DOTconnectAfrica                        DotAfrica logo 
                                                                                                                    Connecting the dots in Africa to the rest of the world!

Welcome to our eNewsletter                                          February 2010 Vol 1, Issue 1                                       The .Africa Issue

I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. -  Nelson Mandela                ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In This Issue
Thoughts from the Founder/Exec Director
The DotAfrica Domain Name
The DotAfrica Endorsement
Voice of Unity
Thoughts from the Founder /Exec Director
 Sophia at GGU Board
Let me first wish each and everyone of you a very happy and healthy 2010. 
Indeed, we are all hopeful the global trickle-down economic crisis be behind us and we all look forward to many glorious moments. 

In this launch of our first newsletter for DotconnectAfrica (DCA) I want to thank the hundreds of you who  support DCA the organization that has put the effort for the successful initiation of the ".Africa" Domain name for the past two years and many of the milestones it has achieved so far. 

We continue to listen to your suggestions and feedback as we grow.  We are humbled by the generosity and enthusiasm of everyone for the ".Africa" continental domain name. 

We Africans are part of a global community.  The Internet and technology have connected our world, making it smaller as our population grows larger.  We share everyday experiences with each other around the globe.  Our actions connect one region of the world to another.  We face tremendous developmental issues in Africa that many can be solved by building  our Internet Infrastructure  and research in Science and Technology.

I founded DotConnectAfrica organization in 2008 to support the ".Africa" initiative, while at the same time to address the Internet governance policy gaps that I have witnessed between Africa and the rest of the world, during my various  Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expert advisory roles within many UN agencies globally, and the term I served as policy advisor to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) based in Africa, and  the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Number (ICANN) based in California.  
Issues of policy divide is not new to me.  I have advocated for a common vision for Africa via my writings and travels, which is to bridge the divide, between our views to overcome the global challenge we face, both in the public and private sectors.  As an advisor to UNECA.  I have co-authored the 'common position for Africa's digital inclusion' during the initiations of the institutional framework for building the first  African Information Society Initiative (AISI), which was then adapted for implementation by the Conference of Ministers of Africa. 

My private company CBS International based in California has a decade of contribution to the digital divide in Africa and continue to do so.  Most notable and relevant to this African  experience is the successful commissioning of the first and largest capacity building project of the Organization of African Union (OAU), a.k.a African Union - delivering an integrated campus-wide area network infrastructure, which, as the Project Director acquainted me intimately to the work of our Continental organization.   It has made us proud.  This is  where my vision of "what is next"  started to connect the rest of Africa.  Then came the CIIN4africa (Continental Integrated Information  Network) a Knowledge networking project, to connect the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), which was embraced by the "Connect Africa " summit held in Rwanda in 2007, and took a back stage to the popular ".Africa".
The ".Africa" is an original geographic Top  Level Domain name initiative.  Therefore, efforts to initiate and support a continental domain name within the spirit of a common branding, such as ".Africa" will be a continuation of my vision and my humble contribution for the African continent.    The ".Africa" domain will support efforts that aim to brand Africa in a common platform, strengthen its capacity and development so as to allow Africa's  speedy entry in the global markets.
Unlike my regular endeavors, it was important to me that  the integral part of DotConnectAfrica sponsor organization model be a nonprofit
, so as to accommodate the public policy interest and  also to allow incoming surplus from the registry business to be reinvested back to the Pan-African and African community  to assist in worthy 
socio-technological advancement initiatives. 
I also strongly believe that organizations to excel, they need  a diversity of skillsets. Therefore,  the team that is driving the launch of ".Africa"  domain name should not only be technologists and the "Internet community", but people who run profitable and non-profitable enterprises, and have proven experience and commitment to policy work that is not mandated by their job requirements.  This makes for a common sense and common good. 

