End of Year and New Year Messages
Welcome 2021: A transition to a sustainable future.
I hope your new year is off to a good start.
This new year, as we continue to hold the torch of hope aloft, we must think of ways to build our lives and those around us in an era post-pandemic.
2020 was a year of reflection and recalibration, of asking deep questions about what really matters. A year where we questioned the status quo and confronted the unforgettable. A year full of supersized, negative surprises, where we confronted the uncomfortable, but also raised pertinent issues. In 2021, we can use these issues that challenged us, as a platform to forge common grounds.
One profound lesson we are carrying into 2021 is that those who can adapt easily are often better off than those who can predict the most accurately. Factors outside our control significantly impacted our plans in 2020, forcing us to quickly propel ourselves forward, or get knocked off course. Indeed, having a digital-first mindset put us in a better position to pivot and rise to the challenges.
What’s exciting is that the appetite for IoTs has significantly grown from being viewed as a luxury to becoming a basic necessity.
In 2021, DCA’s main focus will be to help clients on their digital transformation journey through the various types of web related services we are offering, as we also roll out new products of our own.
We encourage you to click on the link below to view the various Internet-centered digital products and services we have on board.
End of Year Message: Thank you for being there with us in 2020!
As the year comes to a close, I would like to express my gratitude for your continued trust and loyalty to DotConnectAfrica Group!Whilst we’ve all faced unprecedented challenges this year that we never imagined, these times have underscored the importance of relationships and connectivity, of humanity and kindness and of strength and resilience.
Let us start with the BREAKING news in December 2020 – The Corona Virus Vaccine Trumps everything else.
January 1, 2020 marked the beginning of a brand-new decade that we and many others looked at with optimism and as a chance at a new lease on life.
Our optimism was however short lived after a stretch of bad events quickly threw our world and our lives into complete chaos and turmoil. In particular the early stages of the COVID-19 global pandemic quickly brought humanity and the global economy that affects us all to its knees.
How DCA tackled the issue in the 2020 crisis?
We were wildly active during these trying times and forged the gratitude track, as we were alive to contribute. The challenge motivated us to even worked tirelessly to sustain, strengthen, and celebrate our global community from a distance. In making sure Africa’s voice is not left behind during such pandemic and lock down measures, we focused to find solutions to the most affected sectors and its existing problems.
As a result, we developed and launched various innovative initiatives, programs and campaigns.
- Early during the hit of the pandemic, DCA ran a highly successful Essay Writing Competition across Africa under the hashtag campaign #stayathomeandbecreative, to motivate students to be active during the government mandated lockdowns.
- Our pioneering 10 year women-in-tech program brought together our seed-fund award program winners, Ambassadors and Girl leaders to virtually celebrate our 5th Year Seed-Fund Award anniversary alongside the International Girls in ICT Day via a WebForum.
- To buttress our Women Empowerment Program, we also launched two other initiatives, FemPower Forum, a digital community networking portal to allow our members and participants to network and have access to capacity building support, advisory and market linkages across Africa. We also launched an accompanying FEMPower Newsletter to share and disseminate relevant information as well as highlight the powerful voices of these women and girls.
- In a desperate urge to connect, share and speak out, which was created by the necessity of the 2020 lock-down, we also launched a hashtag campaign #YourSayYourPart, which became our 2020 signature project under a DCA WebForum. This public virtual video forum allowed us to connect and engage with high level global Senior and Executives to collectively bring their wisdom and experience and share their voices, concerns and hopes about Africa and COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The conversations we prioritized included the seriously impacted sectors of SME , Human Rights, and Women In Finance.
Finally, as you are aware, championing for IoTs is at the heart of DCA. This year we adapted a growth strategy and we have regrouped, reorganized, recruited resources and refocused our DCA’s service offerings to launching various types of web related services to help clients on their digital transformation journey.
Please click on the images below to view the key programs and initiatives we launched:
Welcome 2020: Year of Women of Color!
I hope your new year has started off to an optimistic note.
