ZACR ‘not threatened’ by DCA challenge for .africa

The ZA Central Registry (ZACR)has expressed surprise that it was not officially told that the DotConnectAfricaTrust (DCA)has been allowed to change its TLD string application from "dotafrica" to "africa", but says it does not see DCA as a significant challenge.

Previously, DCA had applied to ICANN to run a TLD “dotafrica”, while ZACR applied for .africa. This amendment means that there are now two bidders for the proposed .africa generic Top Level Domain.

ZACR says it was not consulted or informed about the proposed change. However, ICANN's proposed changes are subject to a public comment process, which expires on 17 November.

ZACR says it does not intend to object, as it does not believe the additional bidder represents a significant challenge.

ZACR said: “ It is our view that the conduct by the new second bidder..has been noted by the global industry and speaks volumes about their ability to properly manage Africa’s home on the internet.”

It was widely believed at the time the gTLD application list was released that DCA had mistakenly applied for “dotafrica” instead of .africa.

ZACR said: “What reasonable registry operator would make such a basic error on their own application? As time went by, it became clear through DCA’s numerous media statements that the string application was indeed an embarrassing mistake.”

“As the ZACR application has the official support of the African Union Commission and the majority of African governments, our initial strategy has been to ensure that any conflicting string applications would be weeded out through the initial evaluation process of the Geographic Names Panel and/or through opposition by African governments. “

ZACR said now that the two string applications fell within the parameters of a Geographic Name, they would be subject to an evaluation of their government support claims, as well as being subjected to government opposition processes.

“The end result,”  said ZACR, “is that African governments are now in a position to exercise their rights against potentially infringing or unauthorised applications for the .africa gTLD string.”

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