative efforts to develop effective strategies to address these challenges head-on.

In addition to these substantial discussions, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and Rwanda's Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Innovation will host a High-Level Government Meeting preceding the ICANN80 Policy Forum, which will be chaired by Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation. This gathering serves as a reaffirmation of the crucial role governments play in the ICANN ecosystem. By fostering dialogue and collaboration between governments and other stakeholders, the GAC aims to ensure that policy decisions align with the public interest and promote the stability and security of the Internet.

The ICANN80 Policy Forum in Kigali represents a unique opportunity for stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to come together and shape the future of Internet governance. With significant issues, such as inclusivity, security, and transparency, on the agenda, participants will play a vital role in charting the course for a more resilient and equitable digital future.

The last ICANN Public Meeting held in Africa was in June 2019 and ICANN is looking forward to returning to the continent this year.

As the countdown to ICANN80 begins, anticipation is high for the meaningful discussions, collaborations, and decisions that will emerge from this meeting. Stay tuned for updates and insights as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of Internet governance together.


Sagbo Pierre Dandjinou

Sagbo Pierre Dandjinou

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Africa