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Press Contact:
Thomas Kamanzi, Newsletter Editor
7 Sept 2012
Smiley  - Bizzarre Twist on .africa - DotConnectAfrica

Rejoinder to TechCentral SouthAfrica

'Bizarre twist in .africa tale'


To:  The Editor-in-Chief, 

Tech Central SouthAfrica


We thank you for your recent article (Re: 'Bizarre twist in .africa tale'  located at Our estimation is that the story written by Mr. Craig Wilson and published on your web site is very unbalanced and absolutely lacks objectivity.


The writer has simply acknowledged that they were unable to reach DCA for comment; therefore, the story does not contain DCA's comments and official opinion on the matter, and we see the story as unbalanced and deliberately crafted to further the point of view of UniForum ZA Central Registry; with the intention, perhaps, of achieving a jingoistic objective. 


We believe that some efforts should have been made on the part of your writer to contact DCA to ensure the interest of balance and objectivity.  Many Internet news media and web sites contact DCA all the time seeking one form of clarification or the other whilst also asking DCA to present its own side of the story regarding the DotAfrica issue.

We therefore wish to use this opportunity to respond to some of the comments contained in your article.





           First, DotConnectAfrica Trust has not 

applied for the wrong domain.


We have applied for the 6-charcter ASCII string that references the geographic name 'Africa'.  The reveal by ICANN clearly indicates that DCA Trust has submitted an application for a geographic name.   


Please refer to the ICANN list for applied-for gTLDs that is publicly available on the ICANN web site.  Our organization has already issued the necessary clarifications, and also brought the issue to the immediate attention of ICANN. 


We therefore expect ICANN to resolve the matter as soon as possible, as they have unmistakably indicated to DCA that they would in due course. 



We believe that any story that purports to indicate that DCA Trust applied for the wrong domain name is a rearguard effort that is being sponsored by our detractors to undermine our application, and convey the impression that only UniForum ZA Central Registry applied for the .Africa domain name.


DotConnectAfrica spent several years undertaking a global campaign at great cost for the DotAfrica (.Africa) domain name, including lobbying efforts directed at the US Department of Commerce National Technology & Information Administration (NTIA) to enable support for the ICANN new gTLD programme, so we know what string name we applied for.   UniForum as a late-comer on DotAfrica cannot boast of any track record in this regard. 


We shall therefore continue to oppose any such insinuations that DotConnectAfrica Trust did not apply for the 'Africa' geographic name, when the ICANN reveal of applied-for gTLDs clearly indicates that DCA has submitted an application for a geographic name.   The ICANN Evaluation will determine which geographic name actually appertains to DCA's application.



Our second comment relates to the issue of 'community' 


 and this is what we truly consider

as a




"bizarre twist in .Africa tale "


According to your article, "the ZA Central Registry, also known as UniForum, says it intends to administer the .africa domain on behalf of the African digital community as a whole" and that 'Domain Incite, an industry website, reported in July that the African Union Commission had explicitly endorsed UniForum to "administer and operate" the .africa domain "on behalf of the African community". Again, your writer should have tried to verify whether UniForum actually submitted an application on behalf of the African Community or not. This is quite bizarre against the backdrop that your writer copiously quoted the views of Mr. Neil Dundas in his article.  We believe that your writer should have been more diligent.


From what we have gleaned from the published parts of the UniForum new gTLD application for .Africa, it is not a Community TLD application.   It is possible according to the statement made in the preceding paragraph that the African Union has indeed provided UniForum with a letter of appointment to apply on behalf of the African Community, but UniForum clearly did not submit an African Community TLD application according to the putative African Union appointment or endorsement.  


One only needs to see the published parts of UniForum's application and their answers to Question numbers 19 and 20 to verify that UniForum deliberately failed to acknowledge any Community in their official answers to ICANN.  The global Internet public should know this: 


                              Question No. 19 an 

unequivocal "No"


In their answer to Question No. 19 ("Is the application for a Community based TLD?"), they unequivocally stated "No".   

Mission & Purpose of Proposed TLD

In describing the Mission and Purpose of their proposed gTLD (Question No. 18), UniForum have noted  
inter alia
"The ZACR and its partners in Africa, representing governments, ccTLD administrators, the technical and user communities, share a collective vision of establishing and running a successful, African-based registry operation for the benefit and pride of Africa."


How could such a bold statement indicating a diverse community partnership be truly reconciled with their blank answer to Question 20 (a)? 


Answers to Q 20 (a) to (f) - Blank

(a) Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing serveUniForum intentionally left it blank, thus indicating that they have not actually named any  community that they claim to be committing to serve in their new gTLD application for .Africa. 


Interestingly, UniForum also left their answers to the following important Community TLD-related questions blank:


The question  No. 20 (b) - (e) which immediately follows: 


(b) Explain the applicant's relationship to the community identified in 20(a).

(c) Provide a description of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.

(d) Explain the relationship between the applied for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a).

(e) Provide a complete description of the applicant's intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD. Policies and enforcement mechanisms are expected to constitute a coherent set.

(f) Attach any written endorsements for the application from established institutions representative of the community identified in 20(a). An applicant may submit written endorsements by multiple institutions, if relevant to the community.



Third, "The only formal endorsement provided by the African Union & its Member States" was to apply 
  "on behalf of  the African Community"    -  AUC 
Support was granted to UNIFORUM by the African Union ,  on the basis of actualizing an African Community TLD application for .Africa i.e "the only formal endorsement provided by the African Union and its member states"; but after obtaining the support of the AUC (a reason that was also used to garner additional support from other African countries (AU member states)), UniForum decided to renege on its commitment to submit an application on behalf  of the African community.  This is what we consider as an outrigh act of fraudulence.   
For instance, there were a total of eleven (11)  Geographic Names that were applied for as Community-based strings in this current round (See for eg.  


