Kigali Hosts ICANN80 Policy Forum, Pioneering Internet Governance in Rwanda

ICANN80 in Kigali unites global stakeholders to enhance DNS security, expand language support, and improve internet governance.

 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its 80th Public Meeting, the ICANN80 Policy Forum, from 10–13 June 2024 at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. This event, hosted in collaboration with the Republic of Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation, marks the first ICANN meeting to take place in Rwanda. This underscores ICANN’s commitment to fostering global participation and collaboration in the governance of the Internet.

The ICANN80 Policy Forum convened stakeholders from around the world, including representatives from governments, businesses, civil society, academia, and the technical community. Over four days, participants engaged in discussions on key issues affecting the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), including the need for improved DNS security, expanding the DNS to support more languages and scripts, and the evolution of domain name registration policies. The forum aims to foster international collaboration and set the stage for future developments in Internet governance.

Prior to ICANN80, the High-Level Government Meeting (HLGM) is scheduled for 9 June 2024. Chaired by the Hon. Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation, the HLGM highlighted the critical role of governmental bodies in shaping ICANN policies and initiatives. This meeting, led by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, focused on promoting governmental engagement and fostering effective collaboration, to align and enhance global Internet governance efforts.

We are excited to host the international community in Kigali for the ICANN80 Policy Forum and High-Level Government Meeting. The Policy Forum will lead efforts to maintain a secure, stable, and interoperable internet, and set the stage for future developments and emerging trends in global internet governance. Our contributions as the local host for ICANN80 give us an opportunity to demonstrate our critical contributions towards global internet governance and the advancement of meaningful internet connectivity for all.

Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT & Innovation, Rwanda

ICANN80 is a vital platform for advancing global digital inclusivity and strengthening cybersecurity measures. It will facilitate robust multistakeholder engagement and discussions on critical initiatives like the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program, particularly focusing on Internationalized Domain Names and the Applicant Support Program. The HLGM will further emphasize the essential role of governments in our collaborative efforts to address challenges such as data privacy and DNS abuse.

Sally Costerton , Interim President and CEO, ICANN 

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