DotConnectAfrica        -    December 2012 NewsletterYes2dotAfrica with logo
          A Year in Review- 2012!
Seasons Greetings 2012!
Season's Greetings SEASONSGREETINGS 
2012 End of Year Message at Christmas-from the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign!
Message from the Founder/Executive Director

As Executive Director of DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust) and spearhead of the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign, it gives me great pleasure to send this end of year message at Christmas to our entire Pan-African constituency and global community of supporters and well-wishers all over the world.  

Sophia Bekele at California Symphony
Sophia Bekele at California Symphony Ball


2012 was truly and eventful and memorable year. It was a year of many firsts and though Africa is recovering from the natural disasters faced in 2011 as well as leadership changes all over the world, we had some positive land marks as well. 


Here in Africa we have seen major changes in the governments as well as development in the Internet infrastructure.


The continent is healing from the revolution witnessed in North Africa that saw the overthrow of three Heads of States in Tunisia,Egypt and Libya in 2011. The protest movements in North Africa were aided, and the events propelled, by extensive use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter only show how Africans are yearning for new leadership and we hope for a promising and developing democratic future. 
The Internet and ICTs are being employed as useful and collaborative tools in this quest for democratic freedoms.


DCA believes protests do not come with a "code of conduct". The voices 

of dissent and those excluded and marginalized should simply be heard by the political leadership. 
To avoid large-scale upheaval, institutions and political systems need to be reformed in order to effect social change through non-violent and democratic means.

Countries like the USA recently held peaceful elections and have now embarked on national development after re-electing President Obama, who was named Man of the Year in this week's Time Magazine. D
evelopments are reminiscent of democratic processes that need to be encouraged all over the world. 
According to Time Magazine: "The Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as "that hopey-changey stuff."  It could be measured - in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners. It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year:  History would not record Obama's presidency as a fluke." 
Even in times such as the Hurricane Sandy that devastated parts of the North-Eastern USA, we join hands to comfort those affected and hope that better emergency response mechanisms are adopted to mitigate the effects of such unavoidable natural disasters in the future. 
In the internet circles, 2012 proved to be a seminal year for Internet Governance and would go down in history as the Year of the new gTLD Program which the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had launched to expand and radically transform the Internet.

In early March, DCA graced the ICANN 43 meeting, held at Costa Rica discussions focuses in bettering the development of the internet, particularly issues that deal with transparency.   DCA seconds Mr. Beckstrom the former ICANN CEO who indeed remarked "We must seize the opportunity to embrace the transparency and good governance that this precious resource deserves. ICANN must be able to act for the public good while placing commercial and financial interest in the appropriate context."
In April, DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) had submitted an application for the .Africa geographic name string.  DCA Trust had received early endorsements since 2008/2009 for the .Africa string from the African Union Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, on the basis of which it had undertaken a multi-year global campaign and promotional effort to create awareness and support for the .Africa name string; and felt great relief after successfully submitting its .Africa application when the new gTLD application window closed eventually.  


The ICANN Reveal Day however, on 13 June 2012 - which listed the New gTLD Applied-For String saw one of the highest test for DotConnectAfrica when its application came out as .dotafrica forcing DCA to clarify its application in several meetings including Prague and IGF EastAfrica.  Later in 

November, the announcement of a major victory was made when DotConnectAfrica's  change request for .africa gTLD domain name string was approved by ICANN, thus bringing to an end the reports by detractors that DCA had lost the battle for .Africa.
In the same month, DCA was present at ICANN 44 in Prague and was ably represented by a great team that included the Exec Dir/CEO Ms. Bekele and a high level delegation from Kenya. This meeting came at a time when three of ICANN communities are having anniversaries with RALOS celebrating a 5 years of existence, 10 years for ALAC and LACNIC.  It was also historic moment with the introduction of the new ICANN CEO.   
Mr. Fadi Chehadé formerly took over from the Veteran Rod Beckstrom. He introduced a new executive leadership team, and presented a new management and operating structure. Mr. Chehadé also started a new era of engagement with Africa that would be pivoted on the ICANN Africa Strategy - a 3-year Africa-focused strategic plan that will be implemented along-side ICANN's Strategic Plan period spanning July 2013 to June 2016. Dr. Tarek Kamel, Senior Advisor to the ICANN CEO was appointed to lead the ICANN Africa Strategy. 


