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The Africa DNS Business Exchange and Mentorship Programme Kicks off with the New Year

Africa dns 2 750x425 23jan15

We are happy to announce the launch of the Africa DNS Business Exchange Programme, implemented in collaboration with AFRINIC, our long standing partner.  The Programme, a key milestone and significant step in the implementation of the Africa Strategy aims to build capacity for registrars and registries in Africa. Indeed, this need was singled out as key to move forward in buildig the DNS industry on the continent, right from the inception of the African Strategy a couple of years ago.

A team of six candidates were selected for the first phase of the programme. On 12 January 2015, two staff members from 2 registrars, Michael Musya AFRIREGISTER (Burundi) and Oluniyi D. Ajao WEB4AFRICA (Nigeria) started a 2-weeks internship program in Singapore hosted by IPMirror (Singapore). Over a period of  10 days, the two interns will spend 6 days with IP MIRROR, one day at SGNIC and 3 days at ICANN's office in Singapore. The remaining four Interns from African registrars, namely Kheweul.Com, Genious Communication, Diamatrix  and Ghana dot COM, delayed due to logistical processes, will also proceed to AFILIAS and AFNIC soon. The interns will use this opportunity to interact with their hosts while learning and exchanging information on various DNS business aspects ranging from:

  • Business models
  • Technical Requirements
  • DNS business Best Practice

The first phase involves a pilot group selected from the current ICANN accredited registrars- with the aim of broadening the programme to make it available for other registrars and registries in Africa. The outcome will be assessed and built on to develop the programme  further internally and alongside potential partners to ensure sustainability and longevity of  the project.

The main objective of this project, just like the DNS Enterpreneurship Centre announced last year, and hosted in Cairo, Egypt to serve both Africa and the Middle East, is to provide a fertile environment for sharing knowledge and building a solid local knowledge base.

Why is this important?

You see, the global Internet has made the DNS industry a global market place. Competition is no longer your adjacent neighbor, but just one click away and hence the necessity to share the various strategies employed by some of the global successful registries and registrars in an effort to lift the Africa Domain Space. Even the recently reviewed African strategy ver 2.0 (Now under public comment) calls for a series of initiatives including capacity building that could boost the African domain name business. One expected result of the exchange programme is the potential transformation of the current ecosystem, with a total of approx. 1.2M registrations (for a population of 1.2 billion); considering 0.9M of these registrations are solely from South Africa. This alone, is an indicator of how far we need to work to fully capitalize on the domain industry. The project will contribute in developing local, practical, technical and business expertise as well as allow for sharing  experiences with both established and upcoming registries and registrars in Africa.

We strongly believe that this will be another opportunity for the beneficiaries to learn and contribute positively in elevating the overall DNS industry in Africa. We sincerely thank our ICANN APAC colleagues, IP Mirror, AFRINIC, AFILIAS and AFNIC who have been perfect partners in this experiment. ICANN remains committed to contributing to the development and progress of the African Domain Names space and invites more stakeholders and partners to come up and support similar projects.

Comments

    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."