I am sure you will agree with me when I said that last year was full of global women on the rise in our 2019 Year end Newsletter , with lots of progress made in both the workforce and the entrepreneurial space. We also reported that our pioneering Women-in Tech program , Miss.Africa Digital for 2019 had an outreach in 12 African countries and we shall keep firing up and expanding our territories to empower women and girls.
There are plenty of reasons to believe 2020 will continue this in force, as we see more even females entrepreneurs on the rise. We are at a unique point of transition and many of the hurdles experienced by women are going to be a thing of the past, meaning the universe is aligning to our favor. The workforce and the entrepreneurial platforms are becoming increasingly diverse as more women, including women of color, seek to make their visions a reality and capitalize on it.
Women – especially women of color, who have been #hiddenfigures j ust like the four trailblazers; Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan who worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, called “human computers ” did the complex calculations that made space travel possible and paved the way for women of color to make history in fields including science, math, and technology.
Today we have many “hidden figures” who would include many African women, which need to be discovered. It could be our moms, sisters, daughters or colleagues.
Despite, as we move forward, there are also the obvious challenges which women have to focus on and try to overcome: Doing it all yourself – working smart not hard , investing in support network, and Work-life-balance, which I advocated for in my 2019 New Year’s newsletter.
While the gender gap is evolving, women have to be cognizant of these challenges and change attitudes and habits to adapt and innovate with impact and purpose. Thus, continue to #InnovateYou . Look around you, what can you give an innovative touch?
2020 is all about soaring higher and doing the “undoable” therefore, our theme this year is ‘ A new way of empowering – Impact and purpose’. Make 2020 work for you!
Thank you for being part of it all, lets walk this space together with confidence and resilience. Read more
End of Year Message: Thank you for being there with us in 2019!
As 2020 looms around the corner, it is another reason and time to give thanks and celebrate what the year has made for us. We are grateful to you for accompanying us through 2019, we certainly trust and look forward to the next year, that give us more opportunities to interact and achieve more.
A Year full of Global Women on the Rise!
2019 seemed to be a powerful year not only for women-in-tech in Africa, but women all over the world in every sector of the economic and the political spheres, closing the gender gap and gender bias. DCA Trust, its Ambassadors and beneficiaries have been making their mark and adapting their work so that other Women contribute to the statistics. This positive yield comes from our own grassroots work, networking and global collaborations. Everywhere I have traveled, women are fighting to make their voices to be heard.
Welcome to 2019: Year of Work-Life Balance
I know it is the beginning of February, but it is never too late to say a “Happy New Year”. Unapologetic, I am sending my new year’s message later than usual due to the extended time-off I took from work to recover from 2018 and prepare for the coming new year.
I took a memorable lengthy sojourn of three months, to what I can call a rebellion against the ordinary chores of life, and made consecutive holiday trips to the three top rated beach-islands of Africa. This may have been a bit of a binge, but it also gave me an opportunity to get to know the beauty of the coast, its wonderful coastal people, the exotic sea-life and reef worthy of protection and the rich tropical resources the African continent has to offer. An amazing breakaway that helps heal and reactivate the mind and body.
It is now 2019. The New Year is always like a blank book, and the pen is in our own hands. It is our opportune moment to write what we want to do for the rest of the year and how we plan to achieve it.
Wishing everyone a year of self reflection towards a healthy work-life balance!
End of Year Message: 2018 DotConnectAfrica Wishes you Happy Holidays
Once again the holiday season is here and it is my favorite time of the year where I like to pull my head together and make time for reflection in the year that just concluded.
Therefore, I am very happy to send to you this year’s Seasons Greetings on behalf of myself and DCA, in between my Island-hopping journeys in Africa.
I gave my year-end contributions to DCA, while sojourning on the beautiful island of Mauritius. The weather was warm with infrequent showers, which is enchanting. I also got to visit our offices in Port Louis for few hours, and had a warm reception by all staff and caught up with year-end activities. Prior to that, I had also traveled to yet another beautiful island of Seychelles, which has the same weather, as I found myself indulging in my well deserved vacation, away from the cold weather of the global North, and appreciating the quiet times alone from all the frenzy and the wired world. Our mental health and well being needs this, does it not?
