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ICANN Launches First DNS Entrepreneurship Center in Egypt

13 November 2015
By Fadi Chehadé

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Earlier this week, ICANN, together with Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) announced the launch of a first of its kind regional DNS Entrepreneurship Center (DNS-EC) in Egypt. This is an important initiative to support Internet growth in the communities of Africa and the Middle East. The Domain Name System has enormous potential to foster the development of new businesses in Africa and the Middle East while delivering countless benefits to Internet users. ICANN is committed to this story. And now, after months of planning and preparation, we are proud to bring this incredible resource to Cairo.

The DNS-EC is charged with helping the Internet ecosystem in Africa and the Middle East evolve. The Center will house DNS technical, policy, business and legal experts  as well as resources to support the implementation of initiatives and projects in this field.

To prepare for this launch, we conducted six pilot workshops in four countries (Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, Qatar) with 107 participants. These workshops covered the DNS technical and operational issues as well as business development and best practices. Contributors hailed from over a dozen nations and included technical, policy and business development professionals from Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) registries, registrars, and hosting companies to government agencies and academic networks.

We particularly thank the community members and experts who took the time to help us throughout this process including: developing the program materials, conducting the training and sharing case studies and marketing plans.

I’m also proud to announce that this facility will be self-sustaining. ICANN, through partnerships with business and technical experts, will provide training and mentoring programs, while NTRA will support the DNS-EC for its first three years and hire a small, highly capable team to run its activities.

More than 100 people have benefited from the Center in the first six months alone and we’re just getting started. So what’s next? NTRA is currently in the process of hiring a dedicated program manager to oversee the Center’s activities while our team at ICANN will continue our work building the network of experts in Africa and the Middle East. We are also proud to announce that, in addition to the technical and business tracks, a legal track will begin soon. The focus of this track will be legal issues pertaining to domains and domain name disputes. Finally, ICANN will facilitate internship opportunities for members of registries and registrars to work alongside DNS sector experts.

This initiative emerged from the bottom-up regional strategy developed with local members of our community and thanks to the help of our dedicated and engaged stakeholders, we couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

If you are interested in learning more about this important initiative, please do not hesitate to contact us at meswg@icann.org. We look forward to hearing from you and to your participation in the invaluable resource.


Fadi Chehadé

Former President & CEO