With my warmest wishes for a great new year!
Sophia Bekele 
ICANN Profile ICANNWiki;; 
B.S., M.B.A., C.I.S.A., C.C.S., C.G.E.I.T.
Four additions to DCA 's Preliminary Advisory Board
DCA is very honored & proud to have Ms. Njeri   Rionge, Prof. S. Subbiah, Ms.Anitha Soni and Mr. Zaid Ali to join DCA at an advisory capacity. 
Njeri Rionge picNjeri Rionge is CEO and Founder, Ignite Consulting & Investment Limited, and Director and Co-founder, Wananchi Online Limited (, a leading IP communications solutions provider.
Njeri is a long-term advisor to ICANN.  Njeri Rionge was  elected to the ICANN Board by the Nominating Committee for two terms, from 2003 through 2008.   Important links discussing Njeri's background include:ICANN Profile ICANN Wiki ;  Linked in  
Prof. S. Subbiah
Prof. S. Subbiah is a Chairman and Co-Founder of International Inc., the venture capital -funded spin-off from National University of Singapore (NUS) that championed International Domian Name (IDN). A pioneer on IDN, he coined the term "IDN" while being part of the team from NUS that in 1997/8 invented/ developed the original IDN technology.  His company is the first company which pioneered i-DNS technology for global deployment of multilingual domain names.  Dr Subbiah has been involved in the "IDN" movement  since 1999 and has been responsible for launches of IDN in more than a dozen countries since thenHe has recently launched the a group of key global language members to include DCA.   Prof.  is also a long time advisor and follower of ICANN on Domian name   policies and understands intimately the registry/registrar business as well as the policy space.  Africa is not new to Prof. Subbiah.  He has worked and travelled throught Africa extensivly for over a decade.
 Prof. Subbiah S.
Dr.  Subbiah has a degree in Mathematical Physics from England and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard. A published author of peer-reviewed articles primarily in the area of computational biology and bioinformatics, he has also founded or co-founded several venture-backed start-ups located in Silicon Valley or Singapore and centered on either Internet/ computing technology or biotechnology.
 Anita Soni
Anitha Soni, CEO of ASA Tourism Services Group,  Johannesburg; as a diverse scope of experience, having successfully been involved in both the tourism and technology arenas. She was recently appointed by President of South Africa (SA), Jacob Zuma to be the Chair of the International Marketing Council for South Africa.   She  is one of South Africa's dynamic and active personality in Business and Economic Anitha Sony for DotAfricadevelopment.  Hear it out for her most recent work at  last month's World Economic Forum at Davos by Money Web and Africa Business News.   Anitha was awarded - Business Women of the year - Foundation for Excellence - 1995 & in 2002,  Business Women of the Year -Black Business Quarterly.  
Anitha has an exceptional and unique experience in national and international branding in her work in tourism and technology for development, a combination of skill that is invaluable to assist  in branding the ".africa" domain name. 
As many of us would remember the very first continental radio satellite vision of World Space for Africa; and the first black woman to hold such a position, Anitha took on the challenge as Managing Director of the WorldSpace AfriStar Business Unit - providing leadership and strategic direction to operations in Europe, UK, Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.CEOProfileLinked-in
DCA represented in the US by SFBay ISOC chapter

SF Golden Gate Bridge for dotafrica (.africa)23 March 2009 - San Francisco Bay (SFBAY) Information Society (ISOC) celebrated its chapter formation.  SFBAY ISOC held its first chapter meeting at a social gathers of members to celebrate its formation on February 16, 2009. DotConnectAfrica was present, as a founding and Executive member of the Board. See pictures of event on Facebook link...

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Additionally, DCA is honored to have the founding member and President of our ISOC-BAY chapter, Zaid Ali as one of DCA's preliminary advisory board. Zaid is also a Director of Technical Operations at Zaid's technical, managerial and international  experience is key to DCA's mission. Linked-in; ZaidBlog  

ICANN Update

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is the non-profit global, multi-stake holder governing organization responsible for keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.   It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers.  

Below are links to their website offering recent updates regarding the new generic Top Level Domains roll out.
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 Expression of Interest (EOI)

Nominate our Avatars!   The invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) is currently open and DCA is now accepting letters of  EOI to participate on boards, committees and subcommittees for the 2010-2011 term. About me Avitar  Please nominate a qualified person for our consideration to participate in this noble undertaking.  Physical attendance is not required for all meetings.  DCA fully embraces the internet economy and performance is measured by deliverable. Therefore, we apply knowledge networking, where the minimum requirement is proficiency in the the use of on-line collaborative tools and social media, i.e  access to internet, skype, IM, txt, tweets, blogs,  facebook and we know you will always have your digi-cam with you not to miss the live shows!  

DCA is also accepting EOI for various of its activities, including host country applications for ".africa", sponsors & co-sponsors.  Consider volunteering or sponsoring  and make a difference in the work of DCA!  Please forward all such and other interests with a contact email and telephone to  [email protected].

