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ICANN moves to equip AfriNIC for its new mission

AfriNIC, Africa's own Regional Internet number Registry (RIR) has just received its first allocation of numbering resources, including IP addresses and Autonomous System Numbers for the Africa region.

The full recognition of AfriNIC by ICANN's Board of Directors at its recent meeting in Argentina represents the culmination of efforts by the African and global Internet community over several years to bring local management of Internet numbering resources to the Africa region.

AfriNIC is a successful cooperative effort developed by the African Internet community. AfriNIC will join the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) and Ripe Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), as the fifth RIR within the global Internet community.

ICANN, through its performance of the IANA function, allocates blocks of number resources to the five RIRs, who in turn distribute them to local ISPs and networking companies. These numbers allow networks to communicate effectively with each other and route Internet traffic across the globe.

To view the IANA Report on Recognition of AfriNIC please see: http://www.iana.org/reports/afrinic-report-08apr05.htm.

For any media enquires please email press@icann.org.

About AfriNIC:
AfriNIC is a non-government, not-for-profit, membership based organisation, based in Mauritius to serve the African Internet community. AfriNIC is the Regional Registry for Internet Number Resources for Africa. Membership is open to anybody. Its policy development process is open to anybody without any specific requirements.

About ICANN:
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet


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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."