Welcome to 2018, THE Year of Powering Innovation.” Happy 2018 from DotConnectAfrica
It is my great joy and honor to send this new year foreword to you all as we begin the new year.
2017 proved to be a great year for DCA and 2018 gives the excitement and ray of hope for a prosperous year full of opportunities. 2018 appears to be moving towards the expansion of opportunities in the IoT sector with the best indication going to the disruptive mobile app economy and with our Miss.Africa initiative seed fund through our DCA academy programme, which is interested in the STEM and internet technology adoption that will play a part in enhancing their impact and scalability.
I hope together we will move towards achieving the numerous opportunities that the new year 2018 has to offer.
End of Year Message: 2017, a Year In Review at DotConnectAfrica
2017 is now ended, once again it is that precious opportunity to take a stock of and share everything that has transpired throughout this year. Truly the year was both eventful, engaging and fulfilling one. At DCA Group we are grateful to you for being an integral witness and partner for every step of the process and experience.Here are some of our activities from 2017:-
- Our Miss.Africa Digital Program Named Finalist in the ITU/UN 2017 EQUALSinTech Awards in Geneva, Switzerland
- Ireland: Bekele Cited the Notable work of DCA Academy for Lifelong Learning at UNESCO’s Third International Conference on Learning Cities
- Los Angeles, California, USA: DotConnectAfrica Trust wins landmark legal victory, as ICANN loses MSJ
- Barcelona, Spain: DCA CEO Attends the Special African Women Forum
- Miss.Africa announces 2018, Seed Funding Tech Initiative for women in Africa
- We Participated at the annual Kenya Internet Governance Forum 2017
- CIO East Africa Names Founder and CEO of DotConnectAfrica #WOMENINTECH SOPHIA BEKELE “Industry Trailblazer and Internet-Governance Pioneer”
- DotConnectAfrica (DCA) announces the 2016/17 winners of the Miss.Africa Seed Funding for STEM Programs
Welcome to 2017 from Miss.Africa Digital
Get your Miss.Africa Trophy!, Apply for our Miss.Africa Seed Fund
Bravo #entrepreneurship, #innovation, #womenintech #girlpower #STEM4girls
I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all
an achieving fulfilling, peaceful 2017.
End of the Year Message: A Year in Review- 2016!
Every year I take time to review and go over all that transpired throughout the year and share with you, as you have been an integral part of our journey. 2016 has been an involving and satisfactory year, despite the challenges of some of what we have had to go through. We are thankful for every part of the process and experience. I am glad to share with you some of what DCA Group has done and achieved.
DCA Walking the Talk and Impacting Lives
In fulfillment of our declaration of 2016 as #YearOfTheWomen, DCA indeed offered and created more avenues to promote the woman entrepreneur, the CEO, the President, the Head girl and the 6 year old who did not want to get married as she “wants to do her own thing”. Thus these girls and women seem to have found more rewarding times within their daily lives as well as making important life choices.
Our flagship Trust programMiss.Africa launched a Pan-African seed fund through our DCA academy programme – an initiative that supports women and girls in STEM. Through this effort, we identify how we might support the impact and scalability of their initiatives. Most of our activities this year therefore were focused in the fulfillment of the program, related to girls and women in technology.
As it is well known in Africa, DCA Trust is an early champion of “girls and women in tech” among many other innovative causes we have championed in Africa. We started off with tech training program for girls internally at DCA, followed by the fulfillment of the most popular yearly “Miss.Africa” seed fund”. The initial fund was able to award multi-country initiatives including Kenya, Madagascar and Cameroon.
Welcome to 2016! to The Year of “The Women”
Therefore, 2016 comes with such hope and promise. Before the World Economic Forum’s annual talk-shop from the Alps in Davos, Switzerland produces its fantasy list of predictions for the year, I will give mine. I call for the year 2016 to be “Year of The Women”
There are many reasons I came up with this theme, but mostly I feel a sea-change is happening and my global engagement everywhere tells me the Universe is now on the side of women. This is in no way to reject our strongest supporters, men, but to simply acknowledge that women have become more independent, smart, accomplished, finding their new found roles and using it to push the limits of their opportunity confidently and with a great sense of responsibility, and care. And let us not forget women are leading by example.
