DotConnectAfrica                                 December 2013 NewsletterYes2dotAfrica with logo
          A Year in Review- 2013!

Season's Greetings  

2013 End of Year Message at Christmas-from the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign! 

Message from the Founder/Executive Director


As Executive Director of DotConnectAfrica 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!


As 2013 draws to a close it is worth looking back at where we have been and consider what 2014 will bring. As usual for DCA, it has been a year of intense activity to ensure that our promise to Africa stands - that "we shall deliver .africa registry to the continent, sooner than expected".
DCA Trust has a long-standing tradition of informing its African and global constituency on matters affecting the global Internet Governance, ICANN and related African affairs.  Our regular Newsletters and Social media Campaigns sites provide us the conduit to keep all informed and more importantly, get feedbak on our initiatives.

Before reviewing the major highlights of what DCA Trust accomplished during the year, I would like to make an extended commentary on the most important global issue of 2013.  


From Wikileaks of 2012 to Edward Snowden's NSA Leaks of 2013:  

Implications for Global Internet Governance


2012 will always be remembered as the Year of Wikileaks. Similarly, 2013 shall also be remembered as the year that Edward Snowden, a computer security specialist and former CIA employee and National Security Agency contractor, leaked classified information regarding the NSA global surveillance programs.


Whilst Wikileaks was about US diplomatic cables, the Edward Snowden disclosure of classified NSA information to private media organizations such as the UK Guardian newspaper has had graver implications for global Internet privacy.  Unfortunately, the NSA leak presented the United States of America as a country that practically spies on everybody in a most indiscriminate manner, including its own allies.  It was revealed that the President of Brazil, Ms. Dilma Rouseff had been spied upon by the USA; a dangerous revelation that compelled her to cancel a planned official visit to the United States of America. The German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel also complained that her mobile phone had been hacked into, and the 'usual suspect' had been listening into all her conversations. The German Government was indignant   and complained directly to the US Government.  The EU also sought clarifications from the United States. Most foreign leaders demanded that US spying must stop after it was revealed by the Guardian that 35 world leaders had been spied upon after their telephone communications were tapped.  


Brazil had to take the matter to the United Nations General Assembly and collaborated with Germany in October to draft a resolution on the US spying allegations that would guarantee the privacy of electronic communications. The consensus resolution on "The right to privacy in the digital age" was adapted on 19th December 2013.  It calls on UN Member States to "review their procedures, practices and legislation on the surveillance of communications, their interception and collection of personal data, including mass surveillance, with a view to upholding the right to privacy by ensuring the full and effective implementation of all relevant obligations under international human rights law".  This seems to be the only coordinated reaction by the international community to the US global spying and surveillance activities.
But the revelation is that the US Federal Government has expanded its global electronic surveillance program and is said to have been collecting diverse types of information including email, chat, video-conferencing, file transfers, etc. supplied by Internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, YouTube, etc, although all of them denying it, unless under a court order.  These companies are often forced to comply since it is lawful under US laws for them to cooperate with National Intelligence Agencies. The US-based Internet and Telecoms companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) ordinarily cannot refuse to provide data upon the request of US national security agencies against the backdrop that increased surveillance activities by US National Security operatives are justified by heightened global counter-terrorism efforts that are aimed at discovering and disrupting terrorist threats.


Thus, anything that is happening on the Internet, especially on the Social Media space is no longer private. These recent revelations have clearly shown that Internet user privacy has been significantly undermined and public confidence and trust on the Internet as a communications platform has been considerably eroded.


It is expected that these issues would remain topical throughout 2014 and beyond, as the future of Global Internet Governance is debated. The voices of those calling for a paradigm shift in the architecture of Global Internet Governance towards one that de-emphasizes the centrality of U.S.-based institutions will no doubt become more strident. The NSA leaks and the allegations of widespread international spying activities by the United States of America, including access to millions of data records obtained from Internet and telephone companies, have seriously undercut US moral authority as the custodian of Internet privacy, civil liberties and human rights.  The countries that have been clamoring for a new internet Governance model that is led by the UN would try to buttress their case by citing US global Internet surveillance program and global spying activities.


The independent panel that was setup by the US Administration to review the surveillance programs recommended that some restrictions should be placed on NSA spying activities. During 2014, the global community will be closely monitoring the commencement of implementation of policy reforms regarding the US surveillance programs by the NSA.


