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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nigeria may host Internet community

Nigeria has sent a proposal to the global coordinating agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the hosting of Internet community in 2010, as one of ICANN’s public meetings.

ITRealms Online recalls that ICANN recently invited applications from interested countries to host the 2009 meeting in Europe and 2010 in Africa. Precisely, the public meeting for Africa has been scheduled to hold on February 7 through 12, 2010, thereby beating the deadline for submissions, which was October 15, 2008.

The success of Nigeria’s proposal sent in through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA), will pave the way for the first-ever hosting of such a meeting in the country.

Already, Nigeria has set up a Local Organising Committee (LOC) led by the Director of Licensing at NCC, Mrs. Mary Uduma.

This proposal, according to industry watchers was not surprising given Nigeria’s place among the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community, especially with the advent of democracy and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM).

Confirming this, the Regional Manager for Africa at ICANN, Ms Annel Rachel Inne, told ITRealms Online in an online conversation that yes, Nigeria has sent an Expression of Interest to host the 2010 meeting.

She said that ICANN’s meeting team will review the proposals and then do a site visit at the beginning of 2009.

She noted that in accordance with ICANN’s commitment to continuously improve in the management of meetings, and in response to requests for advanced planning, ICANN had called for Expressions of Interest to host meetings to be held in Europe on 25-30 October 2009, and in Africa on 7-12 February 2010.

The objective, she said, is to routinely provide advice on locations for meetings 12 months ahead of schedule, stressing that ICANN’s Public Meetings draw individuals from around the globe and attract a wide range of participants who follow Internet addressing and policy issues.

The meetings receive international media coverage and provide an ideal opportunity for participants, sponsors, and hosts to interact on key Internet issues.

She explained that organisations interested in the opportunity to host the Africa meeting in 2010 should review the full Request for Proposals before submitting an Expression of Interest.

“The specifications outlined in the Request for Proposals detail the anticipated required elements of an ICANN meeting and the minimum responsibilities of the hosting organization,” she said.

Inne said that all interested parties should submit a completed Expression of Interest Form via electronic mail (e-mail) to meeting@icann.org for consideration.

ICANN meetings constitute an essential part of ICANN’s global consensus-building, policy development, and outreach efforts. We encourage your institution/organisation to consider submitting an Expression of Interest Form.

Each year, she explained that ICANN holds three meetings in different regions around the world. Hence these meetings constitute an essential part of ICANN’s global consensus-building and outreach efforts. ICANN sets the regions in which it will hold its meetings, while proposals are solicited from organisations interested in hosting the ICANN Meeting, followed by the evaluation of the proposals and selection
of the host for each event.

“Regional support for a particular proposal is an important consideration. While the specifications outlined in this document detail the anticipated minimum required elements of an ICANN meeting and the minimum responsibilities of the hosting organization,” ICANN sources said.

However, the potential host is not responsible for the provision or cost of any services not listed in the specification document, but must disclose to ICANN any local laws or customs which might conflict with this specification.

Equally, ICANN will consider all elements of a proposal in making its decision but will pay special attention to the provision of basic or minimum requirements as specified in the call for expression of interest document.

ICANN advised that it is prefers for the meetings to be held in the main hotel where most of the delegates reside.

“This will minimise time and expenses spent on local transportation,” ICANN said, stressing that it’s on under exceptional circumstances; it will consider a separate meeting and hotel location if no alternative is available.

Elements such as convenience to international airports, personal safety of meeting participants, meeting space, network infrastructure, and ability of local hosts to meet their financial responsibilities will be considered by ICANN in making its selection.

Just as the local hosts must document in the proposal how their financial obligations will be funded.

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