The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA), an initiative of DotConnectAfrica that was Unveiled at ICANN 49 Public Forum in Toronto Canada and seeking to partner with ICANN and the African Businesses in a multi-stakeholder model of IG was invited to present its ideas at the just concluded African Multi-stakeholder Internet Governancemeeting held at the UNECA Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6-8 March 2013.
Invited to speak on the different sessions as a panelist, Ms. Bekele analyzed the African business scenario, noting that there was a need to identify the various stakeholders and define them within the multi-stakeholder model so that specific and strategic roles could be assigned. This, she emphasized, would be the best way to increase visibility of the African DNS market. “We are ready to collaborate with any other similar initiatives proposed at ICANN, however we should be cautious that we work on our own niche areas”. There is a lot to be done; therefore it should be acceptable that a single entry may not be enough.
IBCA’s model focused on three major pillars or dimensions that include: Digital Transfer Initiatives, DNS industry, Policy Development which is key in setting up appropriate structures to improve business in Africa. There also exists the Special Group Focus where the IBCA will focus on Women and youth who have been identified as the major drivers of the economy.
Noting the Africa strategy, Ms Bekele said there is a need that the model is embedded in the ICANN Africa strategy in order to raise the stakes of the business operation that would translate to globalizing African business. To reach out and further explore the idea, Chehade subsequently held an Africa business roundtable lunch with relevant stakeholders, where he also supported the idea.
ICANN CEO Fade Chehade in his address emphasized that Africa must now take its position in the universal market and in so doing it was imperative to involve the Banking sector, the insurance and legal sector in crafting ways to synergize business and technology. Ms. Bekele in her talk at the business table noted that the IBCA was her baby and she was looking forward to ICANN’s support and good will in order for the vision to be achieved.
The IBCA is looking at working together with the DNS industry and with the bench-marking with stakeholders in the domain industry both locally and internationally. It will attempt to bring together all the organizations that aim to improve coverage in Africa including ISP’s, Telco’s, Software Development Firms, Content Development, ICT equipment firms, Academia, Banking Sector among others.
The IBCA delegates along with its International partner CentralNic, were also happy to speak to various ccTLD registry delegates and noted their achievements as well as challenges in upgrading their DNS business. This was another opportunity for the IBCA to declare its roadmap and hopes that in a few days to come, the strategies in the blue print will begin to multiply results.
IBCA is thankful to ICANN and the organizers of the conference and looks forward to more opportunities to meet as well as present its achievements in the collective responsibility of fulfilling the African strategy.
Adapted from CircleID