(left to right): : Tarek Kamel, Kris Senanu, Hon. Joe Mucheru, Ngene Gituku (Chair -CA) Mike Silber, Sally Costerton, Eng. Victor Kyalo (PS MoICT) Nii Quaynor, Christopher Kemei (Director - Licensing Compliance & Standards – CA) Pierre Dandjinou
On 24 May 2016, ICANN celebrated the opening of the first African engagement office in Nairobi, Kenya. We were overwhelmed by the warm reception from the Kenyan Government and community. Community members from across the African continent traveled to be part of this important event.
The past 18 years have witnessed efforts to introduce and develop the Internet across Africa. ICANN's Africa strategy, developed in 2012, recognizes the strides made by African pioneers such as Nii Quaynor. These advocates have worked tirelessly to prepare Africa for the digital age. Over the past three years, the dedication and goodwill of ICANN community and staff members have been instrumental in implementing the Africa strategy. We hope to continue on this path, increasing our institutional engagement and outreach – key elements of ICANN's Africa strategy.
Today, we recognize Africa's increased awareness and participation in ICANN and the greater Internet ecosystem. This trend culminated at the last ICANN Public Meeting, ICANN55, held in Marrakech, Morocco. Of about 2,000 total participants, over 900 participants came from Africa. During that meeting, the ICANN Board of Directors and senior leadership announced the opening of the first ICANN engagement office in Africa. The Nairobi office was to support the work of the Global Stakeholder Engagement team in Africa – promoting effective institutional engagement and facilitating capacity building in the domain name space industry in the African region.
This week, ICANN inaugurated the Nairobi office. We were humbled by the enthusiasm for ICANN demonstrated by the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Communications Authority of Kenya, Kenya Network Information Center (KeNIC), and local and regional communities.
We look forward to deepening our engagement with African stakeholders, from governments to the private sector. Capacity building is key to Africa becoming an effective contributor to the Internet ecosystem. On behalf of ICANN, we want to reiterate our commitment to Africa. We urge our stakeholders to stay active and engage meaningfully in ICANN to ensure that Africa's voice is heard and her influence felt.
Lastly, we want to acknowledge the efforts of the ICANN team and community in making this event a success.