There is a popular truth say “When you empower a woman you empower a community”.
Therefore, in christening 2016 the ‘Year of the Women’, I’m quite positive that this year will offer and create more avenues to promote the woman entrepreneur, the CEO, the President, the Head girl and the one who “wants to do her own thing” to find more rewarding times within their daily lives and choices. Read more
End of the Year Message: A Year in Review- 2015!
2015 is coming to a close. As such, I always tend to review the past year and reflect on our accomplishments.
Indeed, 2015 has been an extraordinary year for us here at DCA Group. It has been an extremely busy and satisfying year. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I write this End of Year message to all our supporters, partners, and stakeholders in general.
Our various initiatives under DCA Group engaged and partnered with Africa and different global publics during 2015. We continued our active participation in different forums for ICT knowledge generation and using the public engagement platform to share our notable experiences on leadership, technology, entrepreneurship, African Diaspora, Internet policy and accountability debates. We continued to advocate for a free and open Internet at the US Congressional level as well as African and inter-governmental sector. We have also continued to advocate prudent and accountable Internet policy oversight as well as providing thought leadership of the same, via our regular commentaries.
Our New Media sector played a key role in capturing and disseminating the voice of Africa, along with its partners. DCA Academy also pushed its goals further as it announced its business plan competition that would provide seed funds for viable technology startups in support of women-in-technology under our Miss.Africa Initiative. Nearly 90 applications were submitted to date. Overall, our group efforts continued to innovate, expand, and consolidate during 2015, and we are quite happy with the sort of positive impacts that we have been making in Africa and globally.
Welcome 2015 – To the Year of Creative Disruption
We hope you all have had great holidays are off to a good start for the New Year!
Recall in 2014, we asked you to stay in the ARENA with us. Indeed together, we prevailed in all our undertakings. At the same time, we also predicted a year of uncertainty and big challenges in Internet Governance (IG), including an Occupy.africa. Our predictions in this regard were on point. I have covered much on it in our 2014 Year-in-Review.
In 2015, we are betting on more. Our theme and engagement for 2015 is therefore Creative Disruption, and here is why?
Trailblazer may be what DCA is wildly known for, but we have also proved to be more than that. We have shown perseverance by staying in the ARENA, taken on new risks, new initiatives, innovated, built upon what we have, and cooperated with many. In our team, we have Entrepreneurs, NewsMakers, Trend Setters, Technocrats, Leaders and Social activist and together we work well toward the good of the gander, which is our world.
End of Year Message: 2014
It is with great pleasure that I write this End of Year message to all of DCA Trust supporters that have been with us since we started this campaign for the .Africa domain name several years ago.
2014 proved to be another eventful year for DCA Trust, and its technology sector affiliates; namely, DCA Registry Services (Kenya) Ltd., and the Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA).
Let me start by updating you regarding our ongoing .Africa new gTLD legal journey and why .Africa names are not yet available on the Internet.
You may all recall that towards the end of 2013, DCA Trust had filed its Official Notice for Independent Review of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board actions, which DCA considered as irregular and wrongful over DCA Trust’s new gTLD application for the .Africa Internet Domain name; which we had laboriously pioneered and strongly promoted both in Africa and all over the world. The IRP was empanelled under the auspices of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) during the 1st quarter of 2014, and soon after, started making many interim rulings and declarations on procedural matters regarding the DCA vs. ICANN IRP.
Welcome 2014 – The year to stay in the ARENA
Our 2014 New Year Resolution is simple: We plan to stay in the ARENA!
Those who watched DCA for the past six year know very well DCA has been fighting a gauntlet fight, as is called in wrestling, with its many opponents – what a vast majority of people have mostly observed as chaotic, a match without a referee, or a game without any rules. Therefore, I could not help but relate with this quote:
” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles; or where the doer of the deeds could have done them better.
The Credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Finally, with the President’s quote above that inspired me so much amongst many, I ask all of you Champions to stay with us this year in the “.Africa ARENA”, and support our worthy cause, because we are not fighting for a “.africa”, we are fighting for Africa and I promise you, we will deliver!
End of Year Message: A Year in Review- 2013!
As 2013 draws to a close it is worth looking back at where we have been and consider what 2014 will bring. As usual for DCA, it has been a year of intense activity to ensure that our promise to Africa stands – that “we shall deliver .africa registry to the continent, sooner than expected”.
DCA Trust has a long-standing tradition of informing its African and global constituency on matters affecting the global Internet Governance, ICANN and related African affairs. Our regular Newsletters and Social media Campaigns sites provide us the conduit to keep all informed and more importantly, get feedbak on our initiatives.
Before reviewing the major highlights of what DCA Trust accomplished during the year, I would like to make an extended commentary on the most important global issue of 2013.
Welcome 2013 – The Year of Internet Governance:
A number of significant victories were achieved that hold DCA’s principles in 2012, to include the UN Declaration for Human Rights for Free Speech, the significant, landmark opposition to Internet Regulation by WCIT-12 conference, and for our .africa, defeat of our opponents on the .dotafrica string issue, when ICANN approved our change request. All with your support!
Our 2013 Resolution is simple: a free and open .africa and internet!
End of Year Message: A Year in Review- 2012!
2012 was truly and eventful and memorable year. It was a year of many firsts and though Africa is recovering from the natural disasters faced in 2011 as well as leadership changes all over the world, we had some positive land marks as well.
Here in Africa we have seen major changes in the governments as well as development in the Internet infrastructure.
The continent is healing from the revolution witnessed in North Africa that saw the overthrow of three Heads of States in Tunisia,Egypt and Libya in 2011. The protest movements in North Africa were aided, and the events propelled, by extensive use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter only show how Africans are yearning for new leadership and we hope for a promising and developing democratic future.
The Internet and ICTs are being employed as useful and collaborative tools in this quest for democratic freedoms.
Welcome 2012 – The Year for new gTLDs
One of our most significant victories scored during 2011 was to defeat the proposal to include DotAfrica and similar namestrings in any language in the Top-Level Reserved Names List. We note with pride that ICANN listened to our arguments and did not agree with those who wanted the DotAfrica name to be reserved and seperately negotiated outside the ICANN new gTLD programme.
Looking forward to 2012 – our New Year resolution is clear; Read more
End of Year Message: A Year in Review- 2011!
2011 was indeed a very interesting and unforgettable year. It had its share of natural disasters, environmental pollution, humanitarian emergencies, civil strife, armed conflict, economic crises, and some positive developments too.
For Africa, 2011 started with civil strife and revolution in North Africa that saw the overthrow of three Heads of States in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Political turmoil and armed conflict has resulted in societies in transition as the old order of dictatorship has given way to a promising democratic future.
Internet-based social media has been credited as an enabling tool in this process of social change as protestors took advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social networks on the Internet to mobilize themselves, report on the revolution and communicate with a global audience.
Japan witnessed a devastating earthquake and Tsunami which also caused severe damages to the Fukushima nuclear plant thereby causing radiation leakage and contamination.
Welcome 2011 New Year’s Messages
We’ve organized, traveled across continents, spoken, promoted, panelled, launched, continue to get consensus and also work across the aisle. When faced with unreasonable challenges, we have fought for what is right and succeeded. All with your support Read more
End of Year Message: A Year in Review- 2010!
This year, 2010, was a year to remember and has been a productive one for DotConnectAfrica (DCA) and there is much more to come in the next several months. It was also a year that has embedded in it lots of clues about the risks and opportunities that lie ahead, which we want to be sure to mine.
First, I would like to thank many of you who have been supportive in helping to get the dotAfrica initiative running. Your support has come in many forms, including those who have become generation.africa volunteers, spokes people, clients, advisors or generally been helpful in many ways. Whatever the form, we are grateful for your confidence in us and are working hard to repay that confidence by providing our brand of intelligent Internet name-space and service with a smile.
