Tag Archives: Africa

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.


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.

ICANN and CA Collaborate on an African Law Enforcement Capacity Building Workshop in Kenya

ICANN logo[news release] ICANN and the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) are pleased to announce their collaboration on a law enforcement agencies capacity building workshop this month from 25th-26th January, 2017.

The workshop is hosted by the Communication Authority of Kenya, the GAC Public Safety Working Group (PSWG), with support from ICANN’s Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) , Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) and Compliance teams.

The workshop aims to raise awareness and build capacity in the African law enforcement community on how to participate in ICANN and engage effectively in the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and ICANN policy making. It will also focus on capacity building within the Law Enforcement Agencies and review the Domain Name System (DNS) and its impact on public safety.

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 Public Safety Working Group (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 agencies should engage with ICANN

The African Law Enforcement Capacity Building Workshop will provide an opportunity to share experiences with around 15 African Heads of Cybercrime units, members of the Public Safety working group as well as other representatives from governments and industry.

The full agenda can be found here [PDF, 330 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: https://www.icann.org/

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

Daily Wrap: ICANN Stops 9 New gTLDs, All In Africa and Donuts Get The .DOCTOR

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoThere were 17 new gTLD applications from Africa out of over 1,900 and ICANN has just culled nine of them as they had failed to go live within 12 months as specified in their contracts, according to a report in The Register.

The gTLDs in question, all brand gTLDs, were .naspers, .supersport, .mzansimagic, .mnet, .kyknet, .africamagic, .multichoice, .dstv and .gotv. The only company in Africa, the South African ZACR, was successful in applying for the .capetown, .durban and .joburg gTLDs. The .payu string, applied for by a Dutch company, is also in the same boat.

Another African applicant, .ummah from Ummah Digital of Gambia, was withdrawn in 2013, reported Domain Incite, while “the League of Arab States’ .arab and عرب. are both currently in pre-delegation testing, having signed ICANN contracts in November.”

And of course, .africa is an ongoing issue with one of the applicants, DotConnectAfrica, taking ICANN to court over the application process for the gTLD.

Meanwhile Donuts has emerged as the successful applicant for the .doctor gTLD. According to Domain Incite, “competing applicants Radix and The Medical Registry both withdrew their applications last week.”

ICANN Temporarily Stopped from Delegating .AFRICA Pending Federal Court Hearing on 4 April

DotConnectAfrica LogoThe Court in the DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) v. ICANN matter granted DCA’s request for an emergency order (aka Temporary Restraining Order or TRO).

The order issued by a United States Federal District Court located in Los Angeles directed ICANN to not “issue” the .AFRICA top level domain until following a ruling on the hearing to be held on the matter on 4 April 2016.

DCA has asked the Court to order ICANN not to delegate .AFRICA until its lawsuit is resolved in its entirety. In doing so, DCA asked for an emergency order to stop ICANN for a short period of time until the Court could fully evaluate whether stopping the delegation of .AFRICA during the pendency of the lawsuit is appropriate.

DCA has already presented its facts in writing to the Court, and ICANN will do so on 14 March 2016. The parties will present oral arguments to the Court on 4 April 2016, after which the Court will make a decision about whether or not ICANN can proceed to delegation, even though the lawsuit is still proceeding.

In its temporary order, the Court did not make a ruling as to the “merits” of DCA’s claims but ruled specifically on the “irreparable harm” standard. In taking the step of temporarily preserving the status quo, the Court considered that there is only one .AFRICA, and if ICANN delegates it to some other entity, DCA would not be able to get use of the TLD if DCA won the lawsuit. ICANN has not had the chance to present facts to show why delegation at this point is appropriate. ICANN will have that chance in the next few weeks.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Request for Proposal: Study About the DNS Industry and Business in Africa

ICANN logoICANN is seeking a provider to conduct a study on the domain name industry in Africa.

The goal of this study is to identify and define the strengths and weaknesses in the industry ecosystem within the region and develop recommendations on how to advance the industry and bring it closer to the opportunities available.

The ICANN‘s Africa Strategic Plan, reviewed in 2014, defined four key areas of interest as strategic focus for the region. Two of those, namely Capacity Building and Outreach and Economic Concerns consider the different areas and opportunities available to further develop the domain name industry in Africa.

The study at a minimum will:

  • Investigate the current state of the Internet and the domain name industry in the region
  • Define best practices that have made an impact in domain name market growth
  • Look at the broader ecosystem of the Internet infrastructure and online services and describe the impact of such elements on the overall evolution of the domain name industry
  • Describe the business potential in the domain name industry in Africa, and
  • Provide suggestions on how to develop the industry and what business models can be adopted in the entire industry chain.

The study will include data, analysis, and recommendations.

The final report of the study is to be delivered no later than 30th April 2016. An intermediary report should be provided in March 2015

For additional information and instructions for submitting responses please click here.

