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ICANN and AFTLD Partner to Promote Universal Acceptance in Africa

1 December 2021

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in partnership with the African Top Level Domain Organisations (AFTLD) today announced the creation of a collaborative Universal Acceptance (UA) training program for members of the African community. The African TLDs Regional Universal Acceptance Training Program will provide a training series on the technical aspects of UA and serve as an opportunity to discuss how to effectively address UA issues in the region.

Universal Acceptance of domain names and email addresses is key to achieving a digitally inclusive Internet by ensuring that all valid domain names and email addresses – regardless of script, language, or character length – are accepted equally by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. This includes supporting domain names using all country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), new and long generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).

This joint effort between ICANN and AFTLD is designed to raise awareness of UA challenges in the region, to help build capacity to address those challenges, as well as  assist ccTLD operators and other stakeholders in developing and implementing robust IDNs and UA-related systems and policies.

"Building programs focused on Universal Acceptance of domain names and email addresses with forward-thinking organizations like the AFTLD will promote Internet access for the diverse user base in Africa and help foster consumer choice and innovation," said Sarmad Hussain, ICANN Senior Director of IDN and UA Programs. "We look forward to working with the African community and launching similar efforts with other organizations committed to helping make UA a reality, globally."

The new joint training program will consist of monthly webinars starting in December 2021. The online sessions, delivered by leading industry experts and practitioners, will address various UA and IDN-related topics each targeted at relevant regional audiences including policymakers, technical administrators, ccTLD managers, registrars and their resellers, and local regulators and businesses.

AFRICA UA Training Program Schedule

Dates and times are subject to change.

Date & Time Session Audience Description Registration
14 December 2021 12:30 - 14:00 UTC Configuring for Email Address Internationalization (EAI) Technical (systems) A detailed training on how to configure email systems to support EAI. https://icann.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8fFTX_xxQ-6AGFu5VjLkvg
18 January 2022 12:30 - 14:00 UTC Programming for Supporting Universal Acceptance Technical (programmers) A detailed training on how to design and develop applications and systems to support UA. https://icann.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YgkWZkGMQQe65SOpvs-h8Q
15 February 2022 12:30 - 14:00 UTC Universal Acceptance: Its Impact and Next Steps ccTLD managers, local regulators, tech, and business A dialogue on how UA issues impact the African community, how best to address these issues, and highlight business opportunities by being UA-ready. https://icann.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_X_jxwXZzSUaMhTLj-02PeA

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.