Policy Issues Affecting ccTLDs in Africa African Top Level Domains Organization

28 September 2011 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Nairobi, Kenya

Also available in:
Full Session Transcript

September 28, 2011 - 16:30PM


The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.


>> VIKA MPISANE:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  We would like to thank you first for coming to this workshop organized by the African domains, top‑level domains.  I'm Vika Mpisane, the chairperson.  We have a couple persons who will present some stuff on specific areas for this workshop to cover, who will just talk through some points.

In terms of questions, we would like the questions at the end of each speaker, or at the end of this session.  Probably it would be better if we do it at the end of the session, for the control of time.

We do not have the whole time with us.

We have pretty much a little more than an hour, to be honest, so we will have to squeeze in some time.  Just a brief background, my assumption is we pretty much know what AfTLD is all about.  AfTLD is the Association of African TLDs, top‑level domains.  Not all African TLDs are AfTLD members.  We must clarify, there's no automatic membership for being in Africa, and there is in fact one ccTLD that vehemently opposes AfTLD, but we have I think 26 members, 27 the last time I checked and then we have eight associate members of AfTLD.  We will not have to work through all the members, but some of the not able ones, obviously, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mozambique we are first member of AfTLD, so we have a good couple of ccTLDs in the region that are members.

And each year we get a couple of new members.  We started members in late 2006, so that's what AfTLD does, 6association of African ccTLDs, our role is specifically in the policy area that offers ccTLDs primarily in Africa and also worldwide, our members, most if not all, are also members of the ICANN ccNSO, also they get to play a role or contribute to the development of the Internet domain name system.

We have been connecting a couple of projects, running through a couple projects in the past, but each year we have an ‑‑ the last conference we had was in April, we had a successful event.

Each year we have these meetings.

Next year, the annual conference will be in Livingstone, Tanzania, next to Victoria Falls, so if you've never been there, we invite you to come and you're not the only one, I've not been there myself, so hopefully I'll still be alive.

So before next year, at our annual conference, we normally have a couple of city building projects, we target to at least one, sometimes we have one per year, sometimes they're language specific, for example, we've run a couple workshops in different years for the ccTLDs in African region so they can have a direct benefit of training being done in French, we have another similar event set for Wagadugu, the date is about to be confirmed, but from what Solomon told me, it's the last week of November or the first week of December, we always obviously target the dates that will not be too close to ICANN meetings or the entities that we work with.

That's all that I can say as an introduction to AfTLD.  I promise I won't say anything about dot Africa, so we'll continue with the workshop.  The purpose of this workshop, in simple terms, policy issues affecting African ccTLDs, it may seem it's a topic covered if not existed in the past, you'll realize it's a topic, it's been running for years, they've redelegated some of them, and the new ccTLD manager has to set up or has to go around to look for policy solutions.

So that's why we thought we should cover this topic.

We will cover it from a different angle that each of the panelists will cover.  The first part will be covered by Dr. Paulos Niranda, also a director, and affecting MWU, cover the policy and regulatory aspect and then after him we'll have from Tanzania, also the CEO and also director of AfTLD, he'll look at technical and operational issues, also after him, just sort of a case study of what's currently going on, a couple of points that ‑‑ from Mali is undergoing a redelegation but a friendly one and AfTLD has been involved in terms of assisting from a registry capacity building point of view, so she'll give us an update and it will be also a good practical example of what's going on in our region, and after that then we will have ‑‑ we will now have a take from the civil society point of view, and we have Muruiki Mureithi, East African, offering ccTLDs and what should be the solutions, then we'll close, our panelist, a person we know quite well in the African region ‑‑ I know who you are, South Africa lost your team recently, so I haven't forgotten.  So I wouldn't forget Nigel, our last panelist, Anne‑Rachel, will be our last speaker.

I'll ask the panelists to not exceed 15 minutes in their presentations so we can have enough time for questions.  Dr. Niranda I see will have a presentation that you will give us.  Thank you.

>> Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I think my presentation is to kick off the topic, so I will raise the issues on policy for ccTLDs and raise specific cases for Africa.  I've been involved in quite a few working groups on policy and it's always difficult for us to define policy, buts basically it's a set of agreed rules, regulations, procedures, that we normally use to guide the conduct of ccTLD to handle particular situations and it's a set of principles and for ccTLDs in particular, to assist us to comply with the national legislation, and the policy front is on the level, a three‑level issues area.  That's how I've divided it, global, national and registry, and my colleagues will cover some of the operational things.  Vika has already explained ‑‑ Vika has already explained about the AfTLD and he has run through most of these except that of course we have the board, the board members are here, we have a Secretariat and manager and we're moving our Secretariat to Kenya so we're in good hands here.  We he do some studies and some of the things that come out of these studies is what I will present today.  They affect policy as the Chairman has already said buts we also work on operations and we work on things like DNS and so forth.  So I will present some data that show the cases that we have in the region.

So looking at the top, the issues start with global issues that affect the entire ccTLD community.  These are developed at the icon level and it is my hope that Russia will look for some of these.  They involve relationships with ICANN, with Government, within Government ccTLD operator and if there's going to be a redelegation, as we have heard from Mali, they involve the incoming one and it also involved the community because the community needs to be well defined when looking at the global redelegation processes.  As of now, thesis issues are really fresh and very ‑‑ under a lot of debate in this country code name support organization which is the constituency and ICANN where ccTLDs fall, and a number of these will be looking at delegation Working Group, which completed its work about six or so months ago and the work was very involving, so it create a new Working Group, the framework of interpretation Working Group looking at the policies and looking at the problems that the Working Group looked at and could not finish, which is basically how the policies are interpreted, how the various terminologies are used by both ICANN and the understanding within the ccTLDs community.

There are issues of country code domains under the IDN where we have the Fast Track, and this is now maturing into a fully phrased policy and development process under ICANN, and there are four working groups, IDN Working Group 1, IDN Working Group 2, IDN PDP and so forth.

So this is a very fertile area that is going through a lot of development right now on policy at a global level.

We can already see quite a few of the effects on African ccTLDs, quite a few of them have been affected by the delegation issues, so Togo, DRC, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and of course Egypt was one of the first IDN ccTLDs to be allocated.  I'm not good at Arabic, but I think it's called dot miseri (phonetic).

We have also other being affected by this policy issue, Zambia was reported at the Southern Africa IGF a few weeks ago, as undergoing delegation, the issue that one raises with Nambia, and of course today Mali.  You can assist you to collect more data if you can a ccTLD that is undergoing this process, please let us know so we can put it under this issues area.

The global issue details the relationship with ICANN for the ccTLDs.  Some ccTLDs have contracts, Malawi is one of them, we signed a formal contract with ICANN, others have gone through frameworks and these actually you choose, no ccTLD ideally is forced to go into one of these, but it's a choice that you make so that you have an understanding with ICANN.  And also ccTLDs under the global policy are requested to provide some kind of funding to ICANN and in the last six months we've had a lot of complaints that African ccTLDs are not contributing enough.

So you need to make improvements, so also the issue of membership of the CCMSO, right now there are about 20 members of the ccNSO and we have an election coming up in the Africa region, so these members need to vote, read about it on the ccNSO website.  We have issues dealing with GAC, Government Advisory Committee, and our observation under this policy issue is that participation in GAC of African ccTLDs or African countries is declining.  I don't know what the reasons are, but this is the observation.

Finally there is the issue of ownership.  What property rights do ccTLD managers have when they operate a ccTLD?  Again, this issue is big and a framework of interpretation because there are some ccTLDs which were delegated before ICANN was put in place who don't want to be associated with this policy issue has been guided by the ICANN principles and I think that they have property rights to the ccTLD.  The question for African countries is, would you really like your country top‑level domain to be owned by an individual?

Quickly, issues at a national level, these have to fit in with national policies and laws, not every country has a national ICD policy but I think every country now in Africa has a national framework of some kind for the ICD sector or, they detail relationships with Government and give the mandate in which the ccTLD operates and the legal framework, going back to the beginning, the policy is meant to insist that the ccTLD follows the national registration.

Under the national issue also, ccTLDs need to choose a motto under which they operate and they must discuss ‑‑ the model under which they operate.  They must discuss the model, I have quoted here an observation that I saw from the East Africa IGF, which shows that the much stakeholder model regime receives the most support from stakeholders, so this is probably the best model.