Proposals should be submitted to Yaovi.atohoun@icann.org by 23:59 UTC on 05 December 2015.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Call for Participation: Workshop on Internationalized Domains Names in Africa

ICANN logoICANN will be hosting a workshop on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) from 26-27 November 2015 in Point- Noire, Congo, prior to the AFRINIC-23 meeting. Building on ICANN‘s Africa Strategy, which was launched three years ago, and with the support of ICANN‘s IDN program, this new workshop will focus on IDNs in the context of African languages and scripts. It will introduce the IDN Program at ICANN and the work being done by the script based Generation Panels.

The objective of this workshop is to galvanize the African community’s support and encourage them to participate in the necessary script-based work that is already underway. By contributing to this ongoing effort, participants will help promote IDNs in indigenous African scripts (e.g. Ethiopic) and the use of Latin script for African languages.

Participants are expected to actively contribute to the discussions during the workshop, and are expected to volunteer for script-based panels – Latin or other scripts – that may be set up to support African scripts. Language experts, ccTLD managers, computer specialists and other community members interested in lDNs are invited to attend.

Those interested in participating and contributing should send an email to yaovi.atohoun@icann.org (with CC to pierre.dandjinou@icann.org) no later than 15 October 2015.

Candidates should indicate if they are able to fund their participation. There is limited logistical support available for participation from ICANN, and support will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relevant qualifications and experience;
  • Confirmation that you will volunteer for a script based Panel (specify Latin or other script);
  • Extent of support needed (travel or accommodation logistics, or both; candidates with at least partial support will be given preference).

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN to Resume Evaluation of DotConnectAfrica Trust Application for .AFRICA

DotConnectAfrica LogoICANN today (16/7) announced it will resume evaluation of DotConnectAfrica Trust’s (DCA’s) application for the .AFRICA new generic top-level domain.

ICANN‘s Board of Directors convened a special meeting on 16 July 2015 to quickly address an independent review panel’s declaration that held in favor of DotConnectAfrica Trust regarding certain claims about its .AFRICA top-level domain application. (read more). During the meeting, the Board resolved to:

  • Continue to refrain from delegating the .AFRICA gTLD.
  • Permit DCA’s application to proceed through the remainder of the new gTLD application process.
  • Reimburse DCA for certain costs related to the independent review process.

As such, the Board has directed staff to take all steps necessary to resume the evaluation of DCA’s application for .AFRICA and to ensure that such evaluation proceeds in accordance with the established process(es) as quickly as possible.

“I want to thank the panel for their efforts and careful deliberation of this matter,” said Steve Crocker, ICANN‘s Chairman of the Board. “Though these proceedings have been lengthy and delayed the launch of the .AFRICA top-level domain, the independent review process is an integral part of ICANN‘s community-developed accountability mechanisms, which are fundamental safeguards in ensuring that ICANN‘s bottom-up, multistakeholder model remains effective.”

Dr. Crocker further noted, “Our commitment to ICANN‘s African stakeholders remains strong. As this advances to final resolution, we will assist in moving this process forward as rapidly as possible and provide all parties with the certainties they are looking for and deserve.”

The next step in the process for DCA is to complete Initial Evaluation, a phase of the New gTLD Program in which multiple independent panels, including a panel dedicated to geographic names, review an application to ensure it meets the requirements in the Applicant Guidebook.

With respect to the Governmental Advisory Committee‘s (GAC‘s) consensus advice in the Beijing Communiqué that DCA’s application for .AFRICA should not proceed, the Board will ask the GAC if it wishes to refine that advice and/or provide the board with further information regarding that advice and/or otherwise address the concerns raised in the Declaration.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

Independent Review Panel Finds in Favor of DCA Trust – Makes Recommendation to ICANN’s Board to Resume Evaluation of DCA’s Application

ICANN logoA three-member panel convened to review DotConnectAfrica Trust’s (DCA’s) request for Independent Review issued its final declaration, late yesterday. The 63-page IRP declaration, which is now published on the ICANN website [PDF, 506 KB], held in favor of DCA and recommended that ICANN send DCA Trust’s application for .AFRICA back into evaluation.

The panel cited two main concerns relating to the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee‘s (GAC‘s) advice on DCA’s application: (1) the panel was concerned that the GAC did not include, and that ICANN did not request, a rationale on the GAC‘s advice; and (2) the panel expressed concern that ICANN took action on the GAC‘s advice without conducting diligence on the level of transparency and the manner in which the advice was developed by the GAC.

The panel found that ICANN‘s conduct was inconsistent with the ICANN Articles and Bylaws because of certain actions and inactions of the ICANN Board.

“Consistent with ICANN‘s Bylaws, ICANN will carefully review the panels declaration and the ICANN Board will be asked to consider the matter at its next meeting on 28 July 2015,” said John Jeffrey, ICANN‘s General Counsel and Secretary.

