[AfrICANN-discuss] Comments on ICANN's Africa Strategy

Dr. Ben Fuller ben at fuller.na
Sun Jun 29 19:41:22 SAST 2014


Thanks for the presentation last week. Putting all the different activities together in one place makes them easier to understand.  It also raises some questions for us to take forward.  Let me put down a few so we can discuss. All of what follows is open to debate:

1. Why do we do this? 
This is always a good place to start in any endeavour, and a good place to return to from time to time. Having a consistent and concise message helps us stay on track and makes it clear to others what we do and do not do.  This is very important in development. Well, ICANN does Assigned Names and Numbers — a small but significant part of Internet operations. To develop the Internet in Africa we have to ensure that the DNS and NIC operations  are done well throughout the continent. 

2. Are we reaching the right people?
I ask this because of the DNSSEC roadshows and after visiting the Afrinic web site. A lot of effort has gone into spreading the word about DNSSEC and IPv6. Yet, what are the levels of implementation? The Afriinc annual report for 2013 shows a drop in IPv6 distributions, at .NA we’ve had signed zones for years and few in the country seem to notice. Are there ways we can change the messages to improve the implementation? 

3. Do we understand the domain name market in Africa?
We have a programme for underserved regions that focuses on ICANN accredited registrars. Is this the correct focus? Currently there are fewer than 10, and as you stated they are not very profitable. Yet, there are many national registrars who offer domain name registrations. Our experience in Namibia is that national registrars are more diverse in their services offering hosting, web design, mail, etc. Many national registrars in Nambia sell an array of TLDs such as .com, .org, and .NA. They are clearly meeting a market need. How do we enable these businesses to better provide domain name services?

Some stuff for us to think about.



Dr Ben fuller
ben at fuller.na

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