East African Internet Forum Statement on ICANN Evolution and Reform (Nairobi Declaration)
(Transmitted 26 August 2002)

August 26, 2002

Dear Dr. Stuart Lynn,

It is our pleasure to send to you, under cover of this letter, the Nairobi Declaration. We are submitting this to you on behalf of the first East African Internet Forum (EAIF) organizers, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the Telecommunications Service Providers Organization of Kenya (TESPOK) and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU). As you can see this declaration is supported by 10 leading organizations in Africa, including 7 pan-African organizations who participated in the Forum.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. We hope to see you again soon in Africa.

Kind regards,

EAIF under the Chairmanship of Mr. Richard Bell (TESPOK) and jointly co-sponsored by CCK, TESPOK and ATU


cc: Nancy J. Victory
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
United States Department of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room 4898
Washington, D.C. 20230

Paul Twomey
Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Chair

First East African Internet Forum
6-8th August Nairobi, Kenya

Statement of Nairobi
On the participation of Africa in the process of the ICANN

Considering the rapid adoption and adaptation of the Internet in Africa and the key role the private sector is playing in driving this process;

Considering that the Africa continent is emerging quickly in the Internet and e-commerce arena, and thereby is impacted by and benefits from the process of formulation of the policies governing the standards, norms and protocol issues of the naming and numbering of the Internet;

Considering that the anchoring of the African continent in the current globalisation process depends on its effective participation in the construction of the information society, including the Internet and e-commerce, in which it should bring its contributions and specificities;

Considering that ICANN was incorporated in 1998 for ensuring the coordination of the Internet’s identifiers for domain names, IP address numbers, protocol parameter and port numbers, as well as the stable operation of the Internet's root server system on the one hand, and guaranteeing that contributions and needs of the global Internet communities are reflected on the other hand;

Reinforcing the private-public partnership, with private sector leadership and responsibility in innovation and development of the Internet, and the important role of governments in ensuring their respective public interest objectives;

Recognizing ICANN as the organization that encompasses government, private sector, technical community, intellectual property community, and any other interested participants, to ensure strong and global coordination of the functions related to the global domain name system;

Recognizing and appreciating the efforts of the ICANN and its bodies of support to make effective internationalization and geographical diversity of utmost priority;

Conscious that the many emergent African regional organizations (for example, AfrICANN, AfriNIC, AfTLD, AfriSPA, AfNOG, along with informal coordination) attest efforts and interest of Africa for the questions relating to the international coordination of the internet resources which are the domain names, the envelope addresses of names and numbers;

Conscious of the importance of information exchange and knowledge sharing between the different sectors necessary to ensure continued growth and development of the Internet;

Therefore the participants of the First East-African Internet Forum and ACT 2002 reiterate their support for and appreciation to ICANN as the appropriate model for the necessary private sector driven organization for the coordination of naming and numbering issues for the domain name system. Furthermore, the participants warmly welcome the initiatives of ICANN, and its CEO that recognize the importance of (a) participating in regional meetings and (b) furthering exchange and communication by establishing an outreach program of education and capacity building around the core ICANN functions for Africa.

In particular, and with respect to the foregoing, the African Internet community:

1. Notes the importance of the outreach in Africa to ensure that the region is current on information and public awareness. The specific situation of Africa requires information and public awareness campaigns in order to make better known the ICANN and the stakes of the international coordination of the Internet’s resources;

2. Is pleased with the installation of special program items with a view to facilitate the participation of a greater number of Africans in the statutory meetings and its working parties;

3. Calls upon African governments participation in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) as the appropriate framework for putting forward African interests;

4. Strongly advocates the respective African Internet communities to participate in appropriate groups within the ICANN framework, recognizing that Africa’s interests will only be heard if Africa participates;

5. Calls upon ICANN to assist in establishing a fund or helping to source funds to facilitate Africa’s participation in ICANN work and meetings;

6. Calls on appropriate regional bodies and ICANN to work closely together to pursue the African process, including the work of the ATU, AfriICANN, AfriNIC, AfTLD, AfriSPA, AfNOG, and any information coordination efforts);

7. Notes the importance of contribution to the development of the internet services in Africa by the training of the African specialists with a view to improving quality factor, the stability and the reliability of the systems of naming and internet addressing;

8. Notes the importance of translation in the principal languages of the continent of the handouts of the ICANN – in particular those relating to the policies and the technical procedures – as part of the outreach efforts in order to facilitate the comprehension and the participation of African Internauts.

9. Calls upon ICANN to assist in facilitating assistance in technical operations areas such as root servers, registries, registrars, UDRP providers, etc.

Fact in Nairobi on August 8th 2002

Participants of the Forum include:

1. African ISP Association (AfrISPA)
2. African Regional Internet Registry (AfriNIC)
3. The African ICANN Group (AfrICANN)
4. African Top Level Domain Association (AfTLD)
5. African Network Operators Group (AfNOG)
6. African Computing & Telecomms (ACT 2002)
7. African Telecommunications Union (ATU)
8. Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK)
9. Telecommunications Service Providers Organization of Kenya (TESPOK)
10. Uganda telecommunications LTD (UTL)

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