Technology

Safety concerns now cast doubt on Nairobi internet conference

Veiled protestors hold the flag of Somali rebel group al Shabaab during a demonstration outside the Jamia Mosque in Kenya's capital Nairobi. Reuters
Veiled protestors hold the flag of Somali rebel group al Shabaab during a demonstration outside the Jamia Mosque in Kenya's capital Nairobi. Reuters 

Unease following the arrest of radical Islamic preacher Abdullah al-Faisal threatens to jeopardise Kenya’s chances of hosting a key global meeting to discuss the future of the internet.

Organisers of the March conference, initially planned for the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), are currently evaluating their options following recommendations made by consultants sent to the country last week to assess the suitability of the city to hold the meeting.

A logistics nightmare could be on the cards for organisers for the upcoming Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) conference after stakeholders maintained that the fallout following violent protests were not indicative of the true security situation in the country.“

Going by trends from other meets, we are expecting a total 1,500 delegates. We have had just 340 registrations online, but we expect the bulk of delegates to register onsite,” said Joseph Kiragu, administrative manager at KENIC, the local organization that is hosting the event.