The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) "coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Internet's underlying address book, the Domain Name System (DNS?). The IANA functions include:

  1. the coordination of the assignment of technical protocol parameters including the management of the address and routing parameter area (ARPA) top-level domain;
  2. the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management such as generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domains;
  3. the allocation of Internet numbering resources; and
  4. other services.

ICANN performs the IANA functions under a U.S. Government contract." (ICANN website, accessed 2015-10-13)

ICANN "is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. These services were originally performed under U.S. Government contract by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and other entities. ICANN now performs the IANA function." (ICANN website, accessed 2007)

ICANN has responsibility for regulations governing use of internationalised domain names.

Government Advisory Committee

" ICANN receives input from governments through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC's key role is to provide advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements." (ICANN GAC site)

GAC members include representatives of over 100 governments (including many from Africa), and the African Union Commission (among many others). GAC observers from Africa include: African Telecommunications Union?; ECOWAS/CEDEAO; NEPAD; and UNECA.


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