ICANN seeking public comments on draft Africa DNS market study




The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced a call for public comment on the draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study, which was commissioned in March 2016 and managed by the South African Communications Forum (SACF) for ICANN.

The goal of the study is to identify and define the strengths and weaknesses in the African DNS industry ecosystem, and develop recommendations on how to advance the industry by bringing it closer to available opportunities.

The study aims to document relevant data points and provide further analytical findings, in order to enable ICANN and players in the African names space to develop a roadmap on the scope of needs and priorities for the development and growth of both “ccTLDs and gTLDs” (the DNS market) in Africa. Its outcomes will feed into plans to establish up an observatory that will continuously monitor the growth, development and emerging needs of the DNS market in Africa.

A direct outcome of the ICANN Africa Engagement Strategy, the draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study report, which is now open for comments, can be found here and comments need to be submitted by Friday May 5, 2017.

The initial report will be discussed during ICANN58 in Copenhagen, on Monday March 13, 2017.

Over 4 years ago, the African community met in Prague (ICANN44) for a meeting chaired by Dr Steve Crocker and then-incoming ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé. The outcome of the meeting was a new approach to Africa, focused on: developing a framework for ICANN‘s Africa strategy; supporting stronger ICANN presence in Africa and increasing Africa’s participation within ICANN.

The meeting also resulted in the formation of a volunteer, nine-member Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG), whose mission was to develop an ICANN strategy for the region. The group was motivated by the realization that Africa lacked commensurate participation in the ICANN ecosystem. This group developed the first 2012 – 2015 Africa Strategic Plan.

An updated version of the strategy was released in November 2014, at the end of a meeting attended by representatives from AFNOG, AFRINIC, AFTLD, GAC, AFRALO, AFICTA, NEPAD and the African Registrars Association.

One of the key projects identified in the revised 2016-2020 ICANN Africa Strategic Plan was to conduct a study on the business feasibility of the growing DNS industry in Africa, and to commission the creation of an observatory to develop new indices for DNS industry growth within Africa. The draft study is part of the ongoing efforts to implement these objectives and further the domain name market is Africa, in partnership the community.




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