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A Look Back at Our Africa Engagement in 2017

As the year comes to an end, we wanted to reflect on milestones achieved with the support of you, our community. Your dedication, relentless effort, and collaboration with us, ensured that the 2017 flagship events and meetings were not only successful, but also seamless.

2017 saw new initiatives that helped increase the capacity and awareness of specific stakeholder groups and promoted their meaningful participation in ICANN and the wider Internet Governance ecosystem. We also developed better collaboration with the regional economic blocks in Africa, participating in ECOWAS, CRASA, SATA, EACO and AUC meetings to further our regional engagement with governments.

Key Highlights of 2017

  • The First Capacity Building Workshop: In January, ICANN held the first high level Government Advisory Committee (GAC)'s workshop. It marked the culmination of our long planning and coordination efforts with various GAC members, the GAC Underserved Regions Working Group and the Government Engagement team. The workshop was the first of its kind and is now a model for other ICANN regions. Göran Marby attended this meeting during his inaugural visit to the region, as President and CEO of
  • Workshop for the West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA): Inspired by the GAC workshop, WATRA requested a similar workshop for its members. It took place on 25 and 26 April. The event was hosted by the Liberian Telecommunication Authority and drew 82 participants. Africa Internet pioneers Prof. Nii Quaynor and Prof. Alex Corenthin were among the speakers.
  • Africa Internet Summit (AIS) –[21 May to 2 June in Nairobi, Kenya]: This year saw a few key sessions.
    • ICANN DAY – This has become a signature day at the AIS, dedicated to introducing the community and newcomers to the current work at ICANN. Current topics covered this year were: KSK Rollover, ICANN registrar accreditation process and an overview of the policy development processes.
    • Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Workshop: Organized to raise awareness for Africans to join the IDN working groups and promote African scripts online, such as the successful case of the Ethiopic script. We are pleased to report that new community members joined the Label Generation Rules Panel for the Latin script after this workshop. More will be organized next year.
    • Academic Outreach: We seized the opportunity of having visiting ICANN staff in the region, to further our engagement with academia, please read our recent blog here.

  • ICANN59 in Johannesburg, South Africa: The policy forum witnessed a large turnout from the African community. We look forward to this increasing the number of Africans effectively participating in the new Empowered Community framework. To learn more, read our ICANN59 blog.
  • Africa DNS Market Study: As part of our outreach efforts, to support and develop the regional DNS Industry, we released the first Report on the Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Market in June.
  • The Africa DNs Forum turned Five: This marked an important milestone in our combined efforts with our partners to further the growth of the DNS and Internet industry in Africa. Africa DNS Industry players used the event to praise the African Internet community efforts throughout the years. For more on this, read our blog here.

Going into 2018

We will continue to further advance our engagement and capacity building by:

  • Partnering with existing regional events and platforms, like the Africa Internet Summit and the Africa DNS Forum.
  • Leveraging topical webinars and our existing online platforms such as ICANN learn, to boost our reach and enhance our capacity-building initiatives.
  • Initiating and/or confirming Memorandums of Understanding with the institutions in charge of regulation of the Telecommunications and digital economy in the African region.

At the same time, to help us evaluate our performance and plan ahead, we are asking for your continued input and even greater involvement in ICANN by Africa's technical community.

Once again, we want to thank you - our community, for your dedication and support. We wish you all Happy Holidays.

Merci, Asante Sana, Akpe Kaka, Shukran, Obligado, Nagode, Thank you…


    sachin  04:34 UTC on 19 December 2017


    Charles Oluoch Oloo  23:03 UTC on 20 December 2017

    Thanks for the highlights.

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."