A domain name “.Africa” to position the continent on the Web Industry
December 9, 2009
The DotConnectAfrica Organization based in Africa is applying for the delegation of Africa’s identifier top level domain “.africa” from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) and make it available to the Pan African Community
Africa’s map in the digital Inclusion
The project aims to brand the continent on the web and provide to Africa a greater visibility and made its voice heard on the International scene.
Representing over 900 million Africans residing within the African continent, the potentials for the economic and development of an African information society based on access towards the branding of Africa is enormous. The “.africa” name is to develop into a global force in the international commercial, political and cultural network. The “.africa” domain aspires to embrace this dynamism in the African Century to become a nucleus, intersection and breeding ground for Internet activity and development in the region.
The need for an Africa-specific regional domain is recognized in the recently held Council of African Ministers meeting under the auspicious of the Africa Union in South Africa. Unlike Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), which provide for a local audience, “.africa” will allow the user to express membership in the larger Pan African and African community.
The “.africa” domain will also allow Africa to take its rightful place alongside with the already launched “.eu” for European Union, “.asia” for Asia and “.lac” for Latin America which is also underway. Currently, Internet users in the Pan-Africa and African region only have the option of utilizing a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) names such as .com, .net and . org, whose registrants are dominated by US and European individuals and businesses, or ccTLDs that are intended for local use, such as “.ru” for Rwanda, or “.eg” for Egypt. Current gTLDs also tend to focus on a vertical group (e.g. commercial entities, network providers, organizations, etc.) within the global Internet, “.africa” will embrace a horizontal perspective with a clear brand to reach and enrich the broad global community. Also it complies with World Summit on information Society (WSIS) objectives on empowering undeveloped countries using Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), including the African Union, Economic Commission for Africa and African Development Bank policy of economic development of the continent.
DotConnectAfrica (DCA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit based organization incorporated in Africa and will sponsor, establish and operate a TLD registry with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-African and African community. The governance structure for DotConnectAfrica is to be made up of different sponsor organizations and co-sponsor members, Businesses, Non-profit – NGOs and other relevant African organizations in the region. Driven via a multi-stakeholder input and augmented by regional and international expertise, the organization is to include the direct and close involvement of many Governments, Businesses, NGO’s to ensure a wealth of knowledge and expertise is represented. The governance model is to be adapted from Africa’s development policy model augmented with other geo-TLD models. Public Policy consideration will include direct input from African policy makers, including the AU/ECA/ADB on policy matters.
DotConnectAfrica expects to reinvest partial surplus in socio-technological advancement initiatives relevant to the Pan-African and African community.