Tag Archives: Africa

Marrakech Identified as ICANN Meeting Site for 2019 Policy Forum

icann-public-meetings-bannerICANN announced today [2 Nov] that Marrakech, Morocco, has been selected as the location in the African region to host ICANN‘s 65th Public Meeting, to be held 24–27 June 2019. This Policy Forum will be hosted by the Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations (FMAI) at the Palmeraie Resort.

ICANN holds three meetings each calendar year in different regions of the globe. ICANN Public Meetings are a central principle of ICANN‘s multistakeholder model because they provide a venue for learning about ICANN, progressing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, and promoting interaction among members of the ICANN community, organization, and Board. Usually featuring more than 400 different sessions, these meetings are the focal point for individuals and representatives of the different ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy. Participants may attend in person or remotely. Meetings are open to everyone and registration is free.

More Information

About ICANN

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-4-2017-11-02-en

ICANN Releases its Final Report on Africa DNS Market Study

ICANN logo[news release] ICANN is pleased to announce the release of its Final Report on Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Market Study. This study serves as part of ICANN‘s outreach efforts to support and improve the regional DNS industry. The report is the first of its kind in the region, which includes 54 countries.

It was commissioned to:

  • Highlight the strengths and weaknesses in the DNS sector in Africa,
  • Develop recommendations on how to advance the industry to better exploit the opportunities available and to address identified challenges,
  • Explore options for establishing an observatory to continuously monitor the growth, development and emerging needs of the DNS market in Africa.

The findings of the report, which will guide the next steps for capacity-building in Africa, lead to significant conclusions and recommendations highlighted below:

  • There are, as of May 2017, some 5.1 million domain names associated with Africa. The total annual value of the African Domain Name market is some $52 million.
  • Many countries could usefully remove or reduce barriers to growth of the Internet industry generally and the Domain Name market in particular.
  • There is considerable potential for growth in the Domain Name market in Africa for the foreseeable future.

On 27 June, from 15:15-16:45 at Pavillon S8, ICANN will hold a public presentation to discuss the report during ICANN‘s 59th Public Meeting (ICANN59), in Johannesburg. ICANN59 is also the 2nd Policy Forum, the 1st one being in Helsinki last year.

You can view and download the report here [PDF, 5.02 MB].

For more details on ICANN59, please visit: https://meetings.icann.org/en/johannesburg59

The full schedule of ICANN59 events and meetings, where you can join remotely, is available at https://schedule.icann.org/.

About ICANN

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. For more information, please visit: www.icann.org

ICANN Holds Its Second African Law Enforcement Capacity Building Workshop in South Africa

ICANN59_Johannesburg_logo[news release] Building on the success of the first workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2017, ICANN and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Under Served Regions and Public Safety Working Groups are pleased to announce their collaboration with the ZA Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA) on the second law enforcement agencies capacity development workshop this month from 23rd-24th June 2017 taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.  With cyber security issues becoming a growing concern for Africa it is important that African Law Enforcement and consumer protection Agencies are involved in various Internet governance processes.

The underlying theme of this series of workshops is to harness the potential of African governments for participation in the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) policy processes.

The workshop aims to continue to raise awareness amongst the joining African law enforcement community, particularly from our host country South Africa, on how to participate in ICANN and engage effectively in the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and ICANN policy making.  A roundtable with ICANN community and industry will focus on collaboration around security, stability and resiliency of the Internet and a half day will be devoted to the Africa Convention on Cybersecurity and Data Protection.

A range of topics will be covered:

  • Introduction to ICANN‘s mission and multistakeholder bottom-up policy development model
  • Introduction to the GAC: role, organisation and membership
  • Introduction to the PSWG: mandate and work plan
  • Definition of Abuse of the DNS that can be addressed through ICANN‘s processes and contracts
  • Mitigation of DNS Abuse: the role and obligations of contracted parties
  • Mitigation of DNS Abuse: the role and tools of ICANN‘s Security Stability and Resiliency Team
  • How Law Enforcement and consumer protection agencies should engage with ICANN
  • Areas of collaboration with other stakeholders (industry, technical community, RIRs, among others)
  • Discussion on WHOIS and related storage and retention of personal data;

Potential implications of European Data Protection legislation (GPDR) and African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection

The African Law Enforcement Capacity Building Workshop will provide an opportunity to share experiences on issues of DNS abuse, security, stability and resiliency with the South African Police Services, African Heads of Cybercrime units, Regional Economic Communities, the African Union as well as other representatives from governments and industry.