We believe this is what the African Union Commission and its Task Force advisers probably had in mind when they unambiguously stated inter alia in their RFP document   
 (to select a registry operator for DotAfrica): "the winning bidder should bear in mind that" :
  • "this is a geographical TLD which should be run on behalf of the community" 
  • "Collaborate with the Internet community on the project" and
  • "Lead the effort to create an active domain name community in Africa



Fourth, we agree with Mr. Duncan

that DCA application should be

"evaluated for a geographic name"


Since we have clearly proved that the UniForum application is not a Community TLD application and that their .Africa application submitted to ICANN was not actually made on behalf of the African Community, we also remain in complete agreement with Mr. Neil Duncan Dundas of UniForum ZA Central Registry that the DCA application for DotAfrica (.Africa) should be evaluated as a geographic TLD, since DCA has obviously applied for the geographic name 'Africa', a 6-character ASCII string.  
We are therefore quite confident that the ICANN evaluation criteria are robust enough to deal with any issues of string similarity or confusion regarding DotAfrica (.Africa). 


Finally, DCA will retaliate legally against any Objections



If so, DCA hereby serves notice that DCA will be forced to retaliate by immediately instituting legal proceedings against UniForum ZA Central Registry, and let UniForum try to defend itself in a U.S. Federal Court to explain how it managed to convince the African Union and African governments to support it for an African Community application, when it clearly failed to submit any .Africa Community TLD application on behalf of the African Community to ICANN. 


We are quite confident that a competent Federal Court within the jurisdiction of the United States of America will readily declare, and make a binding judicial ruling, that UniForum's specious AU endorsement is illegitimate since UniForum has clearly failed to satisfy the principal condition of "a gTLD application on behalf of the African Community" under which the support of the AU Commission was granted to it.


We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,
DCA Public Communications Team
Nairobi, Kenya



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Related Articles on UNIFORUM,  founders of ARC and AU EOI/RFP Process:


   -DCA's Commentary on ITWebAfrica Story- The 185,000 Misunderstanding on .africa

   -Exclusive Commentary from DCA: AFTLD seeks mandate to manage .africa 

   -Rejoinder: Official Response: Kevin Murphy- DOMIANINCITE -Only ICANN should decide on .Africa

   -DCA Exclusive Commentary: A Moral Victory: "The Structure" - The Internet Kill Switch for Africa

   -DCA Press Briefing :African Union & UNIFORUM SA should beware of Wrong Doing

   -DCA: Yes2dotAfrica Campaign say "NO" to African Union RFP  (11/23/2011)

   -Say "NO" to the Masquerade 'African Agenda' for Dakar and the Illegal Cabal Supporting It!

   -Say NO to DotAfrica CABAL (Whither DotAfrica amidst Confusion, Promiscuity and...)

   -Say NO to African Registry Consortium  (ARC)

   -Beware: DotAfrica has been hi-jacked by new gTLD cuckoos  

 -DCA REJOINDER:African Union requests proposals domain registry

   -Yes2DotAfrica Campaign say "NO" to African Union "EOI" 

   -DCA Alarmed over AU Unofficial mandate over dotafrica registry 

   -DCA REJOINDER: African Union and the .Africa debate 


Related Articles on .africa (DotAfrica) issues:


   -Say "NO" to the Masquerade 'African Agenda' for Dakar and the Illegal Cabal Supporting It!

   -You Asked, We Clarified: The Justification for our NO Campaign

   -Say NO to DotAfrica CABAL (Whither DotAfrica amidst Confusion, Promiscuity and...)

   -Say NO to African Registry Consortium  (ARC)

   -Our Score Card- Regarding our NO Campaign

-Beware: DotAfrica has been hi-jacked by new gTLD cuckoos  

-DCA REJOINDER: Misleading and Unfair reportage on dotafrica - The Daily Champion Newspaper 

-The Daily Champion: AFTLD, DCA battle for the Soul of DotAfrica

   -The Daily Champion: Ministers seek framework for DotAfrica Project 

   -DCA REJOINDER:African Union requests proposals domain registry
   -ComputerWorld Kenya: African Union requests proposals for .africa domain registry

   -DCA Response to AU TaskForce/Infrastructure & Energy "Briefing Note on .africa"  

   -Yes2DotAfrica Campaign say "NO" to African Union "EOI" 

   -African Union Yanks .Africa Bid Support - Seeks Registries 

   -DCA Commentary: Response to the African Union Commission Communiqué  

   -Say "NO" on Nii Quaynor, Vice Chair of African Union ".africa" Task Force

   -"Corruption" claims as .africa fight heats up.

   -DCA Alarmed over AU Unofficial mandate over dotafrica registry 

   -DCA to Challenge AFTLD on DotAfrica Domain 

   -DCA REJOINDER: AfTLD seeks mandate to manage .africa   

-ComputerWorld Kenya: AfTLD seeks mandate to manage .africa 

-Yes2dotAfrica Campaign Successful at ICANN 40, SanFrancisco, CA 

-Vote 'NO" on AfTLD to manage the .africa TLD 

-Competition for .africa heats up 

-DotAfrica project alleges Sabotage from AU 

-DCA REJOINDER: African Union and the .Africa debate 

-ComputerWorld Kenya: African Union Joins the .Africa debate 

-Vote "NO" to Candidate Pierre Dandjinou for ICANN Board  

-Yes2dotAfrica campaign announced in Kenya 

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