DotConnectAfrica Trust Attends the ICANN-47 International Meeting In Durban South Africa

South Africa is the country of the celebrated Nelson Mandela, who was the first elected African National Congress (ANC) President of the Republic following the abolition of apartheid. He was a co-winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize along with former South African State President F. W. De Klerk for their work in ending racial segregation and leading South Africa on a peaceful transition to majority rule in 1994.

Nelson Mandela is known for his contribution to the people of South Africa and to the world in general.

The South African organizers led the ICANN meeting delegates in 67 minutes of painting Chesterville high School to mark the 67 years Mandela devoted to pursuing democracy and making the world a better place, before singing happy birthday as the 95th Birthday anniversary of the former South African President and ANC leader was celebrated on 18th July 2013.

The week-long event which started on 14th July comprised of various different sessions open to individuals and representatives of the various ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy. DCA Registry Services was a panelist in the 2 day Pre ICANN 47 DNS Forum aimed at fostering cross-border collaboration between registries, registrars, registrants, DNS experts, government representatives, and policy makers. DCA Registry Services was also represented by CentralNic, its international UK based Partner, who has sponsored the ICANN event as well as presented at the above DNS Forum.

The Public Forum meeting on 18th July provided an opportunity for DCA Trust to request further clarity on how a GAC Advice consensus was obtained against its application at the ICANN Beijing Meeting in April 2013 even though Kenya had opposed the idea of a GAC Advice against DCA Trust’s application through a written memorandum that was circulated by email to concerned parties.

DotConnectAfrica Trust’s application for the .Africa domain name passed all the Initial Evaluation (IE) panels but its IE status remains incomplete because of the Geographic Names Evaluation Panel review that was not completed due to the ICANN Board NGPC decision to accept the GAC Objection Advice against DCA’s .Africa application. This decision is now the subject of a pending reconsideration request that has been submitted to the ICANN Board Governance committee.

Africa currently has 163 million active Internet users which represents only a 15 percent penetration rate on the continent and is clearly among the fastest growing tech- markets in the world. Acknowledging the issues that are currently existing in the Internet governance space and the regulations, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) who spoke to the conference via a video link observed that: “in a fast moving, rapidly evolving environment there are not permanent or even long term solutions,” he continued that “What works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. We need open on-going dialogue.”

The event also saw the signing of contracts where three companies signed the Registry Agreement (RA) while five others signed the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), including Registrars from Senegal, Australia, France and the U.S. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Fadi Chehadé the ICANN CEO said: “this is a huge accomplishment,” adding that “we can see the last mile before the first new gTLD is activated in the Internet’s root.”

The ICANN-47 meeting also saw the inauguration of several strategy panels that will lead the new ICANN Strategy. The ICANN Strategy Panels will focus on different specialty areas such as: Identifier Technology Innovation; ICANN ‘s Role in the Internet Organizations’ Ecosystem; ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation; Public Responsibility Framework; and Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance. The panels will start their work in September 2013.

ICANN is in the process of globalizing and has created several hubs in view of increasing its reach, this was also discussed by the CEO who said “We are moving much closer to our stakeholders. I promised you we will start new hubs. I’m happy to tell you that our new hub in Istanbul is now a legally established entity. We have signed the agreements, we have leased an office, and we have moved employees there in the last 80 days.” He also commented on the need for increased interpersonal organization saying: “We must realize we are inherently interdependent and thus must learn to be conciliatory and Africa defines that, as does Madiba [Mandela’s clan name].”

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