In 2009 under the AT workshop on ccTLDs, again, the stakeholder model did show up as probably the best practice model.

However, as we'll see under the continent, not every ccTLD is under stakeholder.

Under the national policy the ccTLD needs to identify with the local community, inside a delegation issue or criterion for ICANN, and the ccTLD policy may indicate how the ccTLD participates in national issues, such as building capacity or contributing to the education sector.

  Some case studies we looked at for ccTLDs in the data, we looked at this data in 2008 up to 2010 and it is model that I was talking about, we looked at whether the ccTLD is running under university or by private organization and the Government and you can see that the data shows that the number of ccTLDs that are running under Government is increasing, when you look at the cases for 1999, 2008, 2010.  And so this shows that Governments are showing more interest in their ccTLDs, they're creating legal frameworks where the legal framework is addressing the ccTLD issue directly and that the national policy and under the national I can it would law.

Moving to registry issues, the ccTLD needs to make a choice on what policies to run for its registry.  Whether to run it locally, whether to run it abroad, whether to subcontract the registry, whether to run as a single point registry or with multiple registrars and I'll show a bit of data that we collected on this as well.

Under the registry policy, the ccTLD needs to decide on price and on the bidding mechanism ‑‑ building mechanism, and this shows that the general perception for the price model in general ccTLDs in Africa, the price is high, charging quite a bit for domain.  Highest price I have ever heard reported to he me is $300 per domain per year.

>> Where is that?

>> Angola.  This is the highest price from the data collection.  So the price is high, and a lot of us, a lot of ccTLDs around domain operators come to us and say, guys, why are you charging so much for domains?  I have an answer to this, it's 300 years old.  But we have also policy on the registrations, what hierarchy do you choose for your TLD, top‑level domain, do you want to restrict registration at second level or do you want to open it up?  And the trend shows that more ccTLDs are moving to less restricted policy for registrations and I'll show some data on this as well.  The ccTLD needs to choose whether to do open or closed or restricted domain registration, which means that you say, for example, if I am in South Africa, only a South African can register a domain, maybe that's the policy, but we see that under this policy you decide who can register, what does this mean, the registered domain, what domain name they can restrict or they are restricted from picking, how many can they pick, is it an unrestricted number or you allow them only a maximum of ten domains to be registered.  Once they register the information domain, the ccTLD needs to decide on the who is policy, how much information do you display for the registrant and the context ‑‑ for the registrant and the context.

Finally, the ccTLD needs to decide on a policy of how to resolve disputes, do you use the UDRP and so forth.  And the policy on how to modify the domain registrations, either through registrars, how to modify DNS and so forth.

If we look at some data from Africa for registries and their policies, we collected this data using the IN database and by looking at the URL that is displayed at the database, the URL gives where the registration platform is and we found that quite a few ‑‑ only about half of the African countries have a working URL.  Some of them have a working URL but it doesn't work.  Some of them have none, some of them have a bad one.  There are some changes, of course, since we collected this data, for example, Somalia I think has gone through delegation and the data has changed, that's why it's been dimmed on this slide.  We looked at whether we have single point registries or multiple point registries, and you can see that most registries in Africa are single point.  Only about ten registries or ten ccTLDs operate a registry with multiple registrars, and those ccTLDs where there's no URL, it was difficult to collect the data, so these are again about half of the ccTLDs.

In terms of the registry policy and the restrictions, this is not our data.  This data was produced by Norway and it shows the effects of restrictions.  They decided the restrictions area into four quadrants.  On the top left is heavily restricted, heavy documentation.  On the top right unrestricted but heavy documentation with bureaucracy.  Bottom left, heavily restricted, few documentation.  On the top and the bottom right, no restriction at all.  The observation since 2006 is that more and more kick it would are moving into the bottom right quadrant where the ccTLDs restrict policy is removed and open registration is encouraged with as little documentation as possible.

You can see here, I don't know if it is easy to read, you can see a few African ccTLDs that have no restrictions related to documentation required,  .mw is there,  .k is there,  .ci is there and so forth.  So the general trend is to remove the restrictions on the registrations, and this encourages more registration to happen and it encourages growth.

