Beckstrom Calls For Greater Internet Access for Africans
Posted in: Domain Names at 25/10/2011 22:32
Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's President and Chief Executive Officer, said at the opening of the ICANN meeting in Dakar, Senegal, Monday that there is a real need to increase internet access across the African continent.
"There has been tremendous progress toward greater connectivity. In ten years, the number of internet users has grown 25-fold," said Beckstrom. "That is rapid growth, yet it still represents only 11.5 percent of the African population."
Beckstrom also reiterated ICANN's support for giving new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applicants from developing countries. Beckstrom said discussions will take place during the week on how to best provide financial and logistical support to applicants from developing countries.
"ICANN's global community is already taking steps to help needy applicants apply for new gTLDs," said Beckstrom. "A joint working group has spent many hours working on a proposal that the Board will consider this week on how best to provide that support."
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade told the conference that the internet is crucial for the growth of African economies.
He also said "the international makeup of ICANN's Board of Directors is crucial and provides legitimacy for its decisions."
The ICANN meeting will end on Friday with a meeting of the Board of Directors.