According to ICANN’s GAC Early warning system, the African Union Commission (AUC) and several African governments have objected to DotConnectAfrica Trust’s (DCA) application for the .africa gTLD, saying the trust does not have the mandate and support of African governments to administer the geographical name gTLD.
HumanIPO previously reported that thus far DCA didn’t have the required support of African governments and chose not to participate in the AUC Expression Of Interest (EOI) process for .africa applications.
In the objection document, the AUC states:
“Being a Union of 54 (fifty four) African states and specifically being mandated by these states to “Set up the structure and modalities for the Implementation of the dotAfrica (.Africa) project” the AUC is in an authoritative position to declare African government support or opposition to any “Africa” geographic string application.”
The AUC states that DCA lacks the requisite government support and further elaborates on its rationale for the objection:
“DCA’s application constitutes an unwarranted intrusion and interference with the mandate given to the AUC by African Head of States and African Ministers responsible for Communication and Information Technologies. In this regard the AUC has been mandated to establish dotAfrica (.Africa) as a continental Top-Level Domain for use by organisations, businesses and individuals with guidance from African Internet Agencies and in doing so to set up the structures and modalities for the implementation of the dotAfrica (.Africa) project. DCA’s persistent interference in this process is likely to have substantive political, economic and social repercussions in Africa.”
It is not only the AUC which represents 54 states on the African continent, but 16 other countries have individually objected to DCA’s .africa application. These are:
- Kenya (DCA’s home country)
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Burkina Faso
- South Africa
It is important to note the above countries state the same reasons as given by the AUC for their objection of DCA’s application.
This is the second “laughable” error on the DCA’s part as initially they had applied for .dotafrica instead of .africa.
As opposed to the ZA Central Registry, which already administers the .za gTLD, DCA have no reputation or experience in administering any form of domain registry, which is believed to be the main issue.
Story is still developing and we will update with the various responses and more details.