The .Africa Domain - A Brand that Unites Africa

Domian name logoEven in 2009 year alone there seem
to be a movement of a United Africa.  African leadership
has shown much progress to represent Africa in a common position both in a form of governance and economic platforms. Moreover,  2010 will be "African Year of Peace and Security", as declared by the January 2010 meeting of African Heads of State and Government summit that took plcae in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The .Africa continental domain name will be an extension of this vision and movement of our African leadership; of a united and coordinated branding of the African continent and a market shift opportunity for companies, organization and individuals worldwide.  The potential to purchase a .Africa domain name as companies and organizations continue to go on line by the millions globally, as Africa attempts to attract investment and tourism; what better way to reach as many people as possible that organizing around a similar domain name.
In addition, the income stream for technological development and research in Africa is also unquestionable; incoming profits from domain name sales will be distributed through the DotConnectAfrica foundation to organizations and projects of sustainability around Africa. 
Efforts behind creating a .Africa continental domain name is intended to aggregate the strengths of the various economies in Africa through information and knowledge exchange.  The .Africa domain will also allow the centralization of the work of many African countries, business or otherwise, and more accurately reflect the size and depth of content about the continent's strengthening the Africa's brand image.  
The .Africa name space is intended to follow the successful launches of the .EU and. Asia regional and continental domains. We are also please that the .LAC for Latin America is on the same path. 

Please follow our site at: for industry news and status that concern the .Africa domain name.
African took their common position to G-meetings!
DotAfrica Map
Africa spoke with ONE voice at the various G- meetings, as anticipated by the African Union.  "A common African position and touchable recommendations tell about Africa's decision weigh in the international issues", said the statement for the G20 meeting.  The 53 member countries of the African Union have come up with a common position following a series of meetings.  Africa's position was united at the G20 in London, G8 in Pittsburgh and during climate change of G77+ Copenhagen.

Africa was represented by an AU delegation headed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, also Chair of New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the President of the AU commission Dr. Jean Ping, at more that the one G- foras .  The global economic crisis originating out of USA is expected to severely affect the continent.  The global downturn is threatening to undo economic progress achieved by African countries and damage their exporting capacities by some $50 billion in 2008-2009, according to AU figures.   Additionally, the issue of climate change is of significant importance to the African Continent. Scientific projections unequivocally indicate that Africa will be hit hardest by the impacts of climate change as compared to other continents. The African group has been negotiating a minimum 40% cut in emissions that would keep global
warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius and 2.5 Degrees Celsius in Africa.
Hot Topics for 2010
International Domain Names - ICANN approves first 4 IDNs
New Top Level Domains - Target 2010/ 2011
.Africa - Application & launch  of the .africa domain name
DCA  International campaign for .Africa

Shoe of the Global Economy

Ouch! wearing the shoe of the global economy could be painful when one has to run around on it for hours.   It also weighs extra on the luggage, which adds to the dollar!. 

2009 was a year of campaigning for ".Africa" as DCA got invited to present its vision and project activities at local & global economic forums including  major US Universities such as Golden Gate University, UC BerkeleyStanford University and Sacramento State University in the San Francisco Bay area.   Other platform provided for ".Africa" include  the World Information Society (WISIS) hosted by  International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva and United Nations Development of Economics & Social Affairs (UNDESA) in New York and United Nations Public Administration Network(UNPAN) and the various Rotary Clubs in  the USA and  Addis Ababa.
The debates and reactions of our audiences were amazing!.   The impact of creating an Internet society in Africa using projects that have sustainable models with a common vision was highly welcomed and gives much hope for Africa.

Thank you:

*The DCA team is grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the individuals and institutions, including local newspapers, radios, websites and other online media that were ethusiastic and embraced our work.
Voice of Unity, not new to Africa
 In his 1961 book I Speak of Freedom,Nkrumah discussed his vision for Africa:                  
"Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind." 
Towards African Unity", in his acceptance speech as the first President of the OAU, in May 25, 1963 when the Organization for African Unity (OAU) was established with a permanent headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia:  
 "There are those who claim that African unity is impossible, that the forces that pull us, some in this direction, others in that, are too strong to be overcome. Around us there is no lack of doubt and pessimism, no absence of critics and criticism. These speak of Africa, of Africa's future and of her position in the twentieth century in sepulchral tones.   They predict dissension and disintegration among Africans and internecine strife and chaos on our continent. Let us confound these and, by our deeds, disperse them in confusion.   There are others whose hopes for Africa are bright, who stand with faces upturned in wonder and awe at the creation of a new and happier life, who have dedicated themselves to its realization and are spurred on by the example of their brothers to whom they owe the achievements of Africa's past. Let us reward their trust and merit their approval" 
"Let us, at this Conference, create a single institution to which we will all belong, based on principles to which we all subscribe, confident that in its councils our voices will carry their proper weight, secure in the knowledge that the decisions there will be dictated by Africans and only by Africans and that they will take full account of all vital African considerations."
Announcement !!   The .Africa domain is endorsed by Africa's key regional organs!

African Union logoWe are very delighted to announce that the  African Union on behalf of African Ministers and Heads of State has endorsed the .africa domain name to the efforts and proposal of DotConnectAfrica organization.

