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DNS Entrepreneurship Workshop: 'Building a Sustainable Domain Names Business in Africa and the Middle East'

When: 4-5 November 2014
Where: Cairo Intercontinental City Stars, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt


In our continuous effort to engage with the stakeholders in Africa and the Middle East, ICANN joins the Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance (AfICTA) and Egypt's National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in organizing a first of its kind two-day workshop on DNS Entrepreneurship.

The ICANN regional engagement strategies and the communities in both Africa and the Middle East have identified "strengthening the domain name industry" as a strategic area that requires enormous effort. This unique workshop is a step forward in further awareness and development of the DNS in both regions. Moreover, it is aligned with ICANN's regional strategic objectives in raising awareness and demonstrating how the African and Middle Eastern domain name business and industry can rise up to the challenges at hand. ICANN is fully committed to this and with the collaboration from other regional stakeholders are able to bring the change and transformation we all seek.

This activity is within the framework of engagement between ICANN and the NTRA in solidly establishing the recently announced DNS Entrepreneurship Center in Egypt to support the development of the industry in Africa and the Middle East.

The workshop will include opening session keynotes, presentations and panel discussions from experts in the private sector addressing the following key topics:

  1. Strategies for building a sustainable domain names business;
  2. Domain names in underserved regions - challenges and new approaches;
  3. The insurance market and the DNS Industry;
  4. Registrar experiences from Africa and the Middle East.

The target audience includes ICANN accredited registrars, private sector interested in the DNS business (well established companies, ISPs, SMEs, and entrepreneurs), as well as policy makers.

Useful links:
Online registration:


November 4, 2014 Day 1


Opening Session

Keynote Speakers:

Hesham El-Alaily, NTRA
Pierre Dandjinou, ICANN


New Internet Extensions – An Opportunity for Growth

Speaker: Patrick Jones, ICANN




Update on Africa and Middle East Regional Strategies

Speakers: Pierre Dandjinou and Baher Esmat, ICANN


DNS Entrepreneurship Center

Speaker: Manal Ismail, NTRA


How to become an ICANN Accredited Registrar

Speaker: Patrick Jones, ICANN




Insurance market in Africa – and the DNS Industry

Speaker: Nii Quaynor, Ghana Dot Com


Supporting the Domain Name Industry in Underserved Regions Speaker: Baher Esmat, ICANN


Wrap up of Day 1

November 5, 2014 Day 2


Panel Discussion: Sharing Experiences from the Domain Names World

Moderator: Christine Arida, NTRA


Giovanni Seppia, EURid
Moez Chakchouk, ATI
Godwin Toilem, KENIC
Mireille Houndji, ARTCI
Hamza Aboulfeth, Genious




Panel Discussion: Way Forward - Building Sustainable Domain Names Business in Africa and the Middle East

Moderator: Pierre Dandjinou, ICANN


Oluniyi Ajao, Web4Africa
Jonathan Gahamanyi, AFRIREGISTER
Abibu Ntahigiye, TZNIC
Wael Khalil, Link – Mobinil Group


Business matchmaking


Wrap up and closing


More Announcements
Domain Name System
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"""" is not an IDN."