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African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government gave endorsement for domain name “.Africa”
The 14th Ordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State & Government that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 25 Jan to 2 Feb 2010, under the theme Information Communications Technology (ICT) gave endorsement to the “.Africa” domain name.
The report of experts session of the above extraordinary Ministerial conference of the African Union Ministers in charge of ICT, under section “Africa in the Economics of the Internet" stated "Establish dot Africa as a continental Top-Level Domain for use by organizations, businesses and individuals with guidance from African Internet agencies".
The .africa domain name will allow for the registrations of domain names that will have an extension, such as the generic “.com”, “.net” or a country code “.za” for South Africa or “.ru” for Rwanda.
Representing the over 900 million Africans, which include stake holders in Government, Businesses, and NGO’s residing within the African continent, the potentials for the economic and development of an African information society based on access towards the branding of Africa is enormous.
Sophia Bekele who is leading the initiative, and a former elected advisor to the policy organ for the Domain name issuing organization, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN), also a former elected advisor to build the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) by the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa, says “This is good news for our project and a recognition that African leaders are in support of building a knowledge society for Africa. The current summit organized under the theme ICT is timley and very encouraging. Ultimately, the .africa name is to brand Africa, but also encourages an increased participation of Africans on the internet.”
The governance structure for DotConnectAfrica is to be made up of different sponsor organizations and co-sponsor members, Businesses, Non-profit - NGOs and other relevant African organizations in the region. Driven via a multi-stakeholder input and augmented by regional and international expertise, the organization is to include the direct and close involvement of many Governments, Businesses, NGO’s to ensure a wealth of knowledge and expertise is represented. The governance model is to be adapted from Africa’s development policy model augmented with other geo-TLD models. Public Policy consideration will include direct input from African policy makers, including the AU/ECA/ADB on policy matters.
DotConnectAfrica expects to reinvest surpluses in socio-technological advancement initiatives relevant to the Pan-African and African community.
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DotConnectAfrica is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization incorporated in Africa and will sponsor, establish and operate the “.Africa” Sponsored Generic Top Level Domain name with global recognition and regional significance dedicated to the needs of the Pan-African and African community.