My last slide is what we wanted to talk about, African is an issue for ccTLDs and it will affect their policy.  It's a major issue, we expect that it will be the first gTLD on the continent, therefore it's an important issue for domain names.  Because the process is at the beginning, we have a lot of open questions, will it impact negatively on African ccTLDs, probably not is my understanding.  The African ccTLDs or countries need to modify their policy, do they?  Probably not.  What is happening probably will take care of it.  The process is going through the African community, through the AUC, and there are questions on whether this process is good enough, does the AU have enough authority, is the process transparent, is there any conflict of interest in the current process, these are all policy development issues, PDP's that one considers.  Does the task force have vested interest?  So conflict of interest.  Does the AU represent the local Internet community?  One of the I can area, that leads to about 70% of the decision within ICANN.

What I can say is that AfTLD is actively taking part in this process and it is our hope that Africa will come as a blessing to the ccTLDs rather than a curse.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you, for your detailed presentation.  We're not going to have a presentation, but he'll take a queue and point out some of the key technical and operational aspects of African ccTLDs.

>> I'll talk on the technical operational challenges within the African continent, but the technical challenges, we all know that most of African countries in the past, we had two critical challenges to manage our ccTLD within the continent.  These were mainly the commercial power issues and Internet connectivity.

We still have some commercial power issues, but at least the situation has improved.  And also for the Internet connectivity, now it has improved with this establishment of submarine cables, we have two, Kenya has three, things are changing in Africa so we don't have any technical reason on having registry within our countries, so based on those historical reasons, most of our ccTLDs were technically managed outside of our countries, and from the IANA website you could find that the technical contact is basically outside of the country but the administrative contact is within the country, that is the normal trend.

But with this change we still have some technical challenges in establishing the registries.  This goes into capacity issues of managing the registries because we can't say that he we don't have enough ‑‑ to ‑‑ every country I'm sure can register, can establish a working registry.

On the other side, there is a challenge, there are some solutions on the registry software and from this point of view, you find that most of the countries use the open source, like for the case of Tezad you have ‑‑ for the case of Nigeria and even Kenya's using COCA so at least these challenges are a bit having some solutions, so there is no need for countries not to have their ccTLDs managed within the country.

The reason for having a ccTLD managed within the country follows the forum in Mauritius 2009, and from Paulo's presentation you saw how the Government interest is improving in terms of management of the ccTLDs, because they are not differentiated from country codes for telephone usage.

So in terms of raising the capacity of managing the ccTLDs, AfTLD is having partnership, for research we have some special packages for capacity building of African ccTLDs or African countries to establish the ccTLDs, we have packages like initial registration code, a package called adverse registration cause, also another cause called for security issues, all these are facilitated by AfTLD through collaboration with I Kansas and NSROC.

So from a technical point of view, every country at the moment at least can attempt to have a ccTLD managed within its country.

Now, when you think of establishing a ccTLD, the first is you must perceive that the technical issues are very challenging, but I will talk about this from a practical point of view, also delegated in 2010 and it was an uncontested redelegation, that at the beginning, it's really challenging and when you go to the requirements for a ccTLD to be redelegated in your country, it is a big task, but if you go sequentially and very strategically, you find that you can do if even in less than six months.

So in the first place, the technical issues seem to be very challenging, but once you are done with that, then the operational issues are even challenging, because you have these issues of uptake.  Yeah.  Most of the people are not very much aware of the importance of ccTLD domains, so you find people posing taking the country code domain names and instead go for dot coms.  There are so many issues related to take‑up but it becomes a challenge on creating the awareness to the local Internet community on that take‑up.

Paulo talked about some of the issues like registry models, and these models have both advantages and disadvantages, but as he said, the best model is the model that has more advantages compared to others and basically there are mainly five models whereby you can have registry as part of Government, registry as part of academia, you can have registry as part of independent but external regulator or you can have an independent registry which is self‑regulated.  And then the last model is outsourcing the management of the registry.

So with the last model, it has a lot of disadvantages that you don't have an opportunity of building the capacity of your local citizens.  So as far as technical and operational challenges, this is what I had to say.  Thank you.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you.  We'll pass on to ‑‑ do you have a presentation to make?  Okay.  In the meantime, may I just correct a mistake I made in the beginning, and excuse my ‑‑ my ‑‑ there are a couple of people who are attending this workshop that would like to acknowledge, the roles they play.  Probably the first and foremost, my apologies, Leslie Cowley, COO of Normanet.UK and the current Chair lady of the ICANN CCSO Council.

