Tag Archives: Africa

.AFRICA gTLD Management Competition Heats Up

The proposal to run a .AFRICA generic Top Level Domain is getting competitive with the African Top Level Domain Organization (AfTLD) becoming the second organisation seeking to apply for the .AFRICA gTLD once ICANN begins accepting applications according to a Computerworld Kenya report.

Seeking to boost their credentials, AfTLD believes they are better placed than their competitor.

“AfTLD is an association of TLD managers in Africa; we know what it takes to run a registry,” Vika Mpisane, AfTLD’s president, told Computerworld Kenya. “Because of our collective experience we will not totally rely on registry providers — that’s why we’re confident that ours should be a successful bid.”

DotConnectAfrica though has been lobbying and setting out their case for why they should run the proposed new gTLD, using the .ASIA model as inspiration, having even called for expressions of interest for a registry operator in February.

“AfTLD is fronting a non-profit model, where any profits would be taken back to training its ccTLD members,” reported Computerworld Kenya. “The DCA, however, has objected to AfTLD’s position, saying that it raises conflict of interest.”

“AfTLD is an association of ccTLDs whose mandate is to run a national TLD; as far as DCA is concerned, there will be a vast conflict of interest for ccTLDs to run a domain name, whose mandate is charged with developing its own continental identity — the two must be managed independently by separate organizations,” Sophia Bekele, CEO of DCA, told Computerworld Kenya.

However, AfTLD maintains that it has the support of the region’s technical community and has undertaken a detailed assessment of the TLD landscape before declaring its intentions.

It is envisaged that any .AFRICA gTLD would seek to increase awareness of the internet throughout Africa, and to increase participation.

To read the Computerworld Kenya report in full, see news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=7EE38037-1A64-67EA-E40D279CF0653219.

African Union Endorses .AFRICA

The African Union has publicly endorsed the DotAfrica project that has as its aim to build the Africa brand and encouraging increased participation on the Internet, according to a report in the Ethiopian Review.

The endorsement may not be new, with a letter expressing the support of the African Union being dated 27 August, 2009, on the DotConnectAfrica website.

However in the article this week Sophia Bekele, executive director of DotConnectAfrica, said this is expected to boost regional integration and benefit the business community.

“The introduction of DotAfrica will create an attractive regional home for the pan-African Internet community. This will be the first sponsored registry to be operating from Africa and therefore serving the specific needs of its communities,” said Bekele.

The African Union is a pan-African organisation representing 53 African states both within the continent and throughout the world.

To read the report in The Ethiopian Review in full, see:

Egyptian IDN Registry (dotMASR) Tenth African TLD to Deploy CoCCA Registry Software

The small registry services provider CoCCA (Council of Country Code Administrators) has added the Egyptian internationalised domain name (IDN) registry (dotMasr) to its stable of registry operators who have deployed their own registry software.

DotMASR becomes the tenth top level domain on the African continent to deploy CoCCA’s EPP registry software and the fifth ccTLD – Greenland, Guernsey, Jersey, Palestine and American Samoa –who migrated to CoCCA in the second quarter of 2010.

The CoCCA registry is the most widely deployed domain name registry system in use and is becoming increasingly used by small registry operators around the world.

To read the CoCCA news release on the announcement, see below:

Egypt’s IDN Registry (dotMasr) becomes Tenth TLD on African Continent to Deploy CoCCA Registry Software
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) has deployed its production domain name registry system for Egypt’s Internationalized Domain Name country code Top Level Domain (IDN ccTLD). The NTRA’s registry system is based on the Council of Country Code Administrators’ (CoCCA) EPP registry system.

Egypt joins Kenya (.ke), Madagascar (.mg), Mauritius (.mu), Nigeria (.ng), Cameroon (.cm), Mozambique (.mz) , Namibia (.na), Egypt ASCII (.eg) and several other African countries in deploying the CoCCA registry system in-country. After evaluating numerous options, Egypt made the decision to base their IDN registry on the EPP software developed by CoCCA. The dotMasr project has proven to be an interesting intellectual and technical challenge for both NTRA and CoCCA developers.

Christine Arida, Director for Telecom Services and Planning at the NTRA, noted “access to CoCCA’s widely-deployed open source solution, straightforward advice, and skilled engineers made the deployment of a dotMasr registry system by our in-house engineers a considerably less daunting task than it might otherwise have been. The NTRA was able to configure CoCCA’s flexible system to meet our specific requirements, avoiding a both a lengthy development cycle and reinventing the wheel.”

CoCCA project manager Garth Miller further advised “the next release of CoCCA registry software will include the IDN tools and security enhancements developed jointly with the NTRA; it represents a significant milestone in the maturation of the CoCCA software – the software is almost a decade old and is in use by over 30 ccTLDs. While CoCCA remains the most widely deployed TLD registry system, the dotMasr project was an opportunity for our engineers to prove that our flexible architecture and Java based open-source technology can compete head-to-head with the most expensive proprietary registry systems.”

Mr. Miller explains further, “One consideration of the joint project was to ensure that IDN and security enhancements made for dotMasr were made available to all CoCCA registry software users. As a result, a proven IDN-capable registry is now available to ccTLD operators, even those with very limited resources. By way of example, Palestine, which has recently migrated to the CoCCA system for their ASCII TLD, also plans to utilize CoCCA for their proposed IDN ccTLD.”

CoCCA’s commercial model successfully delivers economies of scale to its members. Traditionally, “outsourcing” or “in-house development” of back-end registry services were the only two options available to TLD managers. CoCCA’s hybrid model puts TLD managers in full control and develops local capacity while giving users access to an established and proven technical platform. Providing a viable third option for countries intending to automate and deploy a standards-based TLD registry has lead to CoCCA’s sweeping success.

In order to provide the highest level of support in Africa, CoCCA has partnered with DEWCIS (the same consulting firm that assisted the Kenya NIC in CoCCA registry deployment) in a joint initiative to make CoCCA a continental standard. Adopting a common registry interface, set of technical tools, and common policies will facilitate the promotion of African ccTLDs, simplify accreditation of registrars, ease dispute resolution proceedings, and effectively address cyber-crime.

Egypt joined five other ccTLDs – Greenland, Guernsey, Jersey, Palestine and American Samoa in migrating to CoCCA in the second quarter of 2010.

CoCCA registry is the most widely deployed domain name registry system in use. The source code is open to CoCCA members and used by ccTLD operators royalty-free under a perpetual license. CoCCA is user-funded and has adopted the successful open source model of “free software” with optional commercial support.

About CoCCA

CoCCA is a not-for-profit incorporated society with offices in New Zealand and Christmas Island (an external territory of Australia). CoCCA provides to its members a variety of technical and policy tools to efficiently manage their respective ccTLDs. Expenses related to development and maintenance of the “core” EPP engine (registry software) is shared between CoCCA members and software users.

For Information or assistance in deploying the CoCCA software contact:
Garth Miller | Director
Email | garth.miller@cocca.org.nz
Council of Country Code Administrators