To: The Editor-in-Chief,
We thank you for your recent article
(Re: ‘The $185,000 dotafrica internet domain name ‘misunderstanding’?’ located at
Even though your published story written by Mr. Gareth Van Zyl is quite balanced, we wish to use this opportunity to provide some relevant comments that would help to further elucidate this issue for the interest of your readers and the global Internet and African publics.
We believe that it is also pertinent to respond to the comments made by Mr. Neil Duncan Dundas of UniForum SA trading as ZA Central Registry, who also happens to be a director of DNS (Pty) Ltd., African Registry Consortium (ARC) and is now the public face, fronting the .Africa new gTLD application that was submitted on behalf of the unregistered AfricaInOneSpace.
Not A Community TLD Application
One very important issue that needs to be immediately clarified is that the .Africa new gTLD application submitted by UniForum ZA Central Registry (Application ID: 1-1243-89583) is not a Community TLD application. The attempt that is being made to position or characterize the application as the official African Community application that is sanctioned by the African Union Commission and about ’40’ African countries is a very egregious and fraudulent misrepresentation.
Let DCA Trust be on one side as Ali Baba and let UniForum ZA Central Registry and its so-called partners represent the forty (40) thieves, and the outcome of this saga can be easily predicted.
One only needs to see the published parts of UniForum’s application and their answers to
Question numbers 19 and 20 to verify that UniForum deliberately failed to acknowledge any Community in their official answers to ICANN.
The global Internet public should know this:
Question No. 19 an unequivocal “NO”
In their answer to Question No. 19 (“Is the application for a Community based TLD?”), they unequivocally stated “No”.
Mission & Purpose of Proposed TLD
In describing the Mission and Purpose of their proposed gTLD (Question No. 18), UniForum have noted inter alia: “The ZACR and its partners in Africa, representing governments, ccTLD administrators, the technical and user communities, share a collective vision of establishing and running a successful, African-based registry operation for the benefit and pride of Africa. “
How could such a bold statement indicating a diverse community partnership be truly reconciled with their blank answer to Question 20(a)?
Answers to Q 20 (a) to (f) – Blank
(a) Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing serve; UniForum intentionally left it blank, thus indicating that they have not actually named any community that they claim to be committing to serve in their new gTLD application for .Africa.
Interestingly, UniForum also left their answers to the following important Community TLD-related questions blank:
The question No. 20 (b) – (e) which immediately follows:
(b) Explain the applicant’s relationship to the community identified in 20(a).
(c) Provide a description of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.
(d) Explain the relationship between the applied for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a).
(e) Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD. Policies and enforcement mechanisms are expected to constitute a coherent set.
(f) Attach any written endorsements for the application from established institutions representative of the community identified in 20(a). An applicant may submit written endorsements by multiple institutions, if relevant to the community.
DCA Trust strongly believes that the application submitted by UniForum is an outright misrepresentation and fraud. According to the published parts of their application, all the pertinent questions relating to a Community TLD have been answered with a blank (Nos. 19, 20 (a) – (e); meanwhile, they keep waving a purported Letter of Appointment from the AU Commission whilst trying to identify their application as belonging to the African Community based on their relationship with African Internet Community Organizations.
ICANN Evaluation cannot be Fooled
UniForum cannot fool the ICANN Evaluation with this very silly and dishonest gimmick. If they have actually submitted an application on behalf of the African Community according to their putative, or rather specious, letter of support from the African Union Commission, then they should have been confident enough to truthfully answer question Nos. 19, 20 (a) – 20 (e), and reconciled same to their stated Mission & Purpose. Therefore, their claim that they have the support of African country governments cannot be substantiated, since the African Governments have been misled to provide support for an African Community TLD application, but none was actually submitted to ICANN based on the answers provided to question numbers 19 and 20 by UniForum in their .Africa new gTLD application.
Letters of Support from 40 African Countries
Moreover, if the boastful claims of letters of support from “over forty (40) African countries” are actually coming from the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD), since the AfTLD (African Top-Level Domain) has lent its name and support to the UniForum new gTLD application for .Africa, DCA Trust will also challenge the involvement of AfTLD and whatever role that they are playing in assisting UniForum to garner questionable letters of support from African ccTLDs. DCA believes that the role of the ccTLDs should be strictly limited to managing and administering the country code TLD, and should have no involvement whatsoever in the management and administration of a continental Top-Level Domain such as .Africa. . If the Internet Governance Model does not allow the ccTLDs to own a Continental gTLD, we do not believe that the same African ccTLDs should be involved in any cooperative framework with UniForum SA to apply for, and own the new .Africa gTLD. The Individual African ccTLDs cannot participate at the country-code level and also at the continental level.