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For Immediate Press Release 
 November 2011 

Press Contact:
Thomas Kamanzi, Newsletter Editor

Yes2dotAfrica Campaign Triumphs at ICANN-42  meeting in Dakar Senegal!

Success for .africa initiative and the future place of Africa in the 
governance of the internet! 
Sophia Bekele with President Wade of Senegal
Ms. Sophia Bekele, Executive Director of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) with Head Of State & President of the Republic of Senegal,  H.E. Abdoulaye Wade at the DCA Exhibition Stand 

 Included in this Press Release Package


NEW click here 

Executive Briefing Note following the ICANN-42 International Meeting in Dakar, 

(insideAfrican Union Commission's request for special legislative protection)  




Related Dakar Key Issue highlights on .africa below:



Statement to AfriICANN


DCA's Executive Briefing Note following its Engagement with  ICANN Leaders at the ICANN-42 Public Forum Meeting at Dakar  

                     DCA Press Release


14 November 2011  


The 42nd international meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) took place in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Senegal and was well-attended by government leaders and executives and Board of ICANN, and various stakeholders. 


DotConnectAfrica (DCA) was one of the principal participants and silver-level sponsor of the ICANN-42 international gathering, and was involved in various activities that took place throughout the week-long meeting in Dakar.  DCA also mounted a well-attended exhibition on DotAfrica, and its Yes2DotAfrica campaign, which was visited by the Senegalese President and Head of State, H.E. Monsieur Abdoulaye Wade, and the Senegalese Minister for Telecommunications and Information/Communications Technologies, Monsieur Moustapha GuirassyICANN-42 was a great opportunity to focus positive attentions on DCA's Yes2DotAfrica Campaign, and we are pleased to present a summary of the main activities and important accomplishments for the benefit of our Pan-African constituency.
DotConnectAfrica sponsored and participated at the 42nd International meeting of ICANN that took place in Dakar from the 23rd to the 28th of October, 2011 at the Le Meridien President hotel.


DCA at the African Ministerial Roundtable
Ms. Sophia Bekele with HE Moustapha Guirassy Minister of Tele of Senegal
Ms. Sophia Bekele with Minister of ICT, H.E. Monsiour Moustapha Guirassy,  giving thanks on behalf of  DCA, being given a platform for expressing its different view point from the organizers
rior to the ICANN meeting, DCA attended the African Ministerial Round Table that took place from 19th-21st October, 2011 where the issue of .africa was discussed and a communiqué released asking ICANN to add the names .africa,.afrique, and .afrikia to the reserved names list for the benefit of the African Union. 
During the meeting, we emphasized what we have always  
DCA Defends its Opposition to the Experts Meeting Agenda of the DotAfrica Task Force
DCA Defends its Opposition to the Experts Meeting Agenda of the DotAfrica Task Force
believed; our commitment 
to th
e open, transparent and competitive globally-accepted
 ICANN process as per the new 
Applicant Guidebook. DCA successfully made its case that the DotAfrica name string is not at risk, and as such does not deserve any special legislative protection  and could be applied for through the ICANN new gTLD  programme.

First ICANN meeting in a Francophone African country

dotafrique loo
The Dakar meeting was significant for the DotConnectAfrica's Yes2DotAfrica initiative since 
it was the first ICANN international meeting ever hosted in a French-speaking country in Sub-Saharan African.


DCA introduced the .africa initiative to the French speaking African communities and Internet societies and used the opportunity to establish a 
highly effective and successful media outreach to French-language TV, newspaper, and Internet news organizations,
thus enabling a certain Franco-phone constituency that is now more aware of current issues about the DotAfrica gTLD. (See below the impressive list of press coverage we received while in Dakar!)


he place of Africa on the 

A common theme during the ICANN Dakar meeting was the place of developing regions, particularly Africa, on the future of the Internet. As noted by the Senegalese President, H.E. Abdoulaye  Wade , "our continent is not at the heart of strategic operations of the Internet" and reaffirmed that there was need for Africans to have more access to the Internet by having more computers, to be part of this "registry of human knowledge".   We left Dakar with the conviction that this meeting acted as a catalyst for a greater involvement of Africa on policy deliberations at ICANN in the near future. 

There were calls for participants from developing countries to take a more active part in discussions on the Internet and a resolve for the community to further develop proposals to be submitted to ICANN Board for consideration  on the convening of this summit.  DCA, as the organization that first proposed .africa and that has accomplished a respectable body of work in sensitizing African Internet communities on the importance of the new gTLDs, particularly .africa, will continue putting Africa on the digital map in both continental and global platforms. 
We believe the time has come for Africa to fully embrace and be more involved in the multistakeholder process of Internet governance

DCA's DotAfrica Exhibition in Dakar attracts many visitors

DC A Exhibition at ICANN Dakar Senegal
Over 800 visitors at DCA's Exhibition 
Since DotConnectAfrica was also a Silver -level sponsor of the ICANN Dakar meeting, it also had the privilege of mounting an exhibition of DotAfrica in line with our continued support for the inclusion of Africa in the discussion floor on Internet issues.  DCA has now sponsored two ICANN meetings. Our exhibition booth in Dakar was a popular stop for participants interested in the new .africa gTLD initiative. As Africans, we always embrace initiatives that unify our continent and many participants in Dakar who visited our exhibition stand had high hopes for a Pan-African new generic Top Level Domain name. We were deeply inspired by the demonstration of great enthusiasm for .africa by all those who visited DCA's DotAfrica exhibition at Dakar. 


