.AFRICA gTLD Management Competition Heats Up

The proposal to run a .AFRICA generic Top Level Domain is getting competitive with the African Top Level Domain Organization (AfTLD) becoming the second organisation seeking to apply for the .AFRICA gTLD once ICANN begins accepting applications according to a Computerworld Kenya report.

Seeking to boost their credentials, AfTLD believes they are better placed than their competitor.

“AfTLD is an association of TLD managers in Africa; we know what it takes to run a registry,” Vika Mpisane, AfTLD’s president, told Computerworld Kenya. “Because of our collective experience we will not totally rely on registry providers — that’s why we’re confident that ours should be a successful bid.”

DotConnectAfrica though has been lobbying and setting out their case for why they should run the proposed new gTLD, using the .ASIA model as inspiration, having even called for expressions of interest for a registry operator in February.

“AfTLD is fronting a non-profit model, where any profits would be taken back to training its ccTLD members,” reported Computerworld Kenya. “The DCA, however, has objected to AfTLD’s position, saying that it raises conflict of interest.”

“AfTLD is an association of ccTLDs whose mandate is to run a national TLD; as far as DCA is concerned, there will be a vast conflict of interest for ccTLDs to run a domain name, whose mandate is charged with developing its own continental identity — the two must be managed independently by separate organizations,” Sophia Bekele, CEO of DCA, told Computerworld Kenya.

However, AfTLD maintains that it has the support of the region’s technical community and has undertaken a detailed assessment of the TLD landscape before declaring its intentions.

It is envisaged that any .AFRICA gTLD would seek to increase awareness of the internet throughout Africa, and to increase participation.

To read the Computerworld Kenya report in full, see news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=7EE38037-1A64-67EA-E40D279CF0653219.