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DotConnectAfrica wants a Free and Open .africa

Based on the way business proposals go, company acquisitions and eventual implementation of plans that are anticipated determine the success or failure of a project. Again the partnership involved in crafting the management and maintenance of a project greatly influences every pertinent growth or stunting of a business.

For instance most government lead projects have failed especially in Africa because people believe that it’s the per-requisite of the government to take care of the running and offloading of any losses. In the private sector, the burden of loss squarely lies on the shoulders of the investor. This is the main reason why most privately led mega-projects have tended to succeed in the due course.

The internet is one major business that has greatly influenced how the world trends, its effects transcend every facet of the framework, the main reason for its success is the hand off approach being mainly left to the private sector to man its growth, the governments have mostly been seen as stumbling blocks especially on the privacy and governance. This is well exemplified in the just ended WCIT conference in Dubai where those delegations that were pro-change of the ITR’s mostly came from regions that do not duly endorse internet freedom, and Africa was keen to be seen as the later rather than the advocate for free-internet.

The .africa gTLD is soon coming to fruition, however, there is a contention as to who can properly manage the domain, one organization that was the first to champion the domain DotConnectAfrica is a private trust that has promised to work with African ccTLD’s in ensuring free internet. Another is a government affiliated group that came later to wrest off the mantle from DotConnectAfrica. It’s mostly an offshoot of several groups working hard to get the rights to manage the .africa registry.

With the Mission & Purpose of application , DCA proposed a standard, open, generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) that serves the diverse needs and purposes of the global Internet community, but with special focus on promoting Internet use in Africa.   This is reflected on their application, on the other hand, uniforum allegedly mislead the African Union Commission (AUC) and African Community & other Stakeholders that they would be applying on behalf of the Africa community.  UniForum received a letter of appointment from the African Union Commission to make its application for .AFRICA on behalf of the African Community, but UNIFORUM subverted from its Campaign & Mission, says DCA and other community watchers.

DotConnectAfrica being a non-partisan organization has the ability to be autonomous and only gets AU as the observer who will not directly get involved in the management of .africa.

Uniforum on the other hand, having to give AU the rights to .africa, means a government monopoly, which translates to risk to people’s privacy and compromise on freedom of speech.   Beware then if your .africa domain shuts down unexpectedly when you are critical to government or AU, less that the potential for your email activities being monitored and spied on, be it that you are government official or private citizen could be inevitable.  Egypt for instance shut down the internet to prevent demonstrations in the Arab spring.

In its 2013DOtConnectAfrica’s yes2dotafrica campaign saw their logo to support a free and open .africa  and a petition they are running to make people aware of this impact.

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January 11th, 2013



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