African participants at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting in Sao Paulo have formed a unified body that will articulate issues from participants drawn from various sectors on the African continent.

Africa Regional At Large Organisation (AFRALO) will unite users wishing to articulate their issues to ICANN. AFRALO is expected to link Africa to the global At Large Organisation within ICANN.

Alice Munyua, a member of ICANN´s At Large Organisation says AFRALO will help Africa identify their peculiar issues and call attention to the global body.

Through the regional body, African users can identify their challenges and design ways to deal with them. For instance, "if the fibre optic cable is constructed, then more people can access the internet and then we can deal with other problems other than access," said Munyua.

With the growing mobile telephony and cutting edge technology that provides internet via mobile, Munyua says AFRALO will ensure that African voices are heard. Though not officially launched, preparations of a Memorandum of Understanding are in top gear.

AFRALO is expected to face challenges of language and culture, multiplicity and diversity of digital challenges. Some countries are deemed to have developed ICT infrastructure while others have not.

Munyua expects all countries to meet and point out issues that affect all sectors and the changes they would like to see. The country representatives/ liasons will be seconded to AFRALO which will then link with the global body.She however recognises that it will be hard to reach consensus because of the diverse interests but promises that AFRALO will work hard to adequately represent African users.

Highway Africa News Agency