The ICANN-45 International Meeting in Toronto, Canada in October saw the unveiling of the initial draft of the ICANN Africa Strategy.  This provided the necessary impetus for DotConnectAfrica Trust to also propose the Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA), an initiative for implementation as its principal contribution to the ICANN Africa Strategy, and took an opportunity of the same meeting to unveiled the IBCA Initiative at ICANN Public Forum. IBCA is intended to promote multi-stakeholder diversity in line with ICANN's strategic objectives, and is envisioned as an initiative that would increase the participation of the Africa Private Sector in Internet Governance, and provide a strong platform for greater involvement of the African Private and non-Governmental sector in ICANN's work in Africa. DCA Trust intends to continue pushing this initiative to key partners and stakeholders during 2013 and beyond.


Our resilient activity in fighting for a better .africa, DCA saw a massive, willful and malicious attack to its Wikipedia pages and select email lists. However these low moments also acted as the best moments to strengthen DCA's bid in a journey that has not been easy.

DotConnectAfrica also E-Participated at the Baku IGF 2012using the most available Internet resource to make valuable contributions in Internet governance even at a time when Azerbaijan was experiencing protests over anti-freedom restrictions. DCA also contributed in its part to ITU ITR changes, thus exercising its  right to have a say on any proposed changes that will  impact global telecommunication or the Internet.
2012 proved to be an important year for the enjoyment of freedom of speech on the Internet when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), an organ of the United Nations General Assembly, passed a resolution during its 20th Session for the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet, an important victory for the efforts of human rights 

campaigners and all those who have been advocating for greater Internet freedoms and fighting against censorship on the Internet.


The debate intensified on the future of Global Internet Governance - whether to continue with the present model as it is - a consensus-based multi-stakeholder approach led by ICANN acting on behalf of a 'global community' where every stakeholder has a voice; or put the regulation of the Internet under the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  The main proponents of the UN regulated Internet - namely, China, Russia, India, South Africa - want a situation whereby governments have more control (or an expanded voice) in shaping the future of the Internet, and believe that only the United Nations would provide them with the necessary framework to achieve their objectives beyond the consultative Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

DotConnectAfrica Trust had also weighed in by writing an open letter to Senator John 'Jay' Rockefeller, Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and copied to other United States Congressional and administration leaders expressing support in defense of the status quo on Global Internet Governance Model and a reaffirmation of the Multi-stakeholder process.  DCA Trust used the medium to express its support
"for the U.S. Government's position in defense of the Global Internet Governance status quo; which promises further stability and continuity in a more predictable manner"
and also demonstrated support for ICANN by urging 
the U.S. Government - on an inter-agency basis - to consider providing without stint, any required capacity supports for ICANN to enable it play a more compelling role in Global Internet Governance so as to shore up the Multi-stakeholder process."

During 2013 and beyond, DCA Trust intends to continue its engagement on this and similar matters with US Congressional and other leaders.


At the end of November 2012, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly to bar any plans for the UN regulation of the Internet. This followed an earlier resolution that was passed in June 2012 by the House Energy and Commerce opposing UN Internet regulation.  The House passed a Senate Resolution that calls on the United States Government to oppose UN control of the Internet.  It was quite obvious that the unanimous 

397 -0 vote was passed on the eve of the WCIT meeting in Dubai to unequivocally demonstrate U.S. resolve regarding any UN plans to regulate the Internet.  The U.S. continues to favour an open, multi-stakeholder Internet that is free from any government controls. The UN is an inter-governmental body, and allowing it to control the Internet would allow governments to control Global Internet Governance.  


Two important events took place in the last month of 2012.  The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The other important event was the ICANN Prioritization Draw.  


The WCIT-12 was organized by the International Telecommunications Union to reform the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). It was well-attended by world leaders, telecommunications operatives/regulators, and diplomatic representatives of governments. ICANN had also sent a strong delegation to Dubai.  However, the outcome of the Dubai meeting was not successful. The U.S. delegation refused to sign up to the international treaty, arguing that the scope of the treaty did not cover Internet regulation, and citing provisions in the treaty that would give UN approval for governments to control and censor the Internet and private networks. The U.S. position was similarly adopted by many European countries EU who refused to back the treaty, therefore no consensus was reached. The U.S. position was also supported by some African countries including Kenya.
In the coming months and well into 2013, ICANN would see the constant need to justify and consolidate its existing role in Global Internet Governance, and try to always demonstrate that it should be trusted to act in the global public interest, and that Global Internet Governance should not be placed under a United Nations body such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Furthermore, ICANN would also need to demonstrate to its supporters and detractors alike that it can 'transparently' regulate itself, and does not need to be reformed against the backdrop of strident clamors for ICANN to be reformed. ICANN does not have a regulatory body to supervise its functions and activities.  It still continues to operate as one global community that principally runs itself on the basis of consensus policies.  ICANN would still have to show that its operations are transparent, and that its operatives are not all conflicted and that the organization is still committed to the achievement of a Gold Standard regarding Conflict of Interest Matters.


