On behalf of DCA Trust, I am pleased to inform our Pan-African and Global Internet constituency that we have successfully submitted a new gTLD application for the DotAfrica domain name space under the new programme for Internet Top-Level Domain expansion launched by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The DotAfrica gTLD application was submitted by DCA Trust during the application window that opened on 12th January 2012 and closed on 30th May 2012. The original closing date was 12th April 2012, but this was extended on account of a technical glitch suffered by the online-based TLD Application System (TAS) operated by ICANN.
Normal TAS services were restored on 22nd May 2012 which allowed the uneventful re-opening of the system..
Following the successful submission of our DotAfrica gTLD application to ICANN, we now wish to express our utmost thankfulness to all our esteemed supporters, stakeholders, endorsers, and partners that have given momentum to our initiative over the past 6 years since preparatory work started. It has been a long journey,
but the struggle is by no means over.
One explicit commitment conveyed in our DotAfrica application to ICANN is that DCA Trust will establish a full-service Internet registry which will be operated by DCA Registry Services Ltd. in accordance with the technical and operational criteria and other specifications stipulated by ICANN in the new gTLD Applicants' Guidebook. The objective of setting up DCA Registry Services Limited is to run a viable business as a registry operator, providing approved and additional registry services with guaranteed business and registry continuity for its valued customers. The Vision of DCA Registry Services Limited is to operate a world-class Internet domain name registry service for the DotAfrica gTLD that is technically, operationally, and financially sustainable, whilst contributing to global Internet stability and security.
The surpluses from the registry operation will accrue to the DCA Trust Fund and used to finance and support various charitable projects for the benefit of different stakeholders.
We are therefore very confident that in keeping with this shared vision for the establishment of world-class registry services in an African country that provides approved registry services, domain name registration prices will fall dramatically for the benefit of those who want a DotAfrica domain name at a very affordable price. DotAfrica domain names will be useful for branding of products and services for the enormous benefit of organizations and individuals that have an enduring stake in Africa thereby providing a very unique African on-line identity.
The DotAfrica gTLD will offer opportunities for Internet-based innovation, and we welcome prospective users and registrants to continue to support our DotAfrica initiative in order for these projected benefits
to be realized on behalf of many.
According to ICANN's time-table for the post-application submission phase, the batching of applications will begin in a few days and will last for about 3 weeks. All the submitted applications
have to be processed by ICANN in batches.
The announcement of the applied-for domain names, and who applied for what gTLD, and the names of the respective applicants will be officially revealed by ICANN on 13th June 2012. The 'Reveal Day' will also signal the formal commencement of the applications comment period and the formal objection period. Again, we shall continue to count on the support of all our supporters, stakeholders and endorsers in order to defend and protect our DotAfrica gTLD application from frivolous and other forms of objection and opposition. This is to ensure that our mutual vision is not compromised by those who wish to take over the DotAfrica gTLD to serve vested interests or used to satisfy the expediency of business opportunists.
It is expected that the initial evaluations will begin by 12th July 2012, a process that is expected to last for five (5) months. If there are no objections to our DotAfrica application, the process leading to a final decision will be considerably shorter and hopefully, the DotAfrica new gTLD will be delegated and made operational during 2013. However, because of the history of the DotAfrica gTLD and our experience during the 'Yes2DotAfrica' promotional campaign, we anticipate a prolonged process. Even so, we believe that with your continuing support we shall continue to look forward to a highly victorious outcome. This underscores why your unremitting support and goodwill is still required until the DotAfrica gTLD is successfully delegated to DCA.
Until the day of final victory, we shall continue to draw strength and moral encouragement from you to enable us successfully defend our shared vision for DotAfrica and deliver on all our promises and commitments made on behalf of all those who believe in an open, free, stable, secure and multi-stakeholder governed Internet.
Once again, we remain very much thankful for all the support that we have received so far from you. DCA is very humbled by the confidence reposed in us as your preferred applicant and prospective registry operator of the DotAfrica gTLD registry.
We wish you God's blessings and May God bless Africa and grant us the DotAfrica gTLD based on the inclusive and participatory vision that we have shared with you.