Yes2dotAfrica Campaign

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Yes2dotafrica-logo.jpg
Type: Non-Profit, Trust Program
Industry: DNS, ICT, Domain, Branding
Founded: 2006
Founder(s): Sophia Bekele
Headquarters: Mauritius
Country: Kenya
Key People
  • Sophia Bekele, Founder
  • Shanil Ramtohul, Chief Finance Officer
  • Kim Gueho, Trust Fund Manager

The Yes2dotAfrica is part of the Trust program of DotConnectAfrica's (DCA) established in 2007, as an on-going effort to create awareness of the benefits of a dotAfrica gTLD internet domain name and do a public outreach.

Other Trust programs identified by DCA include Miss.africa, Generation.africa and driving the capacity of the African ccTLDs.

The Yes2dotafrica campaign is a multi-lingual advocacy campaign that was set up as part of the trust program of DotConnectAfrica's (DCA) established in 2007 and has gained global recognition and been given credence as a platform for advocacy of the benefits of DotAfrica gTLD and technology transfer to Africa. As a result, the campaign has received a huge amount of positive feedback and global media coverage since its inception [1]

DCA has been invited to share its knowledge and experiences at major Universities in the U.S[2] [3] , Heads of States forums in Africa[4] , United Nations and other large economic forums in US and Europe and globally[5], including Web 2.0[6], TV & Radio programs, IGF and ICANN forums, allowing it to become a highly visible applicant and advocate for the African gTLD. DCA plans to continue to use the Yes2DotAfrica campaign to promote the DotAfrica domain.

First Multilingual Social Media based Campaign

The Yes2dotAfrica campaign is the first ever multilingual (English, French, Arabic) social media based outreach platform implemented at the time. It used Facebook and Twitter platforms and numerous other Social media platforms in these languages to create the awareness and advocacy for the .africa domain. The successful social media outreach in combination with road shows in major African countries allowed it to gain recognition over mainstream media.[7]

Multilingual Yes2dotAfrica Campaign

Global Campaign Outreach, Advocacy and Sponsorships

The first African TLD to sponsor an ICANN Events Notably in Brussels in 2008[8] and in Dakar, Senegal in 2011.[9] Since, the Yes2dotAfrica campaign has mounted a global campaign that has also been featured in the media widely and also invited to the global forums and universities. This was a major advocacy avenue for the benefits of the campaign and how it would bring significant initiative to empower the Youth,and women to initiate ground breaking innovations and leadership roles to catalyze internet growth in Africa.

Early Recorded Championship of Yes2dotAfrica campaign

DCA through the Yes2dotAfrica campaign has been an active supporter of the ICANN new gTLD process, and is a global stakeholder in actively promoting and campaigning for the introduction of the new gTLDs and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). The “generation.africa” thus is an established a theme, to empower the youth to adapt the powers of the internet and its use.

DCA has been recorded as Champion of .africa gTLD early on based not only its early endorsements in 2008 and 2009 obtained from the Pan African Continental bodies, but making early presentations on global platform at various UN Agencies including UNPAN, ITU and most importantly its initiations at ICANN in the African grouping initially, and then making its voice heard in various ICANN public forums, making the first Expression of Interest at ICANN for .africa gTLD and sending communications of support and awareness of the need for .africa gTLD to ICANN and US Department of Commerce similarly.