DCA's Year in Review

DCA Trust had another year of continuous activity and engagement with matters and event concerning the new gTLD program and the DNS industry generally

In March 2013, DCA Registry Services and its UK Technical Partner CentralNic participated in the African Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting held at the UNECA Conference center in Addis Ababa, Ethioipia from 6-8 Mrach 2013DCA Trust participated at the event along other African organizations like African IGF, AfriNIC, AFTLD, ISOC Africa, and the ATU and ITU The delegation noted the urgent need for the improvement of services to make the market viable and profitable and these findings strengthen its promise to work with the ccTLD's.  
DotConnectAfrica then attended and contributed to the "Innovation Africa Digital Summit", with the theme: "National Broadband Strategies and Agendas: Acceleration and Alignment", which was also held in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.  DCA got the opportunity to clarify the .africa bid to the audience, stating that DotAfrica as an Internet new gTLD resource rightly belongs to ICANN, and that the entire new gTLD program is governed by ICANN under a globally approved process, and the AUC has no authorization to delegate DotAfrica to a registry operator outside the ICANN's process. DCA explained that Uniforum in its application submitted to ICANN has already given away the legal rights to the .africa registry databases and all intellectual property to the AU, which explains why Uniforum was calling it an AU initiative, the same view that was held by the NEPAD representative who was also a panelist at the forum.  DCA Trust has always maintained that all the rights to the new DotAfrica gTLD including the registry databases, rightfully belongs to ICANN according to the stipulations of the new gTLD Program and the associated new gTLD Registry Services Agreement, and that the African Union and UniForum cannot act outside these specifications that have been legally codified and approve.

Also in March, The Republic of Kenya saw the peaceful election of His Excellency, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta and His Deputy, H.E. Mr. William Ruto. DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust), and its affiliate DCA Registry Services (Kenya) Ltd. was pleased to extend very warm congratulations to the president and country of Kenya.
The following months, in a candid discourse, The Reporter Daily a highly influential  and respected source of reliable news to Ethiopians, Africans and globally through its online readership laid out the struggle of DotConnectAfrica and its six year efforts in initiating the .africa gTLD, the first African run gTLD registry business for Africa.
In April, the ICANN-46 International gathering that took place in Beijing, China, DCA participated and learned its .africa application received an objection advice from ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC), in the Beijing GAC Advice, to which DotConnectAfrica Trust responded.  The GAC Objection Advice against DCA's .Africa application was later accepted by the ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC); a decision that DCA Trust refused to accept because the NGPC failed to perform all required procedures when considering GAC Advice related to Objections such as consultations with independent experts as stipulated in Section 3.1 of the Applicants Guidebook. DCA Trust has therefore challenged the ICANN NGPC decision to accept the GAC Objection Advice, and hopes that this will be resolved during 2014.
To improve our skills in the ever changing ICT spectrum DCA not only train but also participate in training. DotConnectAfrica Registry Services (Kenya) in the month of June participated in a rigorous two-day training programme on DNSSEC that was conducted at the AFRALTI Nairobi.
In July, the DotConnectAfrica team participated in the ICANN-47 International Meeting in Durban, South Africa.  DCA's team were panelist to the Second Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Forum held as a precursor to the ICANN meeting and also raised question to the ICANN Board and GAC on .africa regarding GAC's treatment of its application.   
The world could be such a better place if we did not have tragedies, Kenya had terror visited on its citizens in October. DotConnectAfrica Registry services Kenya, showed solidarity with the people of Kenya during this difficult period and sent our heartfelt condolences and mourned with the victims.

Cooperation with the African Union has never been new to DotConnectAfrica, despite the contentious issues of the recent .Africa TLD.  DotConnectAfrica as an African organization has always been interested with the work of the African Union, as a Pan African organization and its objective to serve Africa and its people better.  DCA Trust has engaged with the AU at the various levels this year.  First of all, DCA Trust has written to the newly elected AU leaders on matters of .africa and the controversy and issues surrounding it has requested a positive resolution of the .africa issue directly with the AU commission.  Being one engaged in multi-stakeholder process, DCA Trust has participated and provided our Comments to the very important document Draft African Union Convention on the Establishment of A Credible Legal Framework For Cyber Security.  DCA Trust has also contributed to "The African union Vision 2063"  an the ambitious future roadmap whose vision for Africa AU says is that of "An Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena". 

