The 47th ICANN conference currently being hosted by the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) at the Durban International Convention Centre until 18 July could not be more timely, the organisation says.

ZADNA is hosting the event in partnership with the ZA Central Registry (ZACR). ICANN holds three international meetings a year across different continents, and chose Durban to be the host city for its second conference in 2013.

“The ICANN Durban conference comes at a right time when ZADNA and ZACR are preparing to launch the dotDurban, dotCapeTown and dotJoburg Internet namespaces,” says Lucky Masilela, ZADNA director and chair of ZADNA’s ICANN-47 Working Group. “We see the conference as a timely contribution to our communications and awareness efforts in support of the three pending namespaces.”

The event is expected to draw attendance of around 1 800 international delegates from different countries. Preparations for the event have been underway since late 2012 when ICANN announced its choice of Durban. ZADNA and ZACR have worked hard to prepare for the event with the support of Durban Tourism and KZN Tourism.

As part of leaving some legacy from the conference, 20 students were selected from the four universities operating in Durban. Their primary work is to help in delegate registration and associated events.

There will be a number of preliminary events that will take place at the Durban ICC starting with the Africa Domain Name Forum organised jointly by AfTLD, ICANN and ISOC, and is hosted by ZADNA.

There is no cost charged to attend ICANN meetings, and this opens an opportunity for South Africans – especially Durbanites – to attend the conference and learn about the workings of the Internet.