DocConnectAfrica (DCA) project, which intends to manage and implement the “.africa” top level domain (GLD) if mandated by ICANN, has stated that it would work with the continent’s country code domains and help enhance their uptake and use.
While attending the recent ICANN-42 meeting held in Dakar, Senegal from October 19 to 21, 2011, Ms Sophia Bekele, DCA executive director, invited ccTLDs to partner with DCA to enhance adoption and use of local internet domains.
Ms Bekele said that the partnership with African ccTLDs would ensure synergy of efforts in areas such as policy development, involvement of various communities, technical expertise, capacity building, and cross-marketing at a local level and other areas of interest to make .africa a success based on a resounding win-win outcome for everybody.
“As the commencement date of the application window for the new gTLDs draws closer, DCA once again extends an invitation to African ccTLD registries to join us and participate as stakeholders in our .africa initiative,” said Ms Bekele.
The collaboration and partnership with Africa’s ccTLDs could see DCA working with managers of such domains as .ke for Kenya; .ng for Nigeria; .za for South Africa; .gh for Ghana; .eg for Egypt as well as South Sudan’s recently awarded .ss domain.
The 42nd international meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), hosted by the Government of the Republic of Senegal and attended by government leaders, ICANN executives and various stakeholders, took place in Dakar, Senegal, at the Le Meridien President hotel.
DotConnectAfrica (DCA), one of the principal participants and silver-level sponsors of the ICANN-42 meeting, was involved in various activities that took place throughout the week-long conference.
These include mounting a well-attended exhibition on DotAfrica, and its Yes2DotAfrica campaign, which was visited by the Senegalese President and Head of State, H.E. Monsieur Abdoulaye Wade, and the Senegalese Minister for Telecommunications and Information and Communications Technologies, Monsieur Moustapha Guirassy.
As part of its efforts to promote ccTLDs, DCA has proposed a cross-marketing model that will see revenues from .africa reinvested in strengthening participating African ccTLDs and has invited ccLTD managers interested to submit their input on this issue before the application window opens in February 2012. Expressions of Interest (EOI) can be sent to EOI@dotconnectafrica.org.
DCA’s expressed wish to work with Africa’s ccTLDs re-enforced the meeting’s theme – the place of developing regions, particularly Africa, on the future of the Internet.
“Our continent is not at the heart of strategic operations of the Internet. There is therefore the need for Africans to have more access to the Internet by having more computers, to be part of this “registry of human knowledge,” noted by Senegalese President, H.E. Abdoulaye Wade.
Overall, the ICANN-42 gathering provided an important opportunity to further boost and consolidate DCA’s successful Yes2DotAfrica Campaign as the commencement date of the new gTLD application round draws inexorably closer.
DCA intends to submit an application to ICANN to obtain the mandate for the sponsorship of DotAfrica gTLD and the administration of the DotAfrica registry.
Prior to the ICANN-42 international gathering, there was an
African Ministerial Round-Table and Meeting of Experts which took place from 19th to 21st October 2011 and whose main objective was to devise an African Agenda for the main ICANN-42 Meeting (‘African Agenda ICANN’).
DCA had participated in all sessions of the African Ministerial Round Table Meeting as an observer which afforded it the chance to express its opinions on the agenda of the meeting; and be involved in the ensuing debate regarding the resolution proposed by the Meeting of Experts for adoption and submission to the African Ministerial Round Table particularly on the issue of Reserve Names for Africa, for ratification as the African Agenda for ICANN Meeting.