Although ICANN has already entered into an agreement with ZA Central Registry for the .AFRICA string, the panel has recommended that ICANN continue to refrain from delegating the .AFRICA gTLD, at this time. The panel ordered ICANN to pay the administrative and panel fees. The panel also indicated that both parties are responsible for their own attorney’s fees and expenses.

The IRP is one of the accountability review processes set out in the ICANN Bylaws. For an understanding of how ICANN‘s accountability review processes work, including the IRP, please view this infographic.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

The Third Africa DNS Forum to Take Place in Nairobi, Kenya

Africa Top Level Domain Association logoThis is the third Africa DNS forum following on the successful forums in Durban, South Africa (2013), and Abuja, Nigeria (2014).

The forum is organized in partnership with ICANN, The Internet Society (ISOC) and the Africa Top Level Domain Organization (AFTLD) and will be hosted this year by the Kenya Network Information Center (KENIC), from 6-8 July 2015, under the theme:

When: 6-8 July 2015

Where: Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

“The Future of Africa’s Domain Name Industry:
Opportunities and Challenges”

Purpose: The Africa DNS Forum brings together ccTLD registries, registrars, and stakeholders from Africa and around the world to share, learn, interact and discuss ways of how the African Domain Name Space can be improved, by sharing experiences and best practices in the domain name industry at a global level, and of the emerging business opportunities. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology of Kenya (MICT) have endorsed this year’s event.

Who should attend: Registries, registrars, registrants, ccTLDs, new gTLD applicants, service providers, brand owners, and legal firms

More information

Register now to secure your place

More details are available from the event site: dnsforum.or.ke/index.php/home

For more information, please email: info@dnsforum.or.ke

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Finds Almost Half Global Consumers Aware of New gTLDs

Almost half (46%) of the world’s consumers are aware of at least one of the new gTLDs according to a survey conducted on behalf of ICANN of 6,144 consumers aged over 18 representing Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, and administered in 18 languages and drawn from 24 countries.Of those 46 percent, 65 percent said they have also visited a new gTLD. And even though they’re only the eight and seventeenth most popular new gTLDS when it comes to total registrations, .email and .link led in awareness and visitation of new gTLDs.The survey findings came from phase one of ICANN’s Global Consumer Research Study conducted by Nielsen to measure aspects of consumer awareness, perceived consumer choice, experience and trust related to the current gTLD landscape and the domain name system. The research, conducted between 2 and 19 February, 2015, was designed to create a meaningful baseline of data on consumer attitudes and will be followed by a second survey approximately one year later. This will also be a key input to a team set to be reviewing competition, consumer trust and consumer choice in the domain name system later this year.”This is the first time we’ve surveyed consumers directly about domain names and Internet use, and it provides an important benchmark as the new domains roll out,” Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division. “As the community looks toward future rounds, the survey findings will help inform the best approach.”The survey also examined consumer attitudes toward a subset of legacy TLDs introduced before 2012 – .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, .MOBI, .PRO, .TEL, .ASIA and .COOP. Among these legacy gTLDs, three extensions (.COM, .NET and .ORG) lead awareness, with nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) respondents reporting knowledge of these domains, on average. These TLDs also had relatively high visitation, with an average of 71 percent of respondents reporting they have visited one of those domains.Notably, Nielsen found that 72 percent of respondents reported high levels of trust with entities that offer domain names. These high trust levels were linked to a perception that the industry will take precautions, give consumers what they think they’re getting, and screen companies or individuals who register for certain domain names.Of those surveyed, an average of 90 percent claimed to trust the top three legacy TLDs (.COM, .NET, and .ORG), with the highest numbers found in North America, South America and Africa. Consistent with other study findings, the results show trust among new gTLDs is lower than legacy TLDs, but growing: nearly one person in two (49 percent) on average reports that they trusted the sample of new gTLDs provided in the survey.Abusive Internet behaviour, including spam, malware, phishing, and cybersquatting remain an issue for Internet users. At least three quarters of the respondents (74 percent) are familiar with malware, phishing or stolen credentials. Cybersquatting is the only bad behaviour that the majority are unfamiliar with — just over 1 in 3 (37 percent) report awareness.Regardless of their experience, most Internet users take some personal actions to improve their online security — most commonly installing anti-virus software and modifying their online behaviour. There is a continuing need for education as consumers seek out resources to increase their sense of safety and to help resolve issues encountered online.Additional study highlights include:

  • when asked to describe new gTLDs, the most common words included: useful, informative, helpful, practical, interesting and innovative.
  • while people are increasingly using different devices to surf the web, 64 percent of respondents report using a search engine as their preferred way to find a website. This is only slightly lower than Internet users report they did two to three years ago.
  • registering a domain is not hard, but could be easier – fifty-three percent report that registering a domain is either “very easy” or “somewhat easy” and roughly half want the process of registering a website to be less complicated (50 percent), cheaper (55 percent) and quicker (49 percent).

ICANN is also working with Nielsen to conduct a global survey of domain name registrants and their perceived sense of trust and choice in the domain name space. Results from that study will be available later in 2015.