What is the Coalition for Digital Africa?
The Coalition for Digital Africa is an initiative launched by ICANN to bring together organizations united in their commitment to expand the Internet in Africa and support the development of Africa’s digital economy. The Coalition promotes innovation and encourages entrepreneurial efforts aimed at strengthening the Internet infrastructure, building technical capacity across the continent, and enabling people to use the Internet using their own keyboards and scripts.
Why did ICANN launch the Coalition for Digital Africa?
A global public-benefit corporation, ICANN has a mandate to serve the Internet users of the world – the five billion people online today, as well as those who are not yet connected. ICANN believes now is the ideal time to build a coalition of organizations to expand the Internet and strengthen Internet infrastructure in Africa. Home to the youngest population on the planet –with 65 percent of the population under the age of 35 – Internet penetration in Africa grew from 1.2% in 2000 to 43% in 2022. This explosive growth is driven by a digitally savvy, young, and educated urban workforce for whom the adoption and consumption of online services is second nature. ICANN is committed to ensuring that the Internet continues to grow safely in Africa, and in a stable manner, to bring communities, cultures, and economies together. This can only happen by creating an alliance among the various stakeholders who contribute to and influence the Internet ecosystem in Africa. Collaborating with partners across the continent, the Coalition for Digital Africa will be able to accomplish more than each organization could achieve on its own, thus creating workable responses to regional challenges and ultimately, serving the global public interest.
What is ICANN's role?
ICANN’s work is bound by its mission, focusing on the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN will serve as a Coalition member and provide the secretariat function. It also will be responsible for guiding and coordinating the process by which the group accomplishes its goals.
What are the goals and objectives of the Coalition for Digital Africa?
The overarching goal is to support the growth and sustainability of the African digital economy by ensuring a stable, resilient, and secure Internet. To achieve this, the Coalition for Digital Africa will roll out local activities in partnership with governments and other stakeholders, such as – offering capacity-building workshops, providing ad hoc advice on Internet matters, and supporting participation in multistakeholder policymaking processes.
What are the benefits of the Coalition for Digital Africa?
The Coalition for Digital Africa will multiply the benefits provided through each of the partnerships by enabling each organization to build specific capacities. Working together on each initiative, we can increase the rate of Internet access across Africa and achieve commonly desired outcomes, including: o More robust Internet and DNS infrastructures. o Enhanced Internet security in Africa. o Increased participation and contribution from Africa in multistakeholder policymaking processes at the national, regional, and global level.
Why is the Coalition for Digital Africa seeking partners?
Through collaborative partnerships, we are forming an alliance that is equipped to address common challenges more effectively. Working in coordination, we can avoid duplicative efforts and disseminate learning and information more broadly. Sharing resources and expertise, we will amplify outcomes as we tackle challenges such as Internet accessibility, infrastructure, affordability, content development, and capacity development.
Who will benefit from the Coalition for Digital Africa?
The Coalition will benefit the stakeholders that make up the Internet ecosystem in Africa—from access and content providers, to Internet service providers, to end users. The Coalition will create affinity among these groups to expand the Internet and advance meaningful connectivity across the continent, with the ultimate objective of bringing more Africans online.