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). ICANN is a nonprofit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS).

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).

“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 March 25 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, 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 of 2025.