On December 17, 2012, DCA Trust participated in the ICANN Prioritization Draw in Los Angeles, USA. ICANN had announced plans for the prioritization draw process which it described as "an equitable and reliable method is required for prioritizing new gTLD applications to meet root zone scaling requirements and enable timely processing of applications through contract execution and pre-delegation testing."  The Prioritization Draw was used by ICANN to assign a priority number to each application.  DCA Trust's .Africa application drew 1,005 as its priority number. The draw numbers will be employed by ICANN in scheduling initial evaluations and also utilized in releasing the evaluation results. It would also serve as the basis of scheduling appointments for pre-delegation testing and execution of new gTLD Registry Services Agreements between ICANN and successfully evaluated applicants.


Finally, DCA Trust had raised issues of Conflict of Interest to the ICANN Board regarding two Board Members requesting that they should not be allowed to participate in any new gTLD Program discussions or decisions concerning .Africa.  The matter was looked into by the ICANN Ombudsman whose report only managed to achieve a Modus Vivendi in terms of its final conclusion.  DCA Trust would continue to insist that, at a minimum, the two Board Members should endeavor to recuse themselves from engaging in any decision-making role on .Africa gTLD.  


DCA Trust anticipates that the controversies surrounding the .Africa new gTLD would make the process of delegating .Africa difficult or not-straight-forward.  In early December DCA Trust was compelled to respond officially to the ICANN Board and ICANN GAC to defend the GAC Early Warning Advice that had been issued against its .Africa application by the ICANN GAC based on objections that had been filed by the African Union Commission and some African governments. DCA Trust had presented a remediation plan to address concerns regarding governmental supports for its .Africa geographic name application.  

As we take 

stock of the major highlights of our activities during 2012, overall, we are pleased with the accomplishments of the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign. 
We are thankful to all our supporters
- for the hope they have provided to enable us sustain our global promotional efforts, their constant encouragement and the strength we drew from that, even as we underscore the need for their continuous support in this last mile of our long journey, for the realization of the DotAfrica vision.
We ask that you continue to pray for DCA, DotAfrica and Africa during this Christmas period and beyond.

Once again, we wish you the very best compliments of the season.


On behalf of DCA and myself, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013 in advance, for Africa and the world!.


Sophia Bekele

Founder/Executive Director


In this Issue

DotConnectAfrica Personalities of  the Year 


BEKEEWACThe Standard Daily, one of premium private newspapers in East Africa, profiles Sophia Bekele as an "Achieving Women"

calling upon her as 

"The Global Telecommunication policy Leader" 

Read More

Sophia Bekele Toronto



"Governments have a role in gTLDs but..." 
"The problem is that this power to endorse is often interpreted and extended to include overall sovereignty over the new gTLD.   We believe this should not be the case since it is monopolistic and anti-competitive coupled with problems of lack of transparency and accountability."
Sophia Bekele , CIO Read More 


Kenyan information official leads an IT revolution - Los Angels Times 

   PS- Bitange Ndemo - DotConnectAfrica

Since Bitange Ndemo got Kenya hooked up to high-speed Internet, there has been no stopping his cyber-progress. A 'Silicon Savannah' is now flourishing. [Full Read... ]
WCIT 12 -New communication rules: Kenya refuses to sign on
"Why would we want to change anything? This period that ITU has not been regulating internet there have been tremendous innovations. ICANN (a multi-stakeholder arrangement) has worked very well in the past. You try to give your freedom on internet to ITU and by the time you wake up, government will be 20 km away with your freedom," he said in an earlier interview. PS Ndemo  Read More  
About me Avitar
The invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) is currently open and DCA is now accepting letters of  EOI to participate on advisory boards, committees and subcommittees for the 2013-2014 term.    


 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 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 E[email protected] 
Join Our Mailing List
Yes2dotAfrica Campaign - Part I- Journey of .Africa by DotConnectAfrica
Yes2dotAfrica Campaign - Part I- Journey of .Africa by DotConnectAfrica

This video is a collection of films, captions and media campaign efforts made by DotConnectAfrica to introduce the .Africa gTLD to the Peoples of Africa. 

See you all in 2013!


2012 has been an eventful year in our Yes2dotAfrica campaign but with your support it has been worth the while.   


