DNS conference concluded in Gaborone
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), in partnership with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), hosted the 7th Africa Domain Names Systems under the theme: Building Trust in the African DNS Industry for a Thriving Digital Economy. This event brought together global and regional experts who discussed the latest issues and opportunities in the DNS industry in Africa. The forum was co-organized by, AfTLD, and AfRegistrar. In a speech during a press conference on the sidelines of the three-day conference, the BOCRA representative said the conference came at an opportune time especially for the continent of Africa and Botswana in particular. “The objective of the three-day event was to help the African domain name industry in Africa to grow at a competitive rate and ensure that the continent is on par with the rest of the world.”
Other leaders in the industry who attended the media conference and the larger conference at large included Dr. Nii Quaynor from GDC Neil Dundas from registry Africa, Sarmad Hussain and Pierre Dandjinou from ICANN, Mouhamet Diop from Afregistrar and Alice Munyua from Mozilla to name just a few those that invested their time to attend the conference.
Another topic of contention that the media engagement looked at was the prevalence of fake news.”The media should be alerted about fake news. Some 18 countries have shut internet because of fake news already," said one panelist.
DNS is an annual open event for stakeholders in the Domain Name Industry in Africa organized by Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Society. The conference that was hosted in Gaborone was the 7th the organisation had hosted in different cities of Africa and beyond. Other events were held in Durban, South Africa (2013), Abuja, Nigeria (2014), Nairobi, Kenya (2015), Marrakech, Morocco (2016), Dar Es Salam, Tanzania (2017) and Cottonmouth, Benin (2018).
According to a representative from AFREGISTRAR, the objective of the three-day event was “to help the Africa Domain Name Industry grow at a competitive rate; and ensure that the continent is on par with the rest of the world. Over the years, the AFDNS forum has lived up to its expectations, identifying key national and cross-border issues that continue to challenge the growth of the industry.”
The Africa DNS Forum brings together Top-Level Domain registries, registrars, and stakeholders from Africa and around the world to share, learn, interact and discuss ways of how the African Domain Name Space can be improved, by sharing experiences and best practices in the domain name industry at a global level, and of the emerging business opportunities.
The forum is open to anyone interested in issues pertaining to the domain name industry and the business opportunities it can provide, and engage with key players and experts in the field and participation was expected from over 200 participants representing government, private sector, civil society, media and the technical community from the region and globally, interested in investing in the Africa Domain Name industry. Discussions also covered the state of the domain name industry in Africa, opportunities and challenges faced by businesses, entrepreneurs and Internet users across Africa.