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Call for Public Comment on the Draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study

11 March 2017

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Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced a call for public comment on the draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study, which was commissioned in March 2016 and managed by the South African Communications Forum (SACF) for ICANN.

The goal of the study is to identify and define the strengths and weaknesses in the African DNS industry ecosystem, and develop recommendations on how to advance the industry by bringing it closer to available opportunities.

This study aims to document relevant data points and provide further analytical findings, in order to enable ICANN and players in the African names space to develop a roadmap on the scope of needs and priorities for the development and growth of both "ccTLDs and gTLDs" (the DNS market) in Africa. Its outcomes will feed into plans to establish up an observatory that will continuously monitor the growth, development and emerging needs of the DNS market in Africa.

This initiative is a direct outcome of the ICANN Africa Engagement Strategy.

The draft 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study report, which is now open for comments, can be found here [PDF, 5.86 MB]. Comments are due by Friday May 5, 2017 at 23.59 UTC. Please send all comments by email to africadnsstudy@icann.org.

The initial report will be discussed during ICANN58 in Copenhagen, on Monday March 13, 2017 at 12:45pm - 2:00pm UTC at Hall C1.3 (ALAC). More information can be found here.


Over 4 years ago, the African community met in Prague (ICANN44) for a historic meeting chaired by Dr. Steve Crocker and then-incoming President and CEO Fadi Chehadé. The outcome was a new approach to Africa, focused on:

  • Developing a framework for ICANN's Africa strategy;
  • Supporting stronger ICANN presence in Africa;
  • Increasing Africa's participation within ICANN.

The meeting also resulted in the formation of a volunteer, nine-member Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG), whose mission was to develop an ICANN strategy for the region. The group was motivated by the realization that Africa lacked commensurate participation in the ICANN ecosystem. This group developed the first 2012 – 2015 Africa Strategic Plan.

An updated version of the strategy was released in November 2014, at the end of a meeting attended by representatives from AFNOG, AFRINIC, AFTLD, GAC, AFRALO, AFICTA, NEPAD and the African Registrars Association.

One of the key projects identified in the revised 2016-2020 ICANN Africa Strategic Plan was to conduct a study on the business feasibility of the growing DNS industry in Africa (Page 16, Strategic Objective 15), and to commission the creation of an observatory to develop new indices for DNS industry growth within Africa (page 17, strategic Objective 16). This draft study is part of the ongoing efforts to implement these objectives and further the domain name market is Africa, in partnership with you, our community.