5th Africa DNS forum kicks off in Tanzania

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The fifth Africa Domain Names System Forum (DNS) Forum has commenced today, taking place from 26-28 July 2017 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The forum follows on the success of previous fora that have taken place in Africa over the past few years – namely (South Africa-2013, Nigeria-2014, Kenya-2015 and Morocco-2016). Organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society (ISOC) and Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AFTLD), this year’s Forum is hosted by the Tanzania Network Information Centre (tzNIC).

Abibu Rashid Ntahigiye, CEO of .tz Registry (tzNIC) and host for the event stated “Most African countries have managed their ccTLDs locally so far. However, significant improvements have been made through the support of regional and global organizations. African Registries are now receiving not only local, but also global support in technical matters as well as problems in marketing and governance issues. With these collaborations, the competition in African domain business is growing.”

Pierre Dandjinou (ICANN), Michuki Mwangi (ISOC), Ali Hadji Mmadi (AfTLD) and Abibu Rashid Ntahigiye (tzNIC) spoke at the opening ceremony of the event. In line with Africa’s growing Internet presence, the Forum will cover and open to discussion various topics from regional domain name industry to Internet security.

“Africa is rising with respect to its digital potential and it must make its influence felt at the global Internet governance table to protect its interests” stressed  Pierre Dandjinou, VP of Global Stakeholder Engagement in Africa at ICANN. “With this in mind, ICANN is committed to providing equal opportunity to inform the region’s different communities about the domain industry and engaging with them on how best to not only strengthen Africa’s online presence, but also improve their participation within ICANN.”

Speaking on behalf of Dawit Bekele, Africa Region Bureau Director of Internet Society, Michuki Mwangi said “With less than 2 million domain names currently registered by registries in Africa, there is clear potential for growth in this industry. As Internet access expands throughout the region, there will be a demand for more services online which can contribute to the growth of the Domain Name System industry.” He further added: “ This forum provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, best practices and technical expertise in order to grow the African domain name industry together with the number of Internet users.”

Ali Hadji Mmadi, speaking on behalf of Alex Corenthin, President of AFTLD, stated that “The Africa Top Level Domains Organization, the home of African country code top level domain registries, is committed to working with all stakeholders in the African Internet ecosystem in ensuring sustainable development of the  domain name industry in Africa.”

One of the key topics of the Forum is the recently released Africa DNS Market Report, the first of its kind in the region, which provides a detailed analysis of the DNS market for 54 countries. Among other topics to be discussed are:

  • Legal issues affecting African registries, registrars and resellers
  • Securing the African Domain Name System
  • IPv6 and the role of African registries and registrars
  • Emerging trends in the Domain Name System

Participants from ICANN, other Internet organizations, registries, registrars, registrants, country code Top Level Domain (ccTLDs), new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) applicants, policy makers, Internet service providers, IT businesses, brand owners and legal firms, academics and civil society are attending the event to share experiences and best practices. The forum is open to anyone interested in learning more about the issues pertaining to the domain name industry and the business opportunities it can provide, and engaging with key players and experts in the field.

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