>> Thank you, Vika, and just to protect Paolo, there are 26 members of the African CCSO and we would welcome more of you.  Thank you.


>> VIKA MPISANE:  Yeah, 26 African ccNSO members, thank you very much, Leslie, for attending.  We also have one African ICANN director, I think it will be outgoing sometime next year, Dr. Catem Nuray, sitting at the back, we all know him now.

>> Sorry, we have two African directors also, Mike silver is also African director.

>> He just is not here.


>> I was trying to say the ones that are here.


>> So we have Catim, we also have Wim Framsita, the organizational for Europe was here, thank you for coming, and probably while I look around quickly, we also have Victor Chiza for  .BI and former AfTLD director as well.  I don't know in Mohamed El Bashir is with us, former AfTLD member, the directors of AfTLD here, Paulo and myself, we also have ‑‑ behind Leslie, so yeah, I'll hand it over to who is going to tell us about the progress and the friendly redelegation of ML, Mali.

>> Thank you, Chairman and thanks to all the organizers to allow me to share my experience about the redelegation of the  .ML, the Government.

So in this presentation, I will give some introduction about the process and our organization, our mission, the redelegation process, so we have to receive redelegation of ML and some relationships that we have with the partner in the international plan.

As introduction, the communication is created by law where you see the number as a public science and technology organization.  This agency is born of an authority of a country to give administration for the increases demands for arising development of the ICT in the country.  Our mission is specific for ICT for the Government.

To this end, we are responsible, responsible to develop, design, maintain the ICT of the public and para public service and local Government, in understanding development in ICT.  To ensure the implementation of the national strategy of the field, ICT, to manage  .ML that we are doing now, to develop a national plan for training and capacity building for public service in the local Government, to participate and implement, the implementation of a universal access in support of appropriation to the ICT in the country and region, to develop regional and enter national in the field of ICT.

So some history of ML.   .ML was activated in September 20, 1993, and in collaboration with IRD, for the first time our server, for technique management and administratively, we take the role of sponsor organization.

But with full internet access in Mali, in 1997, we do the first utilization since 1999.

But the new delegation that we are doing now ‑‑ so for that, since the creation of our agency, we are going to give this mission to Mozambique to improve management and development, and following, you'll see privatization, the administrator transferred to do that at this time.

For that, I tried to explain to our community Government that if you need to do it very well using the best practice, they need to know that the whole ccTLD is a central rule, with some services, as this picture shows.  So the central role, you need to know how to distribute this domain name, how to make a good registry that it can work very well with a good model of distribution, to have a good registration to attribute the domain name top end users.  So the central role with the stakeholders.

So for that, in AGETIC we have created a special service called Service Gestion domain, and after the creation of this service, to do something, we need to look at what we have and what we need to do before to take off with the new job.  And after the redelegation we do some drive in France and Tunisia to see how it is working, how they manage the ccTLD, their ccTLDs.

After some visit of ccTLD, we propose the model of management and the model we chose, the registrar model with technical implementation that we need.  We make upgrade of policy, because we need to integrate with new best practice.  So we do that, the society and Government, invite this meeting with the chapter, our new chapter was adopted.

It was I think last month or two months ago since this data.  The good news is that people are very, how say, they want to have their domain same, and since today, I have ten domain name with me to create the domain name and make their business with the domain name.

So people are very happy that the Government created and very good development around the ccTLD.  So that defines our architecture, defines the bandwidth, we think we're now okay to manage with domain name, and then we have also collect some letters, support letter with the Government, the letter of support for ICANN, society too, you have a support letter of ISOC, and the association of ISP and the support letter of course of the manager of ccTLD.

And we are now ready to begin the process.  We will send the form to ICANN for the redelegation process, but we are still waiting ‑‑ the interactive process, before to get the domain file and continue the process, but the domain file I think next week or two weeks maximum we can get it and move on to finalize the redelegation with ICANN.

