The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced a global Grant Program that will enable innovators in Kenya to access a fund worth $10 million (KSh 1.6 billion).
The ICANN Grant Program will support projects that foster an inclusive and transparent approach to developing stable, easy-to-use, secure Internet infrastructure solutions that support the Internet’s unique identifier systems. This will be the first phase cycle of grants that will distribute a total of $210 million (KSh 33.6 billion).
According to the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), Internet connectivity continues to increase worldwide, particularly in developing countries like Kenya. International Telecommunication Union (ITU), notes that an estimated 5.3 billion of the world’s population use the Internet as of 2022, a growth rate of 6.1% over 2021.
“With the rapid evolution of emerging technologies, businesses and security models, it is critical that the Internet’s unique identifier systems continue to evolve,” said Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO, ICANN.
“The ICANN Grant Program offers a new avenue to further those efforts by investing in projects that are committed to and support ICANN’s vision of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet that fosters inclusion amongst a broad, global community of users.”
The application cycle for the first $10 million in grants will open in March 2024. ICANN will begin accepting grant applications on 25th March 2024. The application window will remain open until 24th May 2024. A complete list of eligibility criteria can be found here.
Once the application window closes, all applications are subject to admissibility and eligibility checks. An Independent Application Assessment Panel will review admissible and eligible applications and the tentative timeline to announce the grantees of the first cycle is in January 2025.
Potential applicants will have several opportunities to learn more about the Call for Proposals and ask ICANN Grant Program staff members questions through question-and-answer webinar sessions in the coming months.