The Successful Yes2dotAfrica Campaign invited to Munich, Germany

Oct. 2, 2011DotConnectAfrica was invited and successfully participated at the international two-day conference on newTLDs held at Munich, Germany from 26th to 27th September 2011.  This important city in Germany is the capital of the state of Bavaria and is well-known for its Bayern Munich Football Club, BMW automobiles, Oktoberfest, and the Munich Security Conference that attracts world political leaders.  This time, the city played host to the Munich Conference on new TLDs which attracted the cream of global ICANN society and other luminaries active in the new programme to introduce and manage new generic Internet Top Level Domains (new TLDs).

The new gTLD program will revolutionize the Internet in ways that are unimaginable, giving web users and brands unlimited opportunities and innovation in the choice of domain names.  At the end of September, the DotConnectAfrica was in Munich, Germany to talk to, and share experiences with, other prospective applicants for new gTLDs.

The Munich Conference on new TLDs took place at the prestigious Hotel Sofitel Munich and was organized by one of the global premium registrars, United Domains, who assembled the ‘who is who of the new gTLDs’ process.  The organizers of the conference planned it to coincide with the famous Oktoberfest celebrations and this afforded the delegates an opportunity to partake of this very important cultural landmark annual feast of the Bavarians!

This historic Conference on new gTLDs was a major show in Europe that was dedicated to prospective applicants for new gTLDs and availed ample opportunities for DotConnectAfrica to network with Internet domain professionals, registrars, legal resources, marketers, and other players in the domain name industry; and discuss the pertinent details and associated implications of ICANN’s comprehensive programme for introducing new gTLDs to broaden the Internet . The Munich Conference afforded industry professionals an important opportunity to meet, discuss and share important experiences prior to the commencement of the ICANN gTLD applications process in January 2012

Important industry Executive that attended the Munich Conference were Mr. Steve Crocker, the current ICANN Board Chairman who gave the keynote speech; and ICANN Senior Vice-President responsible for the new gTLD programme, Mr. Kurt Pritz who also gave an important speech.  He stressed that the “potential benefit of the new TLD programme is aimed at increasing choice and competition for all Internet users.  ICANN used the Munich.

Mr. Kurt Pritz,SVP , New gTLDs, ICANN with Dr. Melinda Conference  as a platform to reinforce its global communications campaign to increase awareness of new gTLDs. ( See http://newgtlds.icann.org/program-status/past-events/repo….

Other notable participants were Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush (immediate past ICANN Board Chairman); and industry experts such as Olof Nordling, Jonathan Frakes, Tina Dam, Ben Crawford, Dirk Krischenowski, and Kevin Murphy (Editor of domainincite .com), amongst others. The event was moderated by Dr. Melinda Crane, a known Radio/TV anchor and chief political correspondent at Deutsche Welle TV, who also made the opening and welcoming remarks.

Amongst the panel of eminent persons that was assembled to deliberate on ‘How to Successfully Build a Community around your TLD’ included, our own Ms. Sophia Bekele, Executive Director of DotConnectAfrica and spearhead of the Yes2DotAfrica campaign, who will also lead the main process of DCA’s application for the DotAfrica gTLD, and the establishment of an African-based registry operation to handle the registry functions that would support DotAfrica.

As a distinguished panelist, Ms. Bekele, who has already set new standards in tirelessly leading a strong global campaign for DotAfrica, had a lot of experiences to share with other co-panelists and the audience.

Sophia said, “It all starts with setting up the vision and mission of your organization and we set up our initiative as a non-profit to enable us to put in the inclusive governance structure that identifies the community and other key stakeholders. Then, due to Africa’s diverse language and culture, 54 countries I billion People, and offering of 1 domain, which automatically become the basis of our branding strategy.  Now we are looking at 55 countries in fact, as South Sudan is included, and the African Diaspora has always been recognized by the AU as an additional region.  Furthermore, we then set up a campaign theme “Yes2DotAfrica”

campaign and went around all over Africa to build a support base, and spread the message to our Pan-African constituency on the basis of which we won key endorsements for the DotAfrica gTLD.  Empowering the youth , we also came up with a theme generation.africa, and this. enabled us to set up a a Pan-Africa social media infrastructure .africa, .afrique and .afriqya. on the popular Facebook and Twitter sites, complemented by a vigorous email-based campaign to enable people follow and support our activities.  Therefore, we championed dotafrica based on 3 key principles: Branding, generation.africa, and bringing the money home.  We have sustained this campaign for the past 2 years, and it has been quite a journey!”

Other prominent panelists alongside DCA’s Sophia Bekele who have undertaken successful campaigns on building communities for new gTLDs were notably, Alexander Schubert of dotGAY, Constantine Roussos of dotMUSIC, Jacob Malthouse of dotECO, and Dr. Markus Bahmann, Managing director of dotBayern for the State of Bavaria and Rajesh Charia of dotIN, who spoke on ISPs.  It was moderated by Lance Wolak, VP Marketing, of PIR registry.org.

DCA comes from Munich once again with a richer insight into the new gTLD programme; not only with the realization of the historic circumstances, and having tirelessly traversed the tough road less travelled towards the countdown to the commencement of the new gTLD application process in January 2012,

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DCA is a not-for-profit, non-partisan org incorporated in Mauritius Africa & will sponsor, establish & operate a TLD registry with global recognition & regional significance dedicated to the needs of Pan-African &African community. DCA Reg.ID.CT8710DCA90