It will also provide an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons learnt with other agencies from a wide range of countries during the ICANN, GAC, PSWG sessions taking place the following week at ICANN‘s 59th public meeting in Johannesburg from 27th -29th June 2017.

The workshop is supported by the Government Engagement Department at ICANN in collaboration with ICANN‘s Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE), Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR), Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives (MSSI) and Compliance teams, as well as the ZADNA.

The full agenda can be found here [PDF, 436 KB].

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About ICANN:

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.

For more information, please visit: icann.org

This ICANN news release was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2017-06-19-en

Almost 1,000 Sunrise Applications for .AFRICA Making it One of the Most Successful

The .africa new gTLD has had one of the most successful Sunrise periods of any, receiving 981 applications during the period for trademark holders that ran from 4 April to 2 June, that is reported to be among the top 10 Sunrise periods.

The African generic top level domain had a unique Sunrise period with a Mark Validation System for African brand owners in addition to the usual Trademark Clearinghouse.

Currently underway is a Landrush period, made up of 4 periods commencing on each Monday in June running until the following Friday. This will be followed by General Availability which will commence on 4 July. Both the Landrush and General Availability are run on a first come, first served basis for anyone anywhere in the world with Landrush applications attracting higher registration fees. Applications will be finalised at the end of each period but contested domain name strings will proceed to auction per the published auction policy.

A Pioneer Programme has also been reactivated, running from 9 to 23 June to allow business, civil society and other interested parties across the continent to apply for preferred access to approved .africa domains prior to General Availability. The Pioneer Programme is all about creating interest in Africa’s domain name.

“This programme and the interest it generated in the public and private sector really surpassed all of our expectations. It is for this reason that we are reactivating the Pioneer Programme for the month of June” said Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR.

 

Africans Get Second Bite at .AFRICA Pioneer Programme

The .africa registry operator is opening a second round of applications for the continent’s leading brands who would like preferential access to their desired domain names, assuming of course, they haven’t got their domain already. Also currently underway is the second of 4 weekly phases for the .africa Landrush period.

The second phase of the .africa Pioneer Programme opened on 09 June and will run until 23 June to enable business, civil society and other interested parties across the continent to apply for preferred access to approved .africa domains prior to General Availability, the ZA Central Registry’s (ZACR) announced. The latter launch phase of the new .africa generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) is when the general public can register .africa domains from 04 July 2017.

The Pioneer Programme is all about creating interest in Africa’s domain name. “This programme and the interest it generated in the public and private sector really surpassed all of our expectations. It is for this reason that we are reactivating the Pioneer Programme for the month of June” said Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR.

Mr Masilela explained that an approved dotAfrica domain name would enable individuals and organisations to showcase their brand and their commitment to the continent while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services. The new dotAfrica gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market.

The Pioneer Programme requires applicants to highlight key innovative qualities of their organisations, emphasising their relevance to Africa and their ability to harness the dotAfrica domain name to amplify their brand journey. The applications need to further outline plans to use the domain name to share Africa’s message within the global village. Successful companies, non-profit organisations, bloggers, celebrities and governments joining the Pioneer Programme will be granted access to the .africa domain of their choosing.

For more information on the .africa Pioneer Programme Terms and Conditions and the Application Form, see registry.africa

.AFRICA Landrush Launches Today

The .africa Landrush period commences today, 5 June, meaning the general public gets their first chance to register domain names in the African new gTLD.

The Sunrise period that ended 2 June saw, according to the registry for .africa, ZA Central Registry (ZACR), “significant successes” with “many of the continent’s biggest intellectual property owners across diverse industries have applied, either through the TMCH (Trademark Clearinghouse) or MVS (Marks Validated System), for .africa domain names matching their trademarks.”

The .africa Landrush Phase means applicants that do not have prior rights to a domain name can apply to register a .africa domain name. These domains are not allocated on a first come first basis and attract a higher registration fee. The four (4) Landrush periods will run consecutively for 5 days, with each one commencing on a Monday in June, and concluding the following Friday. Applications will be finalised at the end of each period but contested domain name strings will proceed to auction per the published auction policy.

“The dawning of the Landrush Phase means .africa registration will be open to everyone around the world, without any restriction,” said Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR. “This is a key milestone for the African and global Internet Community”.

General Availability for the African generic top level domain commences on 4 July on a first come, first served basis to anyone anywhere.

