home Internet, Softwares, Technology ICANN Board Recommendation to AUC prejudicial to DotConnectAfrica’s .africa application!

ICANN Board Recommendation to AUC prejudicial to DotConnectAfrica’s .africa application!

DCA Trust considers this as a very serious aberration that is inimical to the new gTLD application for .africa that it has submitted

Says DotConnectAfrica in its response to ICANN, as a matter of procedure while responding to the early warning issues that have been raised in the 17 duplicate warnings by African countries as well as the African Union;  in what is considered a coordinated effort to block DotConnectAfrica’s .africa application to ICANN:
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Recalling ICANN International meeting in Dakar, DCA stated:
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“The GAC Early warning Advice has been done to punish DotConnectAfrica for opposing the African Union’s proposal to have .Africa included in the List of Top-Level Reserved Names. 
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We may recall that on the sidelines of the ICANN International Meeting at Dakar, Senegal, the African Union Commission-supported African Ministerial Round-Table had submitted a request to ICANN asking to: “Include (.Africa, .Afrique, .Afrikia,), and its representation in any other language on the Reserved Names List in order to enjoy the level of special legislative protection, so to be managed and operated by the structure that is selected and identified by the African Union.
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DotConnectAfrica Trust had openly campaigned against this request by the AUC because its approval by ICANN would have made the .Africa string name unavailable against the backdrop that the List of Reserved Top-Level Names was already indicated in the approved version of the Applicant’s Guidebook”
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In ICANN’s official response to AUC dated 8th March 2012, signed by the Chairman of the ICANN Board, Dr. Stephen Crocker and addressed to Elham M. A. Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, we note the following recommendation:
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“ICANN is not able to take actions that would go outside of the community-established and documented guideline of the program to provide the special treatment you have requested. ICANN does wish to explain, however that protections exist that will allow the African Union and its member states to play a prominent role in determining the outcome of any application for these top-level domain name strings. .
On this particular issue, the same communication concluded in a nutshell that:
“While ICANN is not able to offer the specific relief requested in the Communiqué, the robust protections built into the New gTLD Program afford the African Union (and its individual member states), through the Governmental Advisory Committee, the opportunity to raise concerns that an applicant is seen as potentially sensitive or problematic, or provide direct advise to the Board.”
DotConnectAfrica Trust believes that the response by ICANN to the African Union Commission contained specific recommendations to the extent that it clearly outlined a particular course of action that should be utilized by the AU regarding the possible use of the Governmental Advisory Committee to raise concerns about DCA as an applicant and DCA’s submitted application.
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“Accordingly, we believe that ICANN’s recommendations to the AU regarding how to directly influence the outcome of the .Africa top-level domain name string, was actually prejudicial to DCA’s application since, this has clearly assisted the AU in the process of coordinating a GAC Early Warning Advice against DCA’s application for .Africa. Our understanding is that the GAC is supposed to independently submit GAC Early Warning Advice to the ICANN Board, but in the case of .Africa, we find the ICANN Board actually recommending to the AUC to perform the GAC Early Warning Advice.

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Procedurally, this is incorrect and problematic, since it gives the impression that ICANN has actually instigated the GAC Early Warning by engaging in an advisory action or activity that seems to subvert the position of an applicant or that puts a particular application in jeopardy. Be that as it may, DCA Trust considers this as a very serious aberration that is inimical to the new gTLD application for .Africa that it has submitted..

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It is therefore on this basis that we strongly urge the ICANN Board not to follow the GAC Early Warning Advice so that ICANN will not be seen as having acted prejudicially, perhaps inadvertently, against the interest of DotConnectAfrica as applicant simply by conveying specific recommendations to the African Union Commission in these matters.”.

Then DCA lists its point of contention of the various GAC Early warning, including Uniforum’s stance, that its application has the mandate of African governments to ‘establish dotAfrica as a continental (geographic) domain,’ saying this should not be acceptable.  
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Challenging the AUC to a full public disclosure of its RFP process based on 9 points item to satisfy the ICANN Board and ICANN GAC, and further substantiate the GAC Early Warning Advice against its application for the .Africa gTLD name string,  DotConnectAfrica insisted that the process that led to the selection and appointment of UniForum SA, trading as ZA Central Registry was not based on an open and transparent RFP Process, and asserted,
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“The process hardly met the standards of an open, competitive and transparent process since UniForum was simply appointed based on the recommendation of Mr. Vika Mpisane, Head of the South African Domain Names Authority.”
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The entire  7 page response to the controversial Early GAC warning response on .africa submitted to ICANN on December 5th 2012 by DotConnectAfrica can be found here:

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