ICANN has in the last few months been traversing the globe in a move to globalize its services, in his maiden speech when he joined ICANN, Fade Chehade promised “I am all about inclusion, and inclusion starts by stepping out of the organization and looking at it from the outside, not being inside and seeing everything our way”. His aim was to decentralize ICANN and globalize its services.
In his speech at the African Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting at the UNECA Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6-8 March 2013 the ICANN CEO reiterated the need for more focus in building strategies that would empower the continent and especially the ICANN Africa strategy.
He said that the strategy was indeed not an ICANN strategy for Africa but an African strategy for ICANN, adding that ICANN wants to go to the people. These open public meetings are aimed at fostering engagement among Internet organizations and all stakeholder groups in the Arab and the African world. They offer the opportunity to share best practices of successful multi-stakeholder models and discuss means to enhance effective participation in global Internet Governance fora.
The ICANN CEO also talked about increasing the number of ICANN accredited registrars to 25 by the end of the year saying “ We made a public commitment, that I may regret, that we will try as fast as we can by Durban to at least have some initial answers to facilitate this for the African community, because hopefully with your help and your assistance within a year we won’t be saying we have five accredited registrars, we’ll be saying we have 25.”
The meeting was attended by regional leaders from government, the private sector and civil society and brought together stakeholders from all over the continent.