.AFRICA Announce Launch Schedule With Sunrise Commencing on 4 April

It took a couple of years to wind its way through the courts, and the vanquished DotConnect Africa hasn’t given up yet, but ICANN has delegated the right to operate the .africa new gTLD and the ZA Central Registry has announced the launch dates.

The Sunrise period for .africa will commence on 4 April and close on 2 June for rights holders who have registered their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) or Mark Validation System (MVS). The MVS is an alternative way for trademark holders to register their domain names in the .africa new generic top level domain and also to monitor similar and infringing trademarks.

Following Sunrise will be an Early Access period, which will run from 5 June to 30 June 2017. The EAP will consist of four 5-day Landrush periods and will be available to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Finally General Availability will commence on 4 July in 3 phases on a first-come, first-served basis. The first phase will run for 28 days, then on 2 August the second phase will commence with a price reduction. The second phase will run for 333 days and then on 1 July 2018 the final General Availability phase will commence with another price reduction.

The dotAfrica launch program is pending final approval from ICANN.

More detailed information with graphics is available from:
http://www.domainpulse.com/2017/03/29/dotafrica-announce-launch-schedule/

ICANN: Call for Public Comment on the Draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study

ICANN logoToday, ICANN 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.

This 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.

This initiative is 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 [PDF, 5.86 MB]. Comments are due by Friday May 5, 2017 at 23.59 UTC. Please send all comments by email to africadnsstudy@icann.org.

The initial report will be discussed during ICANN58 in Copenhagen, on Monday March 13, 2017 at 12:45pm – 2:00pm UTC at Hall C1.3 (ALAC). More information can be found here.

Background

Over 4 years ago, the African community met in Prague (ICANN44) for a historic meeting chaired by Dr. Steve Crocker and then-incoming President and CEO Fadi Chehadé. The outcome was a new approach to Africa, focused on:

  • Developing a framework for ICANN‘s Africa strategy;
  • Supporting stronger ICANN presence in Africa;
  • 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 (Page 16, Strategic Objective 15), and to commission the creation of an observatory to develop new indices for DNS industry growth within Africa (page 17, strategic Objective 16). This draft study is part of the ongoing efforts to implement these objectives and further the domain name market is Africa, in partnership with you, our community.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2017-03-11-en

ICANN Finally Able To Delegate .AFRICA

ICANN has finally been able to delegate the .africa new gTLD to ZA Central Registry following the rejection of a request for a preliminary injunction brought in a Los Angeles court by rival applicant DotConnectAfrica. The injunction was sought to prevent ICANN delegating the new gTLD.

The ZACR application was supported by over 75% of African countries, well above the ICANN requirement of the 60% support needed. In addition, the ZACR bid was endorsed by the African Union Commission.

“The California Superior Court has ruled that a ‘covenant not to sue’ found in the .africa domain application likely bars claims by applicant DotConnectAfrica Trust against ICANN for alleged fraud and unfair business practices,” reported Bloomberg BNA. “The court rejected DCA Trust’s bid to stop ICANN from granting competing applicant ZA Central Registry the rights to .africa until the case is resolved.”

It was the second time a judge had ruled in favour of ICANN to allow the delegation of a new gTLD and “uphold an important piece of the legal framework underlying ICANN’s expansion of the domain name space. Under the covenant, internet domain applicants agree not to challenge ICANN decisions in court. They instead must rely on ICANN’s accountability mechanisms, such as the reconsideration and independent review processes.”

ICANN had previously rejected the DCA bid due to, in part, a lack of support from African countries. But it may not be the end as DCA has been reluctant to step down from the fight even when repeated decisions going against them with the court case ongoing for around one year.

 

African, Least Developed Countries, Need More Input In ICANN

DomainPulse2017_logoThere were calls for the world’s Least Developed Countries, particularly those in Africa, to be given more access to input into ICANN’s policy making processes at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna last Thursday.

There are issues with input from Africa and other developing countries due to a lack of resources to enable adequate input, said Thomas Schneider, the recently appointed deputy head of international affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM), Switzerland and the current chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee. Schneider went on to say that as the GAC works by consensus it is often difficult for African countries to get their views heard.

However the view wasn’t shared by all on the panel with Thomas Rickert saying that the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) works by consensus and allows input from all. Rickert is acting chair of eco’s, the German internet association, Names and Numbers division.

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However Schneider replied asking “how many Africans even know there’s a GNSO?”

The discussion took place during day one of the Domain Pulse conference held in Vienna on 16 and 17 February with around 300 people attending, predominately from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.