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Thomas Kamanzi, Newsletter Editor
26 October 2013
DCA Trust raises ethical questions, writes to newly elected African Union Leaders on .africa debacle
                                                                                      - The Reporter Daily 
The Reporter Daily has revealed a detailed correspondence by DotConnectAfrica to the African Union Leadership.
In summary, the .africa applicant has requested a detailed investigation into the role that the
AU has played in directly supporting one particular bid and campaigning against another, in the .Africa internet domain. 
This includes requesting accountability  and full disclosure of over listing 10 issues
 The Reporter Daily Newspaper is a highly influential and respected source of reliable news in Ethiopia, Africa and online readership globally.
DCA News Alert
DotConnectAfrica Logo African Union logo    

DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust has written to the new AU leadership raising ethical and accountability issues on how the endorsement process was handled from its inception within the African Union institution.


In the letter dated August 2, 2013 the Company asks the AU leadership to "review and investigate the role that the AU has played in directly supporting one particular bid and campaigning against another, in the .Africa internet domain and how this has come to be".

The letter requests a through 'dig' into the procedure that led to Uniforum ZACR to be selected by the African Union and its application to ICANN. This letter is similar to the one sent to the US Congress on February 20, 2013, stating: 

"There is preponderant evidence to now suggest that UniForum ZA Central Registry was not appointed by the African Union Commission based on the outcome of a truly transparent and accountable RFP-based tender process"

and continues to say

"The subsequent appointment received by UniForum through a process that we believe was corrupted provided UniForum with further advantages that also allowed it to obtain additional letters of endorsement from different African Countries to enable it satisfy the requirement of governmental support necessary for applying for a geographical TLD 

The company, DCA Trust, has also requested the authority for an interrogation into activities of lack of transparency and accountability that have unfortunately 'legitimized' an organization that did not do its due diligence to the African public by all means.  In the letter DCA faults the AU for not upholding the Endorsement given in 2009 and in an attempt to "own" .africa, has created an RFP process that was flawed.


The letter also explains how the AU got interested in the name after endorsing DCA initially saying:  


"AU wanted to "own" the .Africa gTLD. However, ICANN explained to them that this was not possible as all gTLD would be administered under a specific program that was being independently administered under their supervision."

"Unfortunately this RFP process was so problematic that we could not participate. This decision was taken in light of the original endorsement by your AU predecessor (Jean Ping), the ICANN requirements versus RFP and the need to keep our business plan confidential. Our view was that ICANN had a process to follow and the AU RFP represented a conflicting parallel process. Recognizing the highly technical nature of the bid and the 18 month assessment that ICANN provides indicates that a one month AU process would be a challenge to succeed.  This is further complicated by a review panel which may have drawn from a limited pool of internet experts, who have vested interest in the context of the bidding process and outcome of .africa."


The three main issues raised by the Company include:  a) that the AU originally endorsed DotConnectAfrica, however a lobby group of vested interested parties encouraged AU to first engage directly with ICANN to take ownership of .Africa - a situation that ICANN would not accept. b) they Issued an RFP to identify a partner would submit on behalf of the "African Community", where the .africa is designated as a generic TLD and not a community - and c) although the AU Press Releases gave an appearance of transparency it is clear that the RFP process did not follow the basic tendering rules needed in a competitive bid.

In its response to ICANN Governmental Committee
, who try to raise issues on behalf of the AU, the Company demanded an accountability, requesting full disclosure of the same listing over 10 items:

1. which firms and organizations participated in the EOI,
2. what they had each proposed;
3. how they were evaluated,
4. what merit-based system was employed in the evaluation of the respective proposals,
5. the relative scores obtained by each evaluated participant,
6. the final rankings and how the decision was arrived at to select UniForum South Africa as 'an African-based registry';
7. the final evaluation committee minutes that were taken during the meeting to decide on the selection,
8. the names of those who assented to those minutes;
9. the decision of the AU Tenders Board to approve the selection of UniForum S.A.
10. and the official signatories to that decision
11. and finally make a full disclosure of all these through a public media announcement.

The questions above however were never responded to. In its letter to the AU, the Company therefore has requested that the pertinent issues be sorted out, stating the AU leadership to:

1. Investigate the circumstances surrounding the issuance and conduct of the RFP.

2. Review subsequent award to Uniforum. This review should reference AU's own procurement policies and internationally accepted practice.

3. Review Uniforum's Private Application to ICANN versus a "Community" clearly envisaged by the wider African groupings.

4. Propose any necessary actions to be taken by AU to correct ICANN GAC advisory that may have been given on the basis of incomplete information.

These requests will hopefully be investigated this time and provide concrete answers to the African public, not only on the issue of accountability of the process, but how the AU even got to be involved in the .africa bid process.
AUC Not Authorized to Endorse:
According to the ICANN guidebook, there is nothing that states that AUC or an African Intergovernmental organization has the authority to endorse a company intending to apply for a geographic string to get governmental approval.  Rather it states that regions "iisted  as a UNESCO region or appearing on the Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings"list.  In this case DotConnectAfrica has in its custody the endorsement of UNECA, however approving authorities within ICANN stopped the process before DCA would even be evaluated by the Geographic Review Panel. It's understood that all applications ought to pass through all the panels irrespective of their status. 

The .africa applicant, DCA Trust has in many cases asserted that ICANN's actions have all been made and informed by the fear of AU reacting negatively rather than following the due process as interpreted in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook. "Regretfully this GAC objection advice to ICANN for our .Africa application was has been subjected to a clearly orchestrated campaign by members of GAC including the Africa Union (a GAC observer) against our application.", the company has said.

It appears that the ICANN Governmental Committee has some house cleaning to do in much of our research where the global internet community has voiced its concerns as to how its conducts its affairs.   It seem that the Governmental Committee need to properly also resuscitate its credibility by creating systems of accountability within its operations to streamline its effectiveness and minimize embarrassing controversial decisions that come off due to conflicting interests and not following the ICANN rules. Despite the final decisions of accepting their advise rests with the ICANN Board, which seem to suffer issues of same.


The Reporter article is available to read here 

Make your comments or hear what others have to say:  click here... 

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Related Recent Commentary & Press Brief by DCA  


  - DCA Registry Participates in the 2nd African IGF, Updates its .Africa bid
  - DCA raised questions on .africa at the ICANN 47 International Meeting in Durban, SA
  - DCA Update on IE, the Geo Panel were stopped by ICANN Board from completing their work. 
  - GAC Letter of Objection Adv & Initial Eval & Update on Escalation to the U.S Congress 
  - DCA TrustClarified its .africa bidat the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in Addis Ababa
  - Rejoinder Part II & Official Response to Kevin Murphy -DOMAININCITE 

  - Rejoinder Part I & Official - Response to Kevin Murphy -DOMAININCITE  

  - DCA PR -Sabotage to Our Wikipedia Sites 

  - DCA Official Public Commentary to UNIFORUM's Application to ICANN 

  - Rejoinder: "Bizarre twist in .africa tale" TechCentral South Africa    

  - Alice Munyua:� STOP Misrepresenting and Distorting Facts to the African publics 

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


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


   -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 

   --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 Communiqu�  

   -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 

 Before Africa does


let it do


Excerpt from Key Note Address: DCA Executive Director at AITEC ICT Summit

French Press 

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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
Press Contact: Thomas Kamanzi, Newsletter Editor [email protected] DotConnectAfrica,