With that, I would like to invite each of you to visit our site www.dotconnectafrica.org and/or call us with any questions or comments on this letter or any other issue. We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions about any of these concepts or developments discussed in this letter, we at DCA would be happy to review them with you.
Happy Holidays December 2010 Newsletter
This year, 2010, was a year to remember and has been a productive one for DotConnectAfrica (DCA) and there is much more to come in the next several months. It was also a year that has embedded in it lots of clues about the risks and opportunities that lie ahead, which we want to be sure to mine.
Speeches and Presentations
- Sophia Bekele in coversation with Bloomberg TV, as women-in-tech. Watch October 8, 2020
- “African Women’s Forum “, Bekele Stresses Opening Up The Business Sector To Women And Youth In The Age Of The Digital Revolution at the 2019 Crans Montana Forum, Brussels, Belgium on November 14 to 16, 2019
- Bekele Shares on on Business Ethics: “The Market has no Morality” at the SF ISACA Chapter 2019 Fall Conference
- Bekele Shares on “Crafting Coalitions for Change, Time for Trust at the EurAfrican Forum, Cascais, Portugal on 10th Oct 2018
- Bekele speaks on “Building digital competencies to benefit from existing and emerging technologies, with a special focus on gender and youth dimensions.” at the 21st session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), hosted by UNCTAD at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, on 15th May 2018 (Download Panel Presentation [PDF])
- Promoting learning for employment and entrepreneurship, Bekele Speaks on Continuous learning, Entrepreneurship and Employment. at the UNESCO’s Third International Conference on Learning Cities, Ireland, on 18th to 20th September, 2017. (Download Panel Presentation [PDF])
- “Special African Women’s Forum”, Bekele Shares Key Issues and Challenges on Strengthening Women’s influence in the necessary change of their society at the Crans Montaba Forum, Barcelona, Spain on July 5 to 8, 2017
- Sophia Bekele Shares Key Issues and Challenges on Africa’s Innovation ad IT industry with Portugal Leadership at the EurAfrican Forum, 14th Oct. 2016, Cascais, Portugal. Read
- Sophia Bekele provides Thought Leadership on a Keynote Panel at the 2nd Quantum Global Advisory Board Symposium, 19th Nov. 2015, Zurich, Switzerland Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks on Business Ethics and her recent Moral & Legal victory over the global internet governance body, ICANN, 1st Oct, 2015 Lincoln University, Oakland California Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at White-House/USAID organized African Diaspora Leadership, GES-Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 8th July 2015 in San Francisco, USA Read more
- SOLDOUT #HaasABF2015: Keynote: Sophia Bekele heralds “Africa’s Digital Opportunity is NOW ” Read
- Sophia Bekele gives Opening Remarks on ACCESS UNESCO Connecting Dots Conference, March 3, 2015, Paris France Read more
- Sophia Bekele gives a Keynote: “P.U.S.H. to CHANGE AFRICA” at 2014 CUNY Young African Leadership Symposium (YALS) CUNY, New York, United States. Read See presentation (PDF)
- Sophia Bekele Weighs in on Obama’s August US-Africa Leader Summit at the NYF Africa Read more
- DotConnectAfrica Executive Briefing Note at the ICANN-42 Public Forum Meeting at Dakar, Senegal Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at the New Domains Conference on ‘How to Successfully Build a Community around your TLD’, Munich, Germany Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at World Affairs Council Freedom of Information as a Human Right Read
- Sophia Bekele CEO of DotConnectAfrica speaks at the launch of the official “.africa” campaign at the AITEC ICT Summit Read
- The “.africa” name re-branding Africa at the World Cup, South Africa Read
- The “.Africa” domain presented at Libya’s premier e-government event Read
- “.Africa” at AITEC West Africa Read
- DotConnectAfrica CEO statement to ICANN public forum, Cartegena, Colombia Read
- DotConnectAfrica CEO invited to present the “.africa” project at AITEC Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya Read