In collaboration with other organizations including AFTLD, ICANN launched the Coalition for Digital Africa on 1st December 2022, an alliance of global and regional groups that share the same values – a commitment to one free, open, and universal Internet, and to ensuring access for the next billion Internet users.
The mission of the Coalition for Digital Africa is to bring more Africans online by supporting the development of a robust and secure Internet infrastructure, including the unique identifier systems, in Africa.
The overarching goals of the Coalition are to support the development of the Internet infrastructure to foster the growth and sustainability of Africa’s digital economy, and to promote the digital transformation of Africa. In joining the Coalition for Digital Africa, members of the Coalition shall commit to collaborate and contribute resources to the Coalition’s activities and to fulfill its mission.
The members of the Coalition agree to these guiding principles:
Keeping the Internet open, interoperable, and secure – The power of the Internet comes from being a single, open and interoperable Internet that is easily accessible globally and locally, to anybody, anywhere, at any time.
Creating the building blocks for meaningful connectivity – Enabling full use of the benefits of the Internet and easing barriers to help ensure that people who are already connected, and will be connected, can communicate over the Internet and access local content in their preferred languages and scripts. This provides populations with access to information and knowledge, and enables cultural and linguistic diversity.
Fully participating in multistakeholder Internet policy development – Working together in an ecosystem based on voluntary participation, best practices, cooperation, and trust, the multistakeholder model engages stakeholders from different backgrounds, functions, and geographies. This ensures that the engineers, policymakers, and others who need to be involved, are at the table, developing workable policies, so that as the Internet grows, it remains open, secure and interoperable.
Capacity development at the individual and institutional levels to provide specialized skills and education – Sharing expertise in the technical functioning of the Internet, the security of the Domain Name System (DNS), the policy and operational aspects of the country code top-level domains, as well as the routing system, with relevant stakeholders in Africa helps to ensure the continuation of a stable, secure, and resilient Internet. Investing in capacity development is an investment that will lead to dividends in the enormous economic potential of the continent.