We did apply for the .africa gTLD as promised in our earlie campaigns and re proud to say that just recently we participated in the prioritization drawing that is a part of the process in the making of the .africa registry. We have reached newer constituencies, regions and language groups and wherever we have been,  Africa has shown us that it is ready for a new gTLD registry.  It's ready for its namespace in the internet 


In 2013 we shall embark in the process of defending our application to ICANN based on merit and our promises. It will indeed be a tough process but if we have managed to come this far, we are positive that come December 2013 we shall be registering names such as 


Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year! 


Thomas Kamanzi
Editorial Advisor/
ANNOUNCEMENTDecember Announcement - 5th Year Anniversary

DCA Celebrated Five (5) years of informative and concise news through our periodic and regular Newsletters and TedBits. Read More


DCA has been more than a .africa gTLD campaign!    DotConnectAfrica Newsletter


Apart from its vigorous promotional campaign to communicate the objectives and benefits of the DotAfrica new gTLD, DCA has also been very active as a major intellectual contributor in topical issues of contemporary Internet governance in Africa and globally.  


DCA has prepared many exclusive commentaries, executive briefings, updates and analyses, on substantive African DNS and related Internet Domain policy activities, including the new gTLD programme, that are of concern to its Pan African constituency and global audience with the objective of enriching the discourse whilst informing its followers and supporters, so as to raise awareness, through our Pan-African social media networks.


We have simplified your participation in ONE BOX! 
Simply click here and join our "Yes2dotAfrica" campaign, by following us on ".africa" social media, or filling out the petition, and/or simply sending us email for partnerships and proposals, and see how we can build this great Pan-African Nation we all dream about!
ANNOUNCEMENTDotConnectAfrica Participates in ICANN lottery draw ranking 1005 for .africa - A Historic MilestoneDotConnectAfrica Trust Prioritization Draw
DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) in its mover to secure the .africa string in order to set up the first ever African based gTLD registry has participated in the ICANN New gTLD Prioritization Draw held in Los Angeles. Monday, December 17th. 2012.  Read More 

NITADCA OPEN Letter to US Congress In Defence of Status Quo 


In June  2012  DCA sent an open letter to the US congress to Express Support in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model and Reaffirmation of the Multistakeholder Process


US Senate DotConnectAfrica

We begin Senator by commending your enviable record of distinguished public service in the United States Congress spanning nearly three decades, and your esteemed leadership of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and previous stint in the Senate Committee on Intelligence where you introduced and made invaluable contributions to cyber-security and telecommunications legislation. Read more 

DotConnectAfrica Announces the Establishment of World Class Registry


Map of Kenya - DotConnectAfrica

DCA believes that setting-up a world-class registry system infrastructure that is physically located in Africa will be an important 'criticality' to the unconditional success of the DotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) project. Read More provided input at the IGF, Nairobi - DCA Clarifies Its .africa bid

The annual East African Internet Governance Forum (EAIGF) event was held recently at the Jacaranda Hotel Nairobi.  It was preceded by the Kenya IGF that was held at the same venue a fortnight ago. representing DCA, voiced strong opinion on youth and dotafrica.Read More

SANFRANCISCODotConnectAfrica Participates in ICANN-44 Prague  

ICANN Prague - Clock


DCA a was ably represented by a great team that included the Exec Dir/CEO Ms. Bekele  and a high level delegation from Kenya.  DCA assured all stakeholders that asked including ICANN representatives that its applied for gTLD application is for "Africa" string and not a  ".dotafrica", as has been circulating in the pressRead More


DCA Trust puts .africa New gTLD Users and Registrants First

DotAFrica Pricing


Following the recent ICANN Reveal, one clear fact that emerged from the published parts of DotConnectAfrica's application, was DCA's very affordable unit domain name registration price for standard domains in the .Africa new gTLD extension. Read More
SANFRANCISCODotConnectAfrica Participates in ICANN-45 Toronto-Unveils new IBCA Initiative at ICANN Public Forum

DotConnectAfrica & CentralNic in Toronto


DCA Trust used the opportunity afforded by the presence of the entire ICANN Global Community gathered at Toronto to also unveil the IBCA - Internet Business Council for Africa - initiative that it has independently developed as a component of the ICANN Africa Strategy Read More

SINGAPOREGoodBye .DOTAFRICA:  A significant landmark Victory in the battle for .Africa gTLD 

dotdotafrica question


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has officially approved the Change Request made by DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust) for its .Africa (DotAfrica) gTLD Domain Name String application.  Read More


The ICANN update can be viewed at the New gTLD Current Application Status page.

MUNICHYes2dotafrica Campaign Continues to Promote .africa at International fora! Dominios DotConnectAfrica 


DCA's Yes2dotAfrica Campaign showcased in the First Latin America & Caribbean Domain conference in Buenos Aires Argentina Read More
SENEGALDCA Continues to Innovate!




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