ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has told African policymakers that he wants to make it easier for companies on the continent to become accredited registrars, saying he wants to grow the number five-fold in a year.
During a “Multistakeholder Internet Governance” meeting in Addis Ababa earlier this week, Chehade said he wants to see 20 more African registrars, in addition to the paltry five accredited today.
It can be hard for African firms to become accredited under ICANN’s rules due to assurances needed from banks and insurance companies, he said.
We committed to do our best. Dr Tarik Kamel and I made commitments yesterday. We will be talking to the African Development Bank, we will work with [the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa], we have relationships in the insurance industry. We will put our personal relationships — and I hope all of us cooperate on that — to change this.
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 ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa is slated for mid-July.
Chehade also told the audience that it didn’t make any sense that African domain registration money was flowing out of the continent due to the outdated registration practices of ccTLD operators there.
The speech largely focused on macro-policy issues of internet governance affecting the continent.
Naturalized American Chehade wore his Egyptian hat throughout, referring to Africans as “we”.
Listen to the whole 30 minutes here.