Dotafrica a new symbol of pride
INTERNET| May 15, 2012, 12:45 p.m.
By Koffi Fabrice Djossou, African Liaison for the ZA Central Registry (ZACR)
Expressing identity is one of the ways we reveal who we are to other human beings. Whether it is through our dress code, the way we wear our hair or the way we choose to adorn ourselves with certain objects, sending out signals about our identity is part and parcel of being human.
The reasons for wishing to stand apart from the crowd, or wanting to fit in, are varied. However, national pride is a common reason for wishing to express identity. Historically, one’s patriotism is given expression through the flying of national flags or wearing of national colours. From 2013, Africans connected to the world through the medium of the Internet will have a new way to express our growing sense of Afro-optimism.
This growing sense that things on the African continent appear rosier than any of us can remember is because the fundamentals are right. For example, democracy in 2012 is the rule and not the exception. Economically we’re doing pretty well too, with many world-beating GDP growth rates and increasing energy discoveries.
Events such as the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup enabled us to wave a myriad of African national flags at television cameras that beamed images of African pride around the globe. As alluded to above, in 2013 Africans will be able to convey their love of continent - as opposed to country - through Internet domains ending in the new .Africa top level domain name extension. The launch of dotAfrica, as the proud new kid on the Internet block will be referred to here, simply means those of us who revel in the idea of being African, will be able to say so to the world.
Already, the more patriotic amongst us have enjoyed supplying our overseas friends with our email and web addresses that end in anything from .co.tz to .co.mz, for example. How wonderful it will be to say “have a look at the products and services we can offer you on: www.OurWebsite.Africa” or “email me at [email protected]”. The dotAfrica domain name extension means we have another potent symbol of African pride and unity that we can plaster all over the Internet.
So when will Africans be able to start registering their Internet domain ending in dotAfrica? Well, ICANN, the international organisation that overseas the administration of all Internet domain names, is currently evaluating bids received from different organisations around the world that wish to administer dotAfrica. Any domain name registry anywhere on the planet can apply to run dotAfrica. Obviously, there are many technical and other requirements to be met but indeed, we run the risk of a foreign registry running dotAfrica.
Fortunately, the African continent has a formidable resource in UniForum SA, trading as the ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which has been selected by the African Union (AU) as the continent’s official bidding Registry Operator. Transparency, reliability, technical ability, financial stability and continental representation were all key considerations when the AU made the decision of which organisation it would endorse for the administration of dotAfrica.
So, where we are in the process is as follows: The ZACR, in consultation with the AU, last month submitted its bid to administer dotAfrica. The bid will be evaluated during 2012 by ICANN which will be processing over five hundred other applications for different domains at the same time. Then, as early as the first quarter of 2013, ICANN will announce which organisation will administer the continent’s dotAfrica top level domain.
Following this announcement, the successful applicant will release details on how individuals and organisations can go about registering their own dotAfrica domain name. It is likely that some sort of trademark sunrise process, in which the rights of African trademark holders may be placed higher than those of non-African trademark holders, a short auction period will be held for premium domains will be implemented. After these initial periods have been concluded, registrations will open on a normal, first come, first served basis.
The above notwithstanding, it is certain that everyone securing a desirable dotAfrica domain name will post it with pride on the Internet. Watch this space to ensure your stake in Africa’s bright, connected, future.
Follow the campaign on Facebook (facebook/africandomain) and Twitter (twitter.com/africandomain) for the latest news and updates.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Fives alive! ZADotCities achieving key registration numbersSouth Africa's ZAdotCities domains of .capetown, .joburg and .durban have notched up impressive totals of over 4 500, 3 500 and 2 500 domain name registrations, respectively. Read More
Hurricane Electric marks first expansion into Africa with new POPHurricane Electric, the world’s largest IPv6-native Internet backbone, has continued its global expansion with the opening of its most recent Point of Presence (PoP) in South Africa. Read More
TEAMS maintenance downtime expectedThe East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable operators have issued an alert that users may experience downtime from 20th – 28th July . Read More
BICS reports data traffic tripling year-on-year on its global networkBICS, recognised in the wholesale communications market as a top global voice carrier and the leading provider of mobile data services, has reports that its data roaming traffic is tripling year-on-year across its global network. Read More
Mellanox enhances cloud efficiency with 25Gb/s Ethernet connectivityMellanox Technologies, Ltd., a leading supplier of high-performance, end-to-end interconnect solutions for data centre servers and storage systems, has announced the availability of Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx 10/25 Gigabit Ethernet adapters. Read More
Ubiquitous connectivity, the new norm in MauritiusMauritius is the most tech savvy country in Sub-Saharan Africa, says David Bunei, GM: East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Cisco. Read More
Vodafone Ghana deepens discussions on IoTVodafone Ghana has taken the discussion of Internet of Things (IoT) further by organising a workshop in Accra to dialogue with Ghanaian content and web developers on how to adopt and make good use of the platform that IoT presents. Read More
Tigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiativeTigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education and community engagement initiatives. Read More
SEACOM adds peering points in Europe and AfricaSEACOM has added the Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX) in Marseille and France Internet Exchange (FranceIX) in Paris to the growing list of European Internet exchange points at which it peers. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.