  • 4 June 2012: Open Letter to US Congress to support multi-stakeholder process [10] [11]
  • 10 November 2011: Champion of .africa initiative [12]
  • 27 October 2011: DCA Statement to ICANN Public Forum in Dakar on .africa Reserved Names [13][14]
  • 20 January 2010: Open Letter to NTIA making a preliminary case for the .africa gTLD [15]
  • 21 December 2010- DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Cartegena, Colombia. [16] [17] [18]
  • 10 September 2010: DotAfrica campaign to Brand the Continent, Biz Community, SouthAfrica [19]
  • 15 July 2010: Brains Behind .Africa:Connecting Africa-Towards a Digital Africa, Diplomat East Africa [20]
  • 17 July 2010: Re-branding Africa, The Economist [21]
  • 21 July 2010: Sophia Bekele talks about ".Africa" NewTLD.TV, USA [22]
  • 22 March 2010: A dotafrica generation soon to be born, Radio Netherlands [23]
  • 20 June 2010: ICANN Brussles Exhibition, First African TLD to sponsor a European Conference [24]
  • 28 February 2008: DCA's position in support of Joint Project Agreement (JPA ) to NTIA l [25]
  • 13 Feb 2008: First credible organization to submit an EOI to operate & manage the .AFRICA registry from ICANN [26]
  • 25 June 2008 :The .Africa project announced at public forum in Paris, France [27]
  • 30-10 2007: Connect Africa Heads of States forum, Kigali Rwanda [28]
  • 28 March 2007: DCA presented .Africa to AfrICANN, ICANN meeting in Lisbon,Portugal [29]
  • 30 March 2006: DCA presented the dotafrica TLD to ICANN African Board members [30]

Progress towards a ".africa" at ICANN 38, in Brussels the Capital of Europe

Brussels ICANN no. 38 held in June 2010 was a success for DotConnectAfrica as sponsor & presenting Africa's common position. In the forum was also expected that dotafrica will provide African languages with the same opportunities and allow the benefits of initiatives such as Yes2dotAfrica campaign to flourish.[31]

Launch of Yes2dotafrica campaign

The Yes2dotAfrica campaign was first launched in East Africa during the 2010 AITEC East Africa ICT Summit held from 7-8 September 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. The initiative is meant to give Africa a regional identity and global presence. Sophia Bekele, executive director, DotConnectAfrica made the announcement during the summit in her Keynote speech, in the presence of hundreds who attended and a panel of other advisory board and interests discussants.[32] [33][34] [35][36]

Yes2dotAfrica successful at ICANN 40 in San Francisco, California

The Yes2dotAfrica campaign also participated in several ICANN meetings such as the March 2011, ICANN 40 San Francisco, California also home to DCA, where ".africa" was first initiated as an African Diaspora project. The vision of a 'New African generation' was born here.[37]

Yes2DotAfrica Campaign reported .Africa amongst top fifty (50) hottest domains

DotConnectAfrica’s joint marketing efforts with United Domains resulted in an announcement on its pre-registrations ranking that included .Africa among the top fifty (50)hottest domains.[38]

Yes2dotAfrica Campaign Triumphs at ICANN 42 Dakar

DotConnectAfrica (DCA) was one of the principal participants and silver-level sponsor of the ICANN-42 international gathering, and was involved in various activities that took place throughout the week-long meeting in Dakar. DCA also mounted a well-attended exhibition on DotAfrica, and its Yes2DotAfrica campaign, which was visited by the Senegalese President and Head of State, H.E. Monsieur Abdoulaye Wade, and the Senegalese Minister for Telecommunications and Information/Communications Technologies, Monsieur Moustapha Guirassy. ICANN-42 was a great opportunity to focus positive attentions on DCA's Yes2DotAfrica Campaign, and we are pleased to present a summary of the main activities and important accomplishments for the benefit of our Pan-African constituency. [39]

Sophia Bekele with President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal at the "Yes2dotAfrica " Campaign Exhibition in Dakar Senegal Oct. 2011

DCA Major Milestones

To date, DCA’s body of work accomplished on DotAfrica (.africa) has set the ground breaking for potential of what a gTLD can contribute for Africa and has set the trend and innovation and informed the African and Global public.

It was the first credible organization to make an EOI to operate & manage the DotAfrica registry from ICANN and also a Multi-stakeholder governance model Best Practice promoter which brought awareness of ‘DotAfrica’ to the African ICT constituency, leaders and policymakers thereby receiving, Early endorsements from the continental policy makers and other stakeholders.

Some of the major accomplishments and major milestones include:

  • DCA Announces the Establishment of a World Class Registry System[40]
  • Official sponsors at : The ICANN 42 Dakar Senegal [41], The ICANN38 Brussels -The 1st African TLD registry to sponsor International Conference [42]; EAIGF Kampala, Uganda [43], AITEC East Africa ICT Summit [44]
  • DCA issues expression of Interest for the .africa Registry [45]
  • DCA made the case to US Department of Commerce for the .africa gTLD. [46]
  • DCA endorsed by Internationalized Domain Resolution Union IDRU [47]
  • Announcement of the initiation of the Pan-African Social Media Infrastructure [48]
  • Yes campaign launched in Kenya [49]
  • DotConnectAfrica announced in Nairobi ICANN 37 in Endorsement of its initiative by AU and UNECA during the public forum Read the Transcript of ICANN forum [50]
  • The Making of .Africa in Nairobi: Announcement of endorsement at ICANN 37[51]
  • DCA endorsed by the African Union Commission(AUC) [52]
  • DCA endorsed by the Economic Commission for Africa [53]
  • Letter of Notification to ICANN for Applying for Delegation of DotAfrica (.africa) TLD [54]
  • DotAfrica was introduced and presented to ITU officials in Africa. [55]

Key Communications Affecting Africa

DCA has provided key communications and letters to various organisations responsible for the Global Internet Governance including ICANN, NTIA, IANA,and US Government concerning the several issues that affect the African Continent and its internet constituency interests, plus the .africa gTLD.

Select Communication include:

  • 4 June 2012- Open Letter to US Congress to Express Support in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model and Reaffirmation of the Multistakeholder Process [56]
  • 31 October 2011- DotConnectAfrica Executive Briefing Note following the ICANN-42 International Meeting in Dakar, Senegal[57]
  • 27 October 2011-DotConnectAfrica Statement to ICANN Public Forum in Dakar on issues of Reserved Names for gTLDs and the Multi-Stakeholder process [58]
  • 9 February 2011- New gTLD Program Milestone Report and Addenda, Joint SO-AC Working Group [59]
  • 2.September 2011- Applicant Support forNew gTLD [60]
  • 25 December 2011- Providing Support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLD,[61]
  • 31 March 2011- Request for Comments on IANA Function [62]
  • 18 January 2011-Open Letter to US Department of Commerce National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA) making a preliminary case for the .africa gTLD [63]
  • 21 December 2010- DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Cartegena, Colombia. [64] [65]
  • 25 June 2008 - The .Africa project announced at public forum in Paris, France [66]
  • 11 February 2008 - Support for the mid-term review of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) agreement to the Office of Internal Affairs, of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in Washington DC [67][68]

Trust Programs

Aside from the "Yes2dotAfrica campaign" Trust program, which has been widely successful, DCA has already undertaken initiatives under its Trust program where it seeks to reinvest surplus of the registry business in socio-technological development projects significant to the Pan-Africa and African constituency. This is intended to build a successful program that can benefit Africa’s youths and women in ICT.

The trust programs include the following:

Miss.africa:

The miss.africa programme is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and overall self-esteem. It was inspired mainly by the DNS Women’s group of ICANN. The "Miss.Africa" program is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DCA’s corporate social responsibility program and was first launched and publicized during the ICANN gala event in Singapore [69] [70]and continued in Dakar. It is aimed at attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa, thereby involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women[71]

Generation.africa:

Generation.africa is a youth focused program launched by DCA to empower a new generation of Internet users in Africa using its generation.africa theme. It is intended to target different youth audiences and encourage them to be involved in discussions that define and increase their common stake-holding in the development and evolution of the Internet and how this affects them. e.g[72][73][74] [75]

Yes2dotAfrica Campaign Dakar

African ccTLD’s:

DCA has noted that African ccTLDs are at a great disadvantage and have stagnated for a very long period of time. DCA’s DotAfrica initiative has strongly advocated for African ccTLDs and proposed to work with them based on a beneficial cross-marketing scheme that would help grow the base of user registrations and also improve the technologies and businesses of the African ccTLDs eg.[76]

International Media Coverage

The organization has received extensive coverage, credits and recognition from local and global media including foreign language news media, ranging from over 80 diverse online and print global media coverage with readership over a billion combined and over 21 foreign media coverage nearing over 50 million readers, as well as on DotConnectAfrica championing the .africa initiative.

Throughout its campaign, and has been featured on Yes2dotafrica has received a very high number of global media coverage throughout its campaign. Most of the coverage in foreign and English languages are maintained on its website. [77]

Selected media coverage

  • DCA participated at the New TLDs conference in Munich, DirectRegister[78]
  • The Successful Yes2dotAfrica Campaign invited to Munich, Germany [79]
  • DotConnectAfrica, StartUp Success podcast, San Francisco[80]
  • Diplomat EastAfrica reports Brains behind .africa" [81]
  • Re-branding Africa, The Economist [82]
  • A dotafrica generation soon to be born, Radio Netherlands [83]
  • DotAfrica: Generation.Africa Thanks ICANN and DCA [84]
  • DCA and its “yes2DotAfrica” campaign: [85]
  • KASS Media Spoke to Sophia Bekele on the "Yes2dotAfrica" Campaign [86]
  • Africa domain attracts interest [87]
  • Dot Africa campaign to brand continent [88]
  • Heralding the birth of dot.africa generation [89]
  • Announcing the birth of the dot.africa generation [90]
  • Agency de Presse Sènègalaise, Dakar Senegal [91]

Select Live Media

Movers & Shakers of Africa- Jeff Koinange first media presentation and interview with Sophia Bekele on the .Africa Domain name she introduced to Africa.

Dotafrica Launch Dance Video: The video was produced by DCA for the launch of the Yes2dotAfrica campaign at the AITEC East Africa ICT Summit held from 7-8 September 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya

The Yes2dotAfrica Campaign, Journey of .Africa by DotConnectAfrica. This video is a collection of films and media campaign efforts made by DotConnectAfrica to introduce the .Africa gTLD to the Peoples of Africa.

Bloomberg TV Features Sophia Bekele Founder and CEO of CBS International and DotConnectAfrica as,"African Women to Watch"

References

  1. "Brains behind .africa" reports Diplomat EastAfrica, profiling Bekele's work
  2. Golden Gate University
  3. Economic Address - African Leadership Council - UC Sacramento
  4. Connect Africa Summit
  5. E-Government & Public Private Partnerships, United Nations (UNPAN), Geneva
  6. Startup Success, San Francisco, Web 2.0, Conference
  7. Join our "Yes2dotAfrica" campaign,
  8. Yes Campaign
  9. ICANN 42 Dakar: Meet the Yes2dotAfrica Campaign in Senegal!
  10. Open Letter to US Congress to Express Support in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model and Reaffirmation of the Multistakeholder Process
  11. Open Letter to US Congress to Express Support in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model and Reaffirmation of the Multistakeholder Process
  12. Sophia Bekele, Ethiopian champion of the dot africa initiative
  13. DCA Statement to ICANN Public Forum in Dakar
  14. DCA Statement to ICANN Public Forum in Dakar
  15. Open Letter to US Department of Commerce National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA) making a preliminary case for the .africa gTLD
  16. DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Colombia
  17. DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Colombia
  18. DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Colombia
  19. DotAfrica campaign to Brand the Continent
  20. Can "Africa" get a make over?
  21. Africa, Towards a Digital Africa
  22. Sophia Bekele talks about.Africa
  23. A dotafrica generation soon to be born
  24. Progress towards a ".africa" at ICANN 38, in Brussels the Capital of Europe
  25. Address by ICANN Chairman to Public Meeting on the Midterm Review of the JPA
  26. Request for Accreditation from ICANN for .Africa
  27. The .Africa project announced at public forum in Paris, France
  28. Connect Africa Summit
  29. ICANN gNSO gTLD Update - DotAfrica Presentation -A Forward Africa
  30. .Africa - Africa Map into Digital Inclusion, A Common Voice for Africa
  31. Progress towards a ".africa" at ICANN 38, in Brussels the Capital of Europe
  32. "Lead speaker Sophia Bekele at the "Launch of the Dot Africa East African campaign"- AITEC EAst Africa Summit
  33. Dot Africa campaign to brand continent
  34. A DotAfrica generation soon to be born
  35. "Brains behind .africa" reports Diplomat EastAfrica, profiling Bekele's work
  36. Yes Campaign
  37. Yes2dotAfrica Campaign successful at ICANN 40 in San Francisco, CA
  38. .africa domain
  39. Yes2dotAfrica Campaign Triumphs at ICANN 42 Dakar
  40. DCA Announces the Establishment of a World Class Registry System
  41. DCA Announces the Establishment of a World Class Registry System
  42. The ICANN38 Brussels -The 1st African TLD registry to sponsor International Conference
  43. EAIGF Kampala, Uganda
  44. AITEC East Africa ICT Summit
  45. DCA issues expression of Interest for the .africa Registry
  46. DCA made the case to US Department of Commerce for the .africa gTLD
  47. DCA endorsed by Internationalized Domain Resolution Union IDRU
  48. Announcement of the initiation of the Pan-African Social Media Infrastructure
  49. Yes campaign launched in at the AITEC East Africa ICT Summit
  50. AITEC East Africa ICT Summit
  51. The Making of .Africa in Nairobi: Announcement of endorsement at ICANN 3
  52. DCA endorsed by the African Union Commission(AUC
  53. DCA endorsed by the Economic Commission for Africa
  54. Letter of Notification to ICANN for Applying for Delegation of DotAfrica
  55. DotAfrica was introduced and presented to ITU officials in Africa.
  56. Open Letter to US Congress to Express Support in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model and Reaffirmation of the Multistakeholder Process
  57. DotConnectAfrica Executive Briefing Note following the ICANN-42 International Meeting in Dakar, Senegal
  58. DCA Statement to ICANN Public Forum in Dakar
  59. New gTLD Program Milestone Report and Addenda, Joint SO-AC Working Group
  60. Applicant Support-New gTLD
  61. Providing Support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLD
  62. Providing Support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLD
  63. Open Letter to US Department of Commerce National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA) making a preliminary case for the .africa gTLD
  64. DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Colombia
  65. DCA statement to ICANN public forum, Colombia
  66. The .Africa project announced at public forum in Paris, France
  67. DCA Global Re: Midterm Review of Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between United States Department of Commerce (DoC) and ICANN
  68. Address by ICANN Chairman to Public Meeting on the Midterm Review of the JPA
  69. Mission
  70. ICANN gala event in Singapore
  71. ".africa" music & dance performance
  72. generation.africa
  73. Generation.africa On their High at IGF Kenya
  74. Generation.africa hailed "Yes2dotAfrica" at DCA's Headquarters in Mauritius
  75. Generation.africa spoke at Tandaa Symposium
  76. Domain .africa at Kampala - "An invasion of armies cannot stop an idea whose time has come"
  77. Global Media Coverage
  78. DCA participated at the New TLDs conference in Munich, DirectRegister
  79. The Successful Yes2dotAfrica Campaign invited to Munich, Germany
  80. DotConnectAfrica, StartUp Success podcast, San Francisco
  81. Africa domain attracts interest
  82. Can "Africa" get a make over?
  83. A dotafrica generation soon to be born, Radio Netherlands
  84. DotAfrica: Generation.Africa Thanks ICANN and DCA
  85. DCA and its “yes2DotAfrica” campaign:
  86. KASS Media Spoke to Sophia Bekele on the "Yes2dotAfrica" Campaign
  87. domain attracts interest
  88. Dot Africa campaign to brand continent
  89. Africa: Heralding the birth of dot.africa generation
  90. Announcing the birth of the dot.africa generation
  91. l’Afrique se dotera de son premier nom de domaine en janvier