11 June 2012
DotConnectAfrica (DCA) wishes to announce to the global Internet public and Domain Name Industry that it is going to establish a world-class Internet registry system infrastructure to be located in Nairobi, Kenya, the commercial hub of East Africa.
DCA believes that setting-up a world-class registry system infrastructure that is physically located in Africa will be an important ‘criticality’ to the unconditional success of the DotAfrica generic Top Level Domain(gTLD) project. To this end, DCA has reached a landmark agreement with CentralNIC London U.K., a world-class registry services provider, to set-up a registry services system in Africa, and has also signed important agreements with Safaricom (Kenya) Ltd. and FINCOM Technologies (Kenya) Ltd. for the co-location of mission critical computer hardware and network technical infrastructure that would support the registry functions of DotAfrica gTLD.
Safaricom Limited is a leading integrated communications service provider in Kenya. The beneficial access offered by the Data Centre operations of Safaricom would enable DCA Registry to provide a fully-redundantInternet registry system that features off-site fail-over and escrow so as to satisfy the most exacting high availability requirements of a 21st century gTLD. This would provide DCA with full control of the critical resources required to run and administer the DotAfrica gTLD registry on a sustainable basis for the benefit of its prospective customers especially within the Africa region.
FINCOM will provide computer and network technical support and local facilitation/representation services to DCA, and its General Manager, Mr. Gabriel Nderitu, expressed “great excitement at the opportunity that this partnership has given his company to be associated with an important African ICT project”.
CentralNIC, has agreed to provide DCA with registry software, consulting and training services, and to work closely with DCA to ensure that the Kenya-based registry to be established will satisfy all the stringent technical and operational requirements of the ICANN new gTLD programme. Moreover, CentralNIC’s authoritative DNS technology already includes AnyCast instances in 40 locations around the globe including Nairobi, Kenya, Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa, with this great geographic diversity ensuring 100% availability at all times for .africa domain names.
CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford said, “This visionary initiative by DCA will also make full use of CentralNic’s deep experience doing business in the English-speaking, Arabic and Francophone worlds, ensuring that in DCA’s even-handed and responsible care, the .africa TLD will serve all of Africa and the global African diaspora.”
Asked why Kenya was chosen to host the DCA registry operations, Ms. Sophia Bekele CEO of DCA explained that her organization selected Kenya for reasons of its region-wide market access in East Africa, and its efficient transport and direct communications links to countries in Central, South, West and North Africa, and the nearby Arab Gulf. In her words: “From the geographical point of view, no country compares to Kenya in terms of accessibility to the five (5) sub-regions of Africa, and its membership of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) also provides further distinctive advantages in terms of market access and coverage.” She further mentioned that “Nairobi is a world-class city which hosts the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the diplomatic offices of other important regional and inter-governmental bodies.”
In addition to excellent geographic reach and wide continental coverage, Mr. Barry Ryan, a Director at DCA and CEO of Fintech Group Africa believes that Kenya offers a suitable location when compared to other African countries; since Kenya also boasts one of the best ICT, telecommunications and Internet connectivity infrastructures in Africa. Kenya has four (4) efficient, carrier-grade optic fibre links connecting the country to high-speed global networks.
DCA believes that setting-up a world-class registry located in Africa with the help of its international partners offers superb benefits and invaluable advantages to the continent especially in the area of technology transfer to Africa and the acquisition/availability of key human resource skills in Africa to run the registry. Mr. Sammy Buruchara, Chair of DCA Global Strategic Advisory Leadership Group, also CEO of NairobiNet, believes that locating the world-class registry in Africa would eventually bring down the cost of domain name registrations thereby increasing affordability as significant cost-savings are passed on to prospective users and registrants. “Setting up the registry also offers DCA Registry significant economies of scale that would translate into overall strategic competiveness, enhanced marketing services and delivery, and overall customer satisfaction”, he added.
Mr. Robert Collymore, CEO of Safaricom commended DCA’s decision to base the registry system in Kenya and was pleased at the selection of his company to host the registry infrastructure because of its adequate technical capacity to provide the large Internet bandwidth and availability of top-class co-location facilities required by DCA; and further expressed happiness with the association of Safaricom with this very high-profile Pan-African initiative.
DCA has submitted its application to ICANN for the mandate to operate the DotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (.africa gTLD) registry that would serve Africa, and other global stakeholders; and at the same time set-up a world-class registry infrastructure in Africa to support the operations, management and technical administration of the DotAfrica gTLD.
DCA has already received very important endorsements in support of the DotAfrica initiative and remains confident of success in the ICANN new gTLDs application round that commenced in January 2012.
DCA is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization based in Kenya and incorporated in Mauritius Africa and has been leading the DotAfrica effort for the past four years in Africa under the Yes2DotAfrica campaign and will sponsor, establish and operate the africa TLD registry with global recognition and regional significance dedicated to the needs of Pan-African & African community.
The longest-running global domain registry in the world, CentralNic currently manages twenty-five of domain extensions, including .US.COM and .LA in the United States, UK.COM in the United Kingdom, .EU.COM in Europe, and .CN.COM in China. The only registry to launch two new domain extensions in 2010, CentralNic is the Registry Service Provider of choice for new domains requiring proven secure and stable technology, global distribution, expertise in domain sales and marketing, and even financing. CentralNic offers special tailored programs for .brand domains, .geo domains, IDN domains, and not-for profit domains.
Safaricom is a leading provider of converged communication solutions, operating on a single business driver providing a broad range of first-class products and services for Telephony, EDGE, Broadband Internet and Fax, and therefore has a peerless understanding of voice, video and data operations. Being a Unified Services Provider it is the largest stakeholder in the submarine cables system, and also a pioneer in the world, renowned for its mobile money transfer services “Mpesa” – a ‘bank less’ financial service. Safaricom also runs a successful domain name business and markets the .co.ke ccTLD amongst other leading domains like .com. It also operates a large datacenter facility in Kenya and is the largest carrier for inbound and outbound traffic within the East Africa region.
Fincom is a leading one stop Kenyan based IT firm incorporated in 2003. It provides and maintains complete ICT professional services, consultancy, project management, structured networking, LAN/WAN audit/design, data center design among others. It supplies and integrates servers from leading manufacturers namely HP, IBM & DELL as well as Cisco routers, switches and IP PBXs. FinCom is renowned for Storage and Networking expertise within the ICT industry in Kenya. With its reputation, Fincom important clients include the leading firms in the banking and microfinance sector, ICT industry and general business.