DotConnectAfrica Trust seeks clarity on its “.africa” bid at ICANN-47 meeting in Durban


DCA’s Registry Rep Gideon Rop (left) and AfriRegistrar’s Barrack Otieno (2nd from left) at the African Domain Name Forum in Durban, South Africa.
DCA’s Registry Rep Gideon Rop (left) and AfriRegistrar’s Barrack Otieno (2nd from left) at the African Domain Name Forum in Durban, South Africa.

The DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust team was among the delegates who attended and actively participated in the recently concluded ICANN 47 international meeting that was held in Durban, Republic of South Africa.

During the Public Forum meeting on July 18, the DCA Trust – represented by DCA’s Exucutive Director Sophia Bekele and Registry rep Gideon Rop – requested for further clarity on how a GAC Advice consensus was obtained against its application at the ICANN Beijing Meeting in April 2013 even though Kenya had opposed the idea of a GAC Advice against DCA Trust’s application through a written memorandum that was circulated by email to concerned parties.

DCA Trust’s application for the .Africa domain name passed all the Initial Evaluation (IE) panels but its IE status remains incomplete because of the Geographic Names Evaluation Panel review that was not completed due to the ICANN Board NGPC decision to accept the GAC Objection Advice against DCA’s .Africa application. This decision is now the subject of a pending reconsideration request that has been submitted to the ICANN Board Governance committee.

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DCA Trust’s comments and questions on “.africa” at the Durban DNS Public Forum are contained here.

 The week-long event which started on 14th July comprised of various different sessions open to individuals and representatives of the various ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy.

DCA Registry Services was a panelist in the 2-day Pre ICANN 47 DNS Forum aimed at fostering cross-border collaboration between registries, registrars, registrants, DNS experts, government representatives, and policy makers.

DCA Registry Services was also represented by CentralNic, its international UK based Partner, which has sponsored the ICANN-47 event and also made a presentation at the DNS Forum.

Africa currently has 163 million active Internet users which represents only a 15 percent penetration rate on the continent and is clearly among the fastest growing tech- markets in the world.

Acknowledging the issues that are currently existing in the Internet governance space and the regulations, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) who spoke to the conference via a video link observed that: “In a fast moving, rapidly evolving environment there are not permanent or even long term solutions,” he continued that “What works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. We need open on-going dialogue.”

The event also saw the signing of contracts where three companies signed the Registry Agreement (RA) while five others signed the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), including Registrars from Senegal, Australia, France and the U.S. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Fadi Chehadé the ICANN CEO said: “this is a huge accomplishment,” adding that “we can see the last mile before the first new gTLD is activated in the Internet’s root.”

The ICANN-47 meeting also saw the inauguration of several strategy panels that will lead the new ICANN Strategy. The ICANN Strategy Panels will focus on different specialty areas such as: Identifier Technology Innovation; ICANN ‘s Role in the Internet Organizations’ Ecosystem; ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation; Public Responsibility Framework; and Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance. The panels will start their work in September 2013.

ICANN is in the process of globalizing and has created several hubs in view of increasing its reach, this was also discussed by the CEO who said “We are moving much closer to our stakeholders. I promised you we will start new hubs. I’m happy to tell you that our new hub in Istanbul is now a legally established entity. We have signed the agreements, we have leased an office, and we have moved employees there in the last 80 days.”