The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has launched its first African office in Nairobi.
The office is expected to support and increase ICANN’s institutional engagement and outreach in Africa, to better serve the region.
Nairobi was chosen by consensus across the African community due to the tangible role it has played in the Internet ecosystem over the years.
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer — a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other.
ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without coordination, there wouldn’t be one global Internet.
ICT secretary Joe Mucheru said that the government recognises and supports efforts made by ICANN in ensuring the growth and development of the Internet.
“Kenya has continued to work with regional bodies towards the growth of Internet use in Africa and we are glad to have ICANN make Nairobi its first engagement office location for Africa,” Mr Mucheru said.
“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 centres and cloud services, among others.” Other than Kenya, ICANN engagement offices are in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Montevideo, Seoul and Washington D.C.
Its headquarters are in Los Angeles, with two operational hubs in Istanbul, Turkey and Singapore. Ngene Gituku, the Communications Authority of Kenya chairman, 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.
“As a regulator of the industry we are delighted that Kenya has been chosen to take a front row seat in matters of Internet policy,’’ he said.