Tuesday, March 28, 2006


By Rebecca Wanjiku

The last time ICANN held its meeting in Africa, there was a unanimous call for the internet oversight body to increase its outreach programs and presence in Africa.

Two years after Cape Town 2004, ICANN appointed an Egyptian, Baher Esmat as the Global partnership Liaison for Middle East, Ann-Rachel Inne from Niger as the Liaison for Africa, and will hold the next meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco.

For the North African country hosting the ICANN meeting will be a challenge as well as an opportunity to showcase their ICT prowess.

“We met the criteria set by ICANN to host meetings. We have good internet connection as well as tourist facilities,” said Hamida Benlemlih, project manager at the Moroccan telecommunication ministry.

According to Hamida, the meeting will give visitors a chance to see Morocco and witness the progress made in bridging the digital divide.

She admits that Morocco experiences a gap between the urban and rural areas in terms of ICT accessibility but notes that the government has made considerable progress. In Morocco, 4.5 million can access ICT out of a population of 32 million.