The Africa Regional Plan for FY21-25 – What it Means
I am pleased to share with you ICANN's final Africa Regional Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2021-2025.
The launch of the ICANN Strategic Plan for FY21-25 provided an opportunity to review and realign our engagement plan for Africa. Accordingly, the Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) Africa team, in collaboration with the community, initiated the process to align the ICANN Africa Regional Plan with ICANN's. An Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG2020), made up of 25 diverse representatives selected through a public call, was then formed in January 2020 to develop the regional plan.
The working group began its work by studying the ICANN Strategic Plan for FY21-25, the Africa Strategic Plan, and the accompanying implementation reports taken over the last six years. The working group reviewed feedback from diverse stakeholder groups to ensure the new regional plan is aligned with global strategic objectives and current needs of the community.
This final regional plan presents solutions to some of the current challenges faced by our community, and an action plan to be executed by both the ICANN organization and the ICANN community. It is also in line with the five objectives identified in the ICANN Strategic Plan for FY21-25 but with a regional perspective.
I would like to thank the ASWG2020 and its leadership for working diligently over the past few months in developing the plan despite challenges due to the current global health pandemic. I would also like to thank them for their valuable advice and support in the plan's implementation over the coming years. They have achieved another milestone by developing this document remotely, which is a true testament to the enduring principle of "One world, one Internet."
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."