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Latest update: dotAfrica Launch Plan approved, Sunrise Phase commences on 4 April, 2017

ICANN Appoints First URS Provider

The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM) has secured the first appointment by ICANN to administer the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS). FORUM submitted an outstanding proposal demonstrating how it would meet all requirements presented in the RFI [PDF, 112 KB] and detailing its implementation approach. The company has a proven track record boasting resolution of over 19,000 claims in 12+ years of administering UDRP cases. Additionally, FORUM has already developed, and is currently operating a TLD-specific rapid relief system.

Kenya Launches The National ICT Masterplan

The Kenyan government’s effort towards transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy through digital empowerment has culminated with the launch of the first National ICT Masterplan. A five year  plan that  seeks to drive citizen adoption of the Vision 2030 priorities through ICT policies and initiatives, the master plan  projects that by 2017 Kenya’s ICT industry will be contributing an estimated US$2 billion (some 25 percent of Kenya’s GDP) and have created around 500 new tier-1 ICT companies and over 50,000 jobs.

Microsoft Aims To Spark Skills Drive In Africa

Microsoft Corp. has announced its ongoing commitment to driving opportunities for African youth through its YouthSpark initiative. Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years.

Google Reveals Top Searches For Africa In 2012

Google has announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2012 through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a unique perspective on this year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.

The DotAfrica Top Level Domain (. Africa) Project

DotAfrica is that specific Internet namespace for Africa which is likely to be applied for operation during the next round of new generic top-level domain (gTLD) which Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be launching in the near future. The introduction of the DotAfrica will create an attractive regional home for the Pan-African Internet community; as the first sponsored registry to be operating from Africa and therefore serving the specific needs of its communities, it will echo ongoing operation and successes of other sister community TLDs such as DotEu (DotEuropa) and DotAsia which have created a new Internet identity for their users and business who seek more regional presence without being confined within the limits of one country.

Bad call for African Internet

he current talks at the World Congress on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), in Dubai, could harm Africa’s poor, as proposals would push up the cost of accessing content on the Internet.

Africa: the growing appetite for broadband

Africa has witnessed remarkable mobile growth in the past 10 years. Across the continent, the coverage and quality of the networks has dramatically improved. According to the 2011 GSMA Observatory Report, Africa is the world’s second largest mobile market by connections after Asia, and the fastest growing mobile market in the world.

Strawman model: ICANN responds to rights owners’ concerns

Trademark owners appear to have made headway in their long-running attempts to enhance the mechanisms for protecting their rights in the new gTLD space. Following a private meeting on November 15 with IP owners and other groups, ICANN chief executive Fedi Chehadé has published a so-called strawman model. The proposal meets some of the requests rights holders had made before the discussion in Los Angeles.

“The Opportunities In Africa Are Huge” – Microsoft

With Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Summit well under-way in Prague, Czech Republic, IT News Africa had the opportunity to sit down with Lauren Woodman, Microsoft’s General Manager for Worldwide Education and Government Programs, to talk about the progress of these programs and what the company has achieved in Africa.

Kenya Lands A Fifth Underwater Fibre Optic Cable

In a move aimed at boosting Kenya’s Internet and telecom sector, the country announced on Tuesday that it was to land a fifth underwater fiber optic cable that will have larger capacity than the current four other cables altogether.

Microsoft Renews Commitment To Education, Including Africa

Microsoft today kicked off its annual Partners in Learning Global Forum with a reaffirmation of its commitment to education with a USD 250 million, five-year renewal of Partners in Learning (PiL), bringing Microsoft’s total investment in the program to USD 750 million over fifteen years. Microsoft aims to grow the PiL community to 20 million of the 75 million teachers worldwide by 2018 with the renewal and to continue preparing students for the changing global workforce.

Technology, Africa’s Key To Education

Education is pivotal to the growth of any nation and at Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012, being held in Prague, Czech Republic, a number of solutions are being showcased that can be used to boost education in Africa, as well as across the world.

NAMIBIA ADDS VOICE TO CHORUS OF SUPPORT FOR ZACR .AFRICA BID

The Republic of Namibia has become the 40th African country to formally endorse the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) bid for the rights to administer the proposed .africa generic Top Level Domain (gTLD).  Namibia's formal Letter of Support was prepared by the Office of The Permanent Secretary in the country's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology following the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ICT Ministers Meeting held in Mauritius in early November 2012.

La commission de l’UA contre l’enregistement du nom dotAfrica par DCA

Alors qu’UniForum (société Sud-Africaine mandaté par l'Union Africaine) et la fondation DotConnectAfrica (DCA) ont toutes les deux déposé une demande pour gérer le nom de domaine .africa, la Commission de l’Union Africaine ainsi que 16 gouvernements ont fait connaître leur opposition à l’encontre de l’initiative de DCA. Ainsi la Commission a fait savoir par courrier à l’ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) que « La demande de DCA constitue une intrusion et une interférence sans fondement dans le mandat de la Commission de l'Union Africaine dont l’objectif est d’établir les structures et les modalités pour la mise en place du projet dotAfrica.

International - Governments issue warnings against 242 gTLD applications

In a move that could lead to the withdrawal of some applications, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) has filed 242 early warnings to gTLD applicants. At the least, the list provides an insight into which strings will be subject to government scrutiny going forward – with some good news for brand owners.

ZACR Bid Strengthened by Zero Early Warnings from ICANN

The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has overcome the first hurdle in its .africa bid after receiving no "early warnings" from ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC). This is an encouraging development and justification of the ZACR’s bid for .africa which is endorsed by the African Union Commission (AUC).

African Union Commission Formally Objects Through GAC to DotConnect Africa's Application for .africa

This is the African Union Commission's formal objection, through the ICANN GAC Early Warning Process, to the DotConnectAfrica Trust's amended application 1-1165-42560 for the .africa TLD. Here, it objects to the DCA .africa bid as not having the requisite government support for a Geographic name, and further characterizes DCA's bid as an "Unwarranted Interference and Intrusion".

African Union Commission, governments, oppose DCA's .africa bid

The African Union Commission and 16 governments have registered their opposition to the new .africa generic top-level domain submitted by the DotConnectAfrica trust (DCA). The .africa geographic name was applied for by both the DCA and UniForum, trading as ZA Central Registry, which was appointed by the African Union Commission after a request for proposals.

First insights from the GAC Early Warnings on new Top-Level Domains

Today, the national governments that constitute ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) for the first time publicly voiced their concerns over specific new Top-Level Domain (TLD) applications in the form of Early Warnings. More than 240 individual GAC Early Warnings were issued in relation to 200 new TLD applications which account for 162 unique strings. By far the most prolific government to issue GAC Early Warnings was the Australian government with 129. This was followed by Germany with 20 and France 19. As expected, a large number of the 240 Early Warnings related to closed generic string TLD applications (100 Early Warnings). It appears a number of governments are concerned about brands or entrepreneurs owning a specific generic word and closing the door on public registrations in these namespaces.

Rwanda has fastest Internet on the continent

According to statistics featured on Ookla’s NetIndex, Rwanda has the fastest Internet speed in Africa - faster than Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. The central African country currently has an average download speed of up to 7.28 Mbps, which is more than double the 3.28 Mbps speed it had just six months ago.