Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has chosen Kenya as its African home at a launch of its engagement office in Nairobi. The regional presence is directed towards deepening ICANN’s engagement with African governments and the private sector.
ICANN mandated to govern the internet could give a fresh breathe to the internet ecosystem in Kenya if the Communications Authority collaborates with the body. Statistics by Communications Authority estimate that Kenya’s mobile phone penetration stands at over 88% while Internet penetration stands at 82.6%, reaching about 35.5 million people making Kenya among the most connected population in the world.
Kenya also boasts one of the most active online populations on the continent with users increasing every day. The growing reach of the Internet coupled with the rapid spread of mobile phones and the wide diffusion of social media have immensely contributed to Kenya’s socio-economic development growth.
ICANN is dedicated to keeping the internet secure, stable and interoperable at the same time promoting competition and developing policy on internet. The organs mandate might not solve our current problems in terms of social media governance but their establishment is a stamp of approval to Kenya’s increasingly important role in the Internet ecosystem.
ICANN follows a multi-stakeholder model in which individuals; non-commercial stakeholder groups, industry, and governments play important roles in its community-based, consensus-driven, Internet policy-making approach. Its headquarters is based in Los Angeles, California USA, with two operational hubs in Istanbul, Turkey and Singapore. In addition to engagement offices in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Montevideo, Seoul, Washington, D.C and today Nairobi, Kenya to afford wider reach and accessibility
“Kenya has continued to work with regional bodies towards the growth of the Internet use in Africa and we are glad to have ICANN make Nairobi its first engagement office location for Africa. We believe that collaboration with ICANN will encourage investors in ICT to provide services from the Kenyan cyberspace through the hosting of root servers, Data centers, cloud services among others.” Said ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.
Communications Authority of Kenya chairman Mr.Ngene Gituku said ICANN’s regional presence in Africa and its choice of Kenya is a big boost to the ICT sector and further reasserts Kenya’s position as an ICT powerhouse.