In November, DotConnectAfrica Registry Services actively participated in ICANN and IGF activities. Our dedicated delegates were among more than 1,700 people from around the world that attended the just concludes ICANN-48 International Meeting that took place in Buenos Aires Argentina from November 17, 2013 to November 21, 2013.  At the Afralo meeting, DCA reinforced to ICANN that its work is still marginilized at ICANN. DCA has been an active participant at ICANN since 2005, and has championed various ICANN and Africa initiatives, including IDNs, promoting new gTLDs and multi-stakeholder model, Internet Governance issues, and corporate sponsorship of ICANN events. We are an applicant for the .africa new gTLD. However, says DCA, our contributions to the ICANN Process and Africa have been immense, but our knowledge and expertise are yet to be utilized by the current ICANN operatives. Despite the issues at the forum regarding lack of African participation, the process itself has isolated those who actively participate like DCA.  
In December 2013, the world came together to mourn, honor and celebrate Africa's Hero and Giant Iconic Leader Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. DotConnectAfrica Trust took the opportunity to honor and celebrate the Giant Iconic Leader of Africa, calling him: Courageous, Selfless and Noble.  We quoted him in our message. 


"I am fundamentally an optimist.  Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say.
Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. 
There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. "  

--Nelson Mandela 
With such a high note from one of the greatest Legends, we ask that you continue to pray for DCA, DotAfrica and Africa during this Holiday Season period and beyond.

2013 has been a great and busy year for Yes2dotAfrica campaign but thanks to your support it has been worth the while.  We did apply for the .africa gTLD in 2012 as promised in our campaigns. We are still going through the rigorous ICANN processes to ensure that we deliver our promise come 2014.


 On behalf of DCA and myself, I wish you peace, joy and Goodwill this Holiday Season  

for Africa and the world!.


See you all in 2014!

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year

Sophia Bekele

Founder/Executive Director

In this Issue

Seasons Greetings

(Message from Executive Director)     



 DotConnectAfrica Participates in ICANN-48 Buenos Aires, Argentina 


DotConnectAfrica Attends Transform Africa Heads of State Summit 2013-
contributes to New SmartAfrica Manifesto  

DotConnectAfrica Updated its gTLD Application & Current Engagement with the U.S. Congress

DotConnectAfrica Comments on the Draft African Union Convention on the Establishment of Credible Legal Framework For Cyber Security In Africa October 2013. 
DotConnectAfrica contributes to
Second DNS Forum at ICANN International meeting in Durban - also raises questions on .africa
DotConnectAfrica Updated Status of its gTLD Application & Current Engagement with ICANN

DotConnectAfrica Registry Services Participates in ICANN DNSSEC training at AFRALTI Nairobi



Participates at the ICANN 46 International Meeting in Beijing, China - Receives a GAC Objection Advise  

  DotConnectAfrica Update: Status of our gTLD Application & Current Engagements with the U.S.Congress

DCA Clarifies its bid at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit, Addis Ababa Ethiopia

The IBCA, an Initiative of DCA called for inclusion of African Businesses at ICANN Africa Strategy meeting in Addis Ababa


DCA Registry Services makes its voice heard at the ICANN Africa Strategy meeting in Addis Ababa




DotConnectAfrica- Personalities of the year


DotConnectAfrica Mourns with Kenya on Westgate attack

Bloomberg TV: Sophia Bekele featured as  

"African Women to Watch"


     SEE YOU IN 2014 
DCA Personality of the Year

Nelson Mandela 1918- 2013
A Leader Extraordinary!
"It's always impossible until it's done!"
-Nelson Mandela

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for defying the racist apartheid government that led South Africa for decades. He emerged from prison in 1990 and became the South Africa's first black president four yeas later, all the while
 promoting forgiveness and reconciliation.

DotConnectAfrica Honores Nelson. R. Mandela

MATTEW 5:9-12 [NIV]
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."   

DotConnectAfrica Mourns with Kenya on Westgate attack

Nairobi, Kenya,  2 October, 2013  DotConnectAfrica: A Condolence Message to Kenya and Westgate Victims     Our Heartfelt Condolences to the people of Kenya and the WestGate Mall Victims Link    

 Raising the Bar    

at DotConnectAfrica is    

our own President/CEO 

Sophia Bekele   

and our relentles

six-year Yes2dotAfrica Campaign     

which continue to rise against all odds and be recognized and admired by the voice of reason,  hope, and those who see inspiration and new kind of leadership for change 

in the work  we do. 


 In 2013, Bekele was named "Top 50 Trailblazers" - Our future made in Africa, by UK's "NewAfrican Magazine", an IC Publication group on a special "Collector's Edition" which coincided NewAfrican May 2013 Collectors Issuewith the continent's 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organization of African Unity -African Union, and featured individuals

"who are realizing significant achievements in their specific field of endeavor" and who are "breaking ground, making Africa proud and propelling it into a future of great hope." 

Most recently, in 2013, Bekele was also featured on Bloomberg TV, "African Women to Watch" a prime TV program which it says celebrates a
new generation of African Women, closing the gender gap and shaping the continent's political, social and economic landscape.

