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The Sixth Africa DNS Forum to take place in Cotonou, Benin

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ISTANBUL – 14 June 2018 – On 3-5 July, the sixth Africa DNS Forum will take place under the theme “Building a Sustainable Domain Name Industry in Africa” in Cotonou, Benin. The Forum is co-organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), and AfRegistrar. It will be hosted by the Regulatory Authority of Communications Electronics in Benin (ARCEP). This year's forum follows on the success of the preceding forums, held in Durban, South Africa (2013), Abuja, Nigeria (2014), Nairobi, Kenya (2015), Marrakech, Morocco (2016), and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2017).

Over the past six years, the Africa DNS Forum has become an important annual event, bringing together regional players and world experts in the DNS field to share experiences, best practices, and provide updates on developments in the domain industry. This year's three-day event builds on the takeaways from the previous one, and addresses key issues that directly concern the regional industry. Among this year's topics are data protection and privacy, registry and registrar platform development, Internationalized Domain Names and Universal Acceptance initiatives in Africa, and investment opportunities in the Africa DNS industry.

Moreover, on 6 July, the African Internet community will celebrate 20 years of Internet Governance in Africa. Representatives of ICANN leadership as well as the Internet pioneers of Africa will come together for the celebrations in Benin, twenty years after the first African Internet Governance Forum was held in Benin in 1998. The anniversary will be marked by a day-long event themed “An Efficient Governance of Internet in the Service of Africa Development.” Representatives of ICANN, Internet Society (ISOC), local governmental authorities, United Nations Development Programme, Internet pioneers of Africa, and more will be partaking in the event. For more information on the event, visit www.internethistory.africa.

The first week of July will allow the regional Internet stakeholders to celebrate and reflect back upon the journey of the Internet in Africa, and discuss ways to improve the Internet penetration rates, online business opportunities, and participation in the global Internet Governance across the continent.

We look forward to both events that will give us the opportunity to once again convene with our African stakeholders.

For registration and more information on the Africa DNS Forum, visit www.dnsforum.africa.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to 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 not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."