Our Continued Commitment to work in Cooperation with African  ccTLDs
CCTLD Images for Africa
Map: African ccTLDs
As the commencement date of  the application window for the new gTLDs draws closer, DCA once again extends an invitation to African ccTLD registries to join us and participate as stakeholders in our .africa initiative. Many of you have come by our stand in Dakar and expressed interest and say you will support our efforts and we were very humbled.  This will ensure that we synergize our efforts 
in areas such as policy development, involvement of various communities, technical expertise, capacity building, and cross-marketing at a local level and other areas of interest to make .africa a success based on a resounding win-win outcome for everybody. Expressions of Interest can be sent to 
for more information.  We have proposed a cross marketing model that will see revenues from .africa reinvested in strengthening participating African ccTLDs and we welcome your further input on this issue before the application window opens. 
AFRALO Showcase ICANN 42 Dakar: 
AFRALO meeting
African participation to Internet Development
DotConnectAfrica also attended the AFRALO, the African Regional At Large Organization, showcase in Dakar as well as the AFRALO general assembly.  Various regional At Large Structures (ALS) leaders came forward in resplendent African fashion and attire and represented various constituencies of individual African internet users. Indeed AFRALO has defied great odds and has truly come of age in ensuring the participation of Africa in policy deliberations and discussions at ICANN since its inception during the ICANN Lisbon meeting in 2007.  We salute the AFRALO leadership and the various ALS for their sacrifice and great efforts in ensuring the voice of Africa is heard and for helping entrench the multistakeholder model in Africa. 
Promoting African women in the DNS Industry in Dakar
Miss.Afrique in Dakar, Senegal
Miss.afrique at gala night
One of our
more visible campaigns in the last two ICANN meetings has been, through which we hope to motivate more young African women to take a strong  interest in the technology industry in the continent, with a view to gender mainstreaming and outreach. is DCA's corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that was launched in Singapore by the Yes2dotAfrica Campaign in June 2011.  Its core aim is to create ICT self-awareness and digital empowerment of young women in Africa. 


In Dakar, once again, our miss.afrique volunteers from Senegal got the chance to learn about domains, the larger new gTLD program and other pertinent issues at the centre of Internet governance and policy deliberations. DCA hopes to sponsor more young women leaders in the future to attend conferences and help shape the future of the Internet in Africa.


  DCA at the ICANN Dakar public Forum

Sophia Bekele at ICANN 42 Forum Dakar
Sophia Bekele in line to speak at public Forum
CA a
lso took the opportunity of attending the ICANN Public Forum  meeting in Dakar to 
seek certain clarifications from the ICANN Executive leadership 
regarding the communiqué that was submitted by African Ministerial Round-Table meeting asking the ICANN Board to reserve the .africa .afrique and .afrikia name strings for the benefit of the African Union Commission. 


Engaging interactively with ICANN Leaders at the forum, DCA Executive Director a
nd spearhead of the Yes2DotAfrica campaign ,Ms Sophia Bekele made a strong statement on this issue and urged that "ICANN and the global community not to entertain any requests to include DotAfrica on the list of reserved names". She also re-stated her firm opinion that 
"DotAfrica and similar name strings should only be applied for through the ICANN new gTLD program."
ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, while acknowledging the receipt of the AU-sponsored communiqué from the African Minsiterial Round-Table, also added that the rules of the of the new gTLD application process were "published and quite clear". The ICANN CEO promised that the ICANN Board will respond publicly to all the 12 points of the Communique.  DCA eagerly awaits the outcome of the ICANN response and hopes that the official reply by the ICANN Board will again vindicate 
DCA's faith in the multi-stakeholder model.


DCA at the launch of the OSCAR TICE Program in Dakar
DCA at the Launch of the OSCAR TICE Program
H.E  Minister Gurassey launching the OSCAR
Finally, DCA had the privilege of attending the launch of the OSCAR TICE competition by the Minister of ICT in Senegal 
Monsieur Moustapha Guirassy,
an initiative sponsored by USAID that will measure the degree of integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Senegalese colleges by awarding colleges with best website.  The competition is aimed at building support for the educational community to provide quality education to children in Senegal
 Some 128 colleges in will compete in this laudable initiative.  

Dakar was therefore a crucial meeting for Africa and for the .africa initiative and also a great success. As the last ICANN meeting before the commencement of the new gTLD application process, 
DotConnectAfrica again put forward a final case before Africa for the urgent need of a unified internet presence and we believe the message was well received! 

Press Release:

Press Coverage in Dakar, Senegal:

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Our Press Room                                                            

 . Forbes Magazine names DCA's Foundation & Strategic Advisory Member,  Former ICANN Board Member, Njeri Rionge "Africa's Most Successful Women" more...

  Enterprise Technology magazine, Kampala, names Sophia Bekele, the "Ethiopian Champion of .africa"  more...


. BizCommunity covers DCA's "yes2dotafrica" campaign: "Dot Africa campaign to brand continent" more...

.  Radio Netherlands Worldwide:
A Dotafrica Generation soon to be born: more... 


. Sophia Bekele DCA founder and former ICANN gNSO policy advisor was noted by The Economist, Sept 15, 2010, as "leading the dotafrica initiative":  Can "Africa" get a make-over? more...


. Brains behind .africa, Diplomat East Africa more... 


. DCA is endorsed by African Union (AU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Internationalized Domain Resolution Union (IDRU) language group.   

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About DotConnectAfrica:

DCA is a not-for-profit, non-partisan org incorporated in Mauritius Africa & will sponsor, establish & operate a TLD registry with global recognition & regional significance dedicated to the needs of Pan-African &African community. DCA Reg.ID.CT8710DCA90