Click on Image to Watch 

 recognized Sophia Bekele's her long-term pioneer-ship and contributions in the African ICT and Internet  landscape enumerating her as  one  of 
" Two African leading ladies in the ICT Sector" 
That a Hero Lies in You 
Hero - Mariah Carey (Lyrics)
Hero - Mariah Carey (Lyrics)

See you all in 2014!

2013 has been an eventful year in our Yes2dotAfrica campaign but with your support it has been worth the while.


We applied for the .africa gTLD as promised in our earlier campaigns and we are going through the rigorous ICANN process to make .africa registry a reality.    


In 2014 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 continue to rise, thanks to your support.  


Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year 2014!   

Thomas Kamanzi
Editorial Advisor/

DotConnectAfrica Participates in ICANN-48 Bunoes Aires, Argentina
DotConnectAfrica attended Buenos Aires ICANN
DotConnectAfrica delegates were among more than 1,700 people from around the world that attended the just concluded ICANN 48 International Meeting that took place in Buenos Aires Argentina from November 17, 2013 to November 21, 2013. Read more:


DotConnectAfrica Attends Transform Africa Heads of State Summit 2013- contributes to New SmartAfrica Manifesto  
DCA was invited as a delegate to the international high-level conference that was held in Rwanda from October 28 to 31. The conference was attended by over 1,500 delegates and Seven African Heads of State including among others Presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Gabon, and Burkina Faso.  Read more: 2338
DotConnectAfrica Comments on the Draft African Union Convention on the Establishment of A Credible Legal Framework For Cyber Security In Africa October 2013


DotConnectAfrica appreciates the subtle efforts that are being made daily by the governments in partnership with

African Union logo

private organizations to better the internet technology platform as a means of bridging the digital divide and as such has participated in several similar processes such as the improvement of the International telecommunications Regulations that were being discussed in December 2012 at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Read more
DotConnectAfrica contributes to the second DNS  
Forum at ICANN 46 International meeting in Durban, SouthAfrica - also raises questions on .africa 
Gideon Rop at DNS Forum SA  
July 22, 2013,  The DotConnectAfrica Trust team was among the delegates who attended and actively participated in the recently concluded ICANN 47 international meeting that was held in Durban, Republic of South Africa. Read More
Comments and Questions by DCA Trust on .Africa at the ICANN-47 Public Forum, Durban SA Specific Questions were Directed at Ms. Heather Dryden, ICANN GAC Chair on the Issue of GAC Objection Advice against DotConnectAfrica Trust's .Africa new gTLD Application. Read More.
Engagement with ICANN  

Jul 05, 2013,
DCA's .Africa application passed all the Evaluation Panels including the technical, operational and financial evaluation criteria, but the Geographic Names Panel Evaluation for the application was not completed.
DotConnectAfrica attended DNSSEC 
training at AFRALTI Nairob
DotConnectAfrica Registry Services (Kenya) Ltd. ('DCA Registry Services') participated in a rigorous two-day training program on DNSSEC that was conducted at the AFRALTI Nairobi on 11 -12 June, 2013. Read more:


DotConnectAfrica Updated its gTLD Application & Current Engagement with the U.S. Congress.
 Capitol Hill Washington - DotConnectAfrica
March 17, 2013: In its response to the ICANN Board, DCA Trust disagreed with the GAC Objection Advice. Read More:
DotConnectAfrica Participates at the ICANN 46 International Meeting in Beijing, China - Receives a GAC Objection Advise
 DotConnectAFrica at ICANN 46 Beijing 
April, 17, 2013: DCA's application for .Africa new gTLD received an ICANN GAC Policy Advice Objection which the organization hopes to resolve by following the due process provisions within the ICANN new gTLD Program.
DCA Clarifies its bid at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit, Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March. 25, 2013 DotConnectAfrica Trust Clarified its .africa bid at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit  Addis Ababa  The 11th Innovation Africa Digital Summit with the theme:  "National Broadband Strategies and Agendas: Acceleration and Alignment"  was held in Addis Ababa the capital city of Ethiopia from 19th to 21st March 2013. Read more 

The IBCA, an Initiative of DCA called for inclusion of African Businesses at ICANN Africa Strategy meeting in Addis Ababa


  Internet Business Council for Africa

The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA) was discussed at the Multistakeholder Internet Governance Conference at UNECA Center in Addis Ababa, echoing the inclusion of the African Private sector and received the support of many key stakeholders.

DCA Registry Services makes its voice heard at the ICANN Africa Strategy meeting in Addis Ababa


March 11, 2013,  DCA registry services and its UK Partner CentralNic participated at the African Mufti-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting held at the UNECA Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6-8 March 2013. Read more
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