Welcome to the online home of the African Regional At Large Organisation
This website is under construction. It will soon host the At-Large (individual Internet user community) portal for the Africa region, providing news, key resources, and interactive features for information sharing for individuals and end-user groups in the African region interested in ICANN and shaping the future of the Internet. The portal is part of ICANN At-Large’s ongoing effort to be more inclusive and responsive to end-users.
WHAT IS "AT-LARGE"?
"At-Large" is ICANN's (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) name for individual Internet users who want to be involved in issues that affect individuals' use of the Internet's domain name system. ICANN At-Large consists of an international "At-Large Advisory Committee" (ALAC) and user groups throughout the world working together to form five "Regional At-Large Organizations" (1 in each geographic region; "AFRALO" in Africa) that inform and involve the world's Internet end-users in issues that affect the future of the Internet. ICANN At-Large provides crucial contributions to ICANN's work on such matters as:
- guidance on how internationalised domain names ("local language" domain names) are implemented;
- how new top-level domains (i.e. .info, .name, .museum, etc.) are introduced;-
- How to manage the implementation of a new IP addressing system to make sure there are enough unique addresses so the Internet can grow without constraints or instability
These are just a few of the issues that affect individual users worldwide currently being worked on at ICANN. At-Large is also a leading voice for ICANN stakeholders on Internet Governance and issues related to WSIS follow-up, and helps raise awareness of key Internet resource issues that affect ICT development.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Groups in Africa involved in issues that affect individuals’ user of the Internet are encouraged to work together to inform and involve Africa’s user community in ICANN, as well as in other international fora that may help shape the future of the Internet. In Africa, the Moroccan Internet Society (in Morocco), Anais.AC (in Cameroon), the Sudan Internet Society (in Sudan) and the Internet Society Congo (in the DRC) were the first groups certified as “At-Large Structures.” Groups throughout Africa, and the rest of the world, that deal with individual Internet users' interests are encouraged to register and participate in ICANN by submitting a simple application form. Groups that meet the minimum requirements will be certified as "At-Large Structures."
If a group you are involved with wants to influence the decisions that shape the Internet, apply to be certified as an "At-Large Structure" and participate in ICANN decisions critical to the Internet's end users. “At-Large Structure” certification is free, easy, and done via email. Groups interested participating in ICANN At-Large are encouraged to complete an application available online and email it to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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WHY BECOME AN AT-LARGE STRUCTURE?
By being designated an At-Large Structure, your group gets:
- A recognized role in forming the policies that affect how individuals' use the Internet (ICANN is listening. Make sure your voice is heard!);
- Quick and easy access to first-hand information on what's happening in ICANN and why it matters to end-users;
- Opportunities to provide your members education on ICANN's work and Internet developments;
- Participation in building your region's At-Large organization (RALO), and opportunities to network with other groups in your country and region as At-Large grows;
- Representation in ICANN at the regional and international level, plus your group's members will be eligible to serve on important regional and international decision-making bodies in ICANN;
- A free web page and other Internet-based mechanisms to support your group's work;
- Opportunities for grant funding to support some of your group's activities (ALAC is applying for grant funding).
At-Large Structures are wholly independent from ICANN. Certification simply recognizes that a group meets ICANN's criteria for involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level in ICANN activities, and for promoting individuals' understanding of, and participation in, ICANN.
WHAT TYPE OF GROUPS CAN BE AT-LARGE STRUCTURES?
Any group that supports individuals' ability to share their views on ICANN issues, and that meets the few simple criteria listed at <www.alac.icann.org/applications/>, can apply to be an At-Large Structure. Types of groups that have been (or have expressed interest in being) designated At-Large Structures include:
- Professional societies (e.g. engineers, attorneys, etc.)
- Academic and research organizations
- Community networking groups
- Consumer advocacy groups
- Internet Society chapters
- Computer user organizations
- Internet civil society groups
GROUPS CERTIFIED AS “AT-LARGE STRUCTURES” IN AFRICA
Moroccan Internet Society
Sudan Internet Society
South African Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-ZA) (South Africa)
African Youth Foundation
Journalists Union for Science & Technology Advancement in Africa (JUSTA-AFRICA)
APPLICATIONS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
To help with At-Large organising, and to work with user groups worldwide in advising ICANN on pending issues of interest to end users, ICANN created the 15-member Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) in 2003. Current ALAC members from Africa are Pierre Dandjinou (based in Benin), Clement Dzidonu (based in Ghana), and Sunday Folayan (based in Nigeria). They can be reached by sending an email to <email@example.com>. For more information, or if you have questions about joining At-Large, send an email to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
You can find a lot of useful information about what’s happening with Internet Names and Numbers from these sites: