ICANN has posted 242 early warnings thought the governmental advisory group GAC. These warnings were lodged by organizations interested in the new gTLD applications.
Africa which has 17 new gTLD applications coincidentally has 17 early warnings on the .africa application with 16 from different countries and one from the newest member of the GAC, African Union Commission( AUC) which joined the ICANN GAC during the ICANN 44, Prague meeting.
Kenyan based DotConnectAfrica Trust and South Africa’s Uniforum SA, trading as the ZA Central Registry have applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage the .africa internet domain name. .Africa is nearly one of the most sought after new gTLD .
DCA has recently received a change to its application from a .dotafrica that was clearly a mistake to .africa an act that has clearly raised the stakes after it had been assumed the mistake has inadvertently bungled DCA out of the competition, this has suddenly brought a new twist to the applications from Africa.
Apart for the AUC early warning countries that have sent include Ghana, Mali, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Comoros, Kenya, Cameroon, the DRC, Benin, Egypt, Gabon, Burkina Faso, and Morocco. In its early warning statement, the AUC went on further to say that DCA’s application
“constitutes an unwarranted intrusion and interference on the African Union Commission’s (AUC) mandate from African governments to establish the structures and modalities for the implementation of the dotAfrica (.Africa) project.”. ..
Wait a minute, who is intruding on who’s .africa? Did not DCA get an early endorsement from the AUC to attain the same objective?
Another reason from the rest of the governments point out that DCA has not met the support of 60% of African government requirements for the geographic status attributed with the .africa name. DCA however makes claim of its endorsement by the African union early in 2009, saying it still stands.
The GAC early warning is part of the processes leading to the delegation of a new gTLD. Though seen as an important process of a new top level domain, it is not a formal objection, nor does it directly lead to a process that can result in rejection of the application. However, a GAC Early Warning should be taken seriously as it raises the likelihood that the application could be the subject of GAC Advice on New gTLDs or of a formal objection at a later stage in the process. Refer to section 18.104.22.168 of the Applicant Guidebook for more information on GAC Early Warning.