Africa is firmly on its way to having its own .africa (dotAfrica) domain after Internet governing body ICANN ruled that the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) bid for dotAfrica has passed “Initial Evaluation”.
According to the ICANN New generic Top Level Domain Program Initial Evaluation Report: “Based on the review of your application (it) has passed Initial Evaluation. The application is eligible to proceed to the next step in the Program.”
“The news is especially exciting coming as it did on the eve of the 47th ICANN International meeting that is now currently taking place in Durban with virtually the entire world Internet community represented,” says dotAfrica Steering Committee chair Mohammed El Bashir. “The valued support of the African Union Commission (AUC) has been a key success factor. Our bid for dotAfrica could not have made it this far without the support and encouragement of the AUC.”
The dotAfrica Steercom is a precursor to the establishment of a multi-stakeholder pan-African dotAfrica Foundation which will drive the execution of the key developmental deliverables in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC).
Taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre, the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA), in partnership with the ZACR is hosting this premier event on the global Internet calendar from 13 to 18 July 2013. Over 1 800 delegates are attending. ICANN holds three international meetings a year across different continents and chose Durban to be the host city for its second conference this year.
“ICANN 47 is the ideal platform to celebrate this latest milestone on the road towards Africa having its own dedicated home on the Web,” says El Bashir. “The dotAfrica domain name extension will be an important online branding platform to promote business and tourism in Africa as it will assist in marketing efforts for the continent.”
He adds that the ZACR bid emphasises the importance of developing the greater Internet industry on the African continent as a whole and contributes to the development of the Internet Community in Africa
The dotAfrica bid is supported by the different African Internet stakeholders including AUC and national governments, civil society and the technical community. All are supporting the intention to establish a single domain name that can be used to promote the people, businesses and cultures of Africa on the Internet.
After extensive cross-continental consultation, ZACR was chosen as the official operator of the dotAfrica registry. Formerly UniForum SA, and well-known for administering the .co.za domain name environment, ZACR is a non-profit organisation that runs the South African domain register.