ICANN opens door to Africa
Media release: 29 March 2007
Internet users from three of ICANN's five global regions will now have direct input to the organization thanks to the creation of three Regional At-Large Organisations (RALOs).
Memorandums of Understanding creating RALOs for Africa and Europe were signed today by ICANN and member groups of the RALOs in a special ceremony at ICANN's 28th Public Meeting in Lisbon. The third RALO — Asia-Australia-Pacific — was announced and will be formally signed at the 30th Public Meeting to be held later this year.
“This is a fantastic day for Internet users in Africa, in Europe, and in the Asia-Australia-Pacific region. The creation of RALOs gives average Internet users the chance to influence decisions that shape the security and stability of the Internet,” said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.
The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) of ICANN represents Internet users in ICANN.
"ICANN deals with issues that are technical but hugely important to Internet users. At-Large is the place to be if you want to participate — and RALOs provide direct input to us," said Jacqueline Morris, ALAC Chair from Trinidad and Tobago.
The first RALO, the Latin America - Caribbean Regional At-Large Organization was created at the 27th ICANN public meeting held in São Paulo in December 2006. Today's announcement means four of ICANN's five global regions have RALOs.
The people who RALOs represent are incredibly diverse. For example, groups from Africa taking part in today include a network of journalists based in Tanzania reporting on Internet issues (JUSTA-AFRICA), and Internet Society chapters from countries as diverse as Mali, Benin, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
European user groups participating include Internet Society chapters throughout Eastern and Western Europe, a network of science and Information and Communications Technology professionals in Germany, and academic professionals.
For more information on the creation of RALOs, click here.