South Africa based ZA Central Registry (ZACR) believes it has overcome the first hurdle in its .africa bid after receiving no “early warnings” from the regulator, ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC).
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Government Advisory Committee (GAC) received 17 objections to the rival bid from DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA), including one from the African Union Commission (AUC).
In a statement released today ZACR said: “This is an encouraging development and justification of the ZACR’s bid for .africa which is endorsed by the AUC.”
Despite the encouraging news, ZACR’s Octavia Kumalo explained to HumanIPO this is merely the first step in the process and that “we still need to go through the rest of the ICANN processes, the objection phase, etc. So I guess we will wait and see what the outcomes of those processes are.”
Mohamed El Bashir, Chairperson of the ZACR .africa Steering Committee, confirmed that “no objections have been lodged against the ZACR bid”.
ICANN’s GAC Early Warnings are a mechanism used to raise an alarm to ICANN of applications that may raise public policy and interest issues. According to the Applicant Guide Book, the Early Warnings should be taken seriously as they may lead to GAC Advice being issued about a problematic application.
El Bashir added: “Our deep technical expertise, commitment to specific initiatives designed to grow the African Internet and our consultative approach ensured that the ZACR bid was extremely compelling. This latest news is a vindication of an approach that aimed to include as many stakeholders as possible with Africa as the ultimate winner.
“ZACR has a record of running a successful registry and delivering technical training. It enjoys the backing of 40 governments as required by the Applicant Guidebook; this is important for internet and business growth in Africa.”
With the AUC lodging an Early Warning regarding DCA’s bid, it can be concluded that it supports the legitimacy of the ZACR’s officially-endorsed bid for the .africa TLD.