Following the ICT African Ministerial meeting  in South Africa, which endorsed the .Africa domain towards the benefit of Africa, the 14th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government has done the same.   The DCA team who has worked over two years to create the awareness and benefit of the .africa domain to Africa is humbled and grateful towards  everyone that gave this endorsement. 
DCA has received  similar endorsements from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) whose mandate includes the coordination of the economic affairs of African countries.  These two endorsements came after DCA has received nearly 25%  of individual African countries support for its proposal.   DCA is also in talks with African Development Bank (ADB) and Iinternational Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Bank who have also welcomed our proposals.
As a result of all these support, DCA will be applying for the ".africa" name, when the application becomes available from ICANN. 
Please see our Press Room and related links for more news.   Pressroom!
African Union declared 
 "2010 African year of Peace and Security". 
DCA fully supports this significant  year and the AU in its continuous mission and priority in peace and security in the Continent.
Upcoming  Events for DCA
AU ICT Summit   .africa endorsed at the AU Heads of State meeting
AITEC Africa       .africa to present its value to Regional Integration
AfTLD meeting    .africa to participate in meetings
ICANN Kenya      .africa to  participate  in meetings
Dedicated Team of DCA
Nebiyu Yoseph for dotafricaMr. Nebiyu Yosef: (Project Coordinator)

Representing the Diaspora Africans, Mr. Nebiyu has given much of his time to the initiation and drive towards a Continental Domain for Africa. As many Diaspora who try to connect to their home land, Nebiyu has one leg in the US and another in Africa like many of us and is doing ethical business all over Africa by donating computers to schools and universities. 

At the same time, he serves as a Sr. Management team of AT&T working on leading edge technologies on enterprise wide mobile computing, storage and networking technologies.  Mr. Nebiyu has nearly 15 years experience in the IT industry.  He is experienced System Architect with proven history of lead development and production roles, thus providing consulting activities on complex system engineering effort for other organizations and project teams . Mr. Yosef has earned his Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Louisville.  He is a published authored and won various awards in his field of endeavor.  Linked-in
T. Jeff Tall
Tidjani Jeff Tall  (Fundraising/Strategy Consulting)
President of  Tall Strategy,  Jeff  is a Strategy and marketing consultant who helps public and private sector organizations be world-class, with projects in over twenty countries. Jeff Tall Jeff is also President and founder of Africa 2030.
 Jeff  is very familiar with the domain business and has successfuly raised funds for early stage companies in the internet and domain industry.  Previous employers include Morgan Stanley and Roland Berger Strategy ConsultantsGraduate of the elite Ecole Polytechnique of Paris, with a major in Applied Mathematics, and the French Petroleum Institute, Jeff is also author of the popular e-book "Fixing Africa" once & for all, says Jeff!.
Other Dedicated DCA Team Members include:  
Mekdes Teklesgie (Outreach )
Hailue Mengiste ( Marketing) 
Lealem Kebede (Sales)

Ephrem Beyene (IDN/Language)

Demissie D. Asseffa (Program)

Thomas Kumanzi (Press, Editorial)

Yusuf Mandour ( Registry Liason)

Amy Cunningham (US, Marketing)
The DotConnectAfrica eNews will keep you connected to the latest developments that are of concern to the its mission and core values, as we continue to work to reach our goal of creating and managing  the .Africa namespace on the Internet. 
The DotConnectAfrica eNews will report when the land rush for .Africa domain names will begin.  Current ETA is early 2011.                                                                         
DotConnectAfrica (DCA) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization based in Africa, inspired to come to fruition to coordinate the implementation of the .Africa initiative. At the same time, to address the lack of adequate Internet policy in Africa and and acknowledgment of the impact of the policy in widening the gaps of the digital divide.   DCA seeks to assist in the strategic coordination of government Internet policies, establish policy priorities, offer new policy choices, and ensure that the implications of Internet policy options are fully considered. DCA encourages all stakeholders to participate in this dialog, in particular the African Diaspora
Our Vision:
To promote a common platform of policy and standards  for the use, development and governance of the Internet and ICT initiatives of Africa and represent this voices in international and national foras to enable African countries to benefit from a unified platform.
Our Mission:
To sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-African and African community.  To reinvest surpluses in socio-technological advancement initiatives relevant to the Pan-Africa and African community; and to operate under a viable not-for-profit initiative that is a technically advanced, world-class TLD registry for the Pan-Africa and African community
Our Objective:
To initiate, promote, influence, shape and advice policy that is conducive to assist African Countries in adoption of Internet governance issues and concerns that affect the growth and stability of the Internet in Africa.  
Thomas Kamanzi
Editorial Advisor/
The past is a ghost the future a dream.  All we ever have is now. - Bill Cosby