After the description and adoption of the chapter, we are also planning to establish a committee ‑‑ the stakeholder with decision under administrator decision, the domain name stakeholder model to development and implement, so for that advice, the Government to create a committee and develop strategy for development and this is okay, the draft of this document is already ready.

This new job that we are ready to implement, we have specified a person to manage administratively the domain name.  We have two engineers, technical engineers, a network to make technical jobs at the beginning, we have also three levels, three levels, because we have to also define the implementation inside of ICT, not only the domain name, so within that we have three levels.

Our server, the enterprise, DNS will be in place, the first one to get a good relationship, in the countries, to have a good continuity of service.  At the beginning we have 9 megabit to manage only  .ML and the Secretary of Energy is taking also, so inside the technical, we only wait the file to go ahead.

So if you have a problem, yes, so the continuity of service is ready.

Our challenge today is just to finish the redelegation, the process to increase the number of domain names under  .ML because still today you have around 400 domain names, 1,500 domain names in Mali, since its creation activated in Yena1993, today only 5,300 domain name, and implement to the DNS security, IPVC's and make automation of domain name to get online.

Our partner, we get also very good help to go through his registry to see how they manage them, and to help us to establish a technical document, how we need to implement, to have a capacity building and some advice to get one of the best delegation in the good time.  We have good relations with all stakeholders who are working in this file domain name.  Thank you very much.  Thanks for your attention.  And if you have some questions about this redelegation, please.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you very much for the presentation.  We wanted to just get this exposure, for ML, thank you very much.  I asked you on first day to be the panelist here, thank you for your time.

A direct question, can I take that maybe as an exceptional case?

>> Thank you very much for the opportunity.  1,500 registered under  .ML.  Do you have any analysis of why this is the case and a strategy for increasing the numbers?  I am sure other countries have similar issues.  This is why I'm asking.

>> Thanks for the question.  The problem, for the first time you have not many domain name on  .ML is because ‑‑ not a specific plan to increase business, no activity, no strategy to increase, and sometimes they've got technical problem, how that people go directly to dot come because they ‑‑

>> It's not related to the price.  What is the price?

>> Price is good, we have around, how say, less than 50 euro.  But our new strategy after the redelegation is to identify the specific specified groups, for example, the group to make this kind of, to have a plan and to create a domain name, and then also I think we have a strategy we can approve domain name in the first three years, first one, yes.

>> Thank you.  To give us the African perspective on the security policy issues.  Muruiki?

>> MURUIKI MUREITHI:  Thank you.  Good afternoon.  I would like to share our experience from East Africa from the perspective of a very very proactive community that is civil society in that region and then out of that see what lessons can we get and what lessons can we share for the rest of Africa.

Now, one thing I would to say is that in our region, our civil society has been very active and very active especially in the area of ICT development and this is the case particularly in this country Kenya.  Now, if we look back, we went back, we went to a country alone as a development region and we did what we could do within the WSIS context, and we came back and said civil society, there's another event coming, IGF, how do we prepare ourselves, before we went there it was more or less individual preparation and so the need arose for a grouping of interested people to come together and put together their thoughts that is going to help this countries make presentations to the next ‑‑ for the coming IGF and so from there we started having allowing preparation for forthcoming IGF.  Now, that institution that was driving this is Kenya ICT Action Network, KictaNet, bringing all the stakeholders in the country to think through the issues coming through IGF or that we want to present to such organizations, so it has grown and in 2008 we sat back and said there are issues, we have other stakeholders, worked with the Government and started coming up with the points.  One of the things we realize is that we can have oppositions, but oppositions, can we share them with our neighbors, with our peers and so from then we started having cross‑border relationships, so we invited, we worked with Uganda, worked with Tanzania and four years down the road we are now able to work across East Africa, the beauty of this, when we do this, first of all, we have the cane ya level of the five countries, we are able to engage more stakeholders because not everybody is able to go to the forthcoming IGF or ICANN meeting so we are able to bring all those resources, all that expertise, all those concerns and then put them together in preparation.  Then once we do this, by way of engaging this, we also are able to put as we extract information, we are able to position ccTLD into the national fabric of things, so when policy is being developed on ICT we have seen that that information has helped in the developments of ICT at the national level.  Once we do this, we now work in the East African IGF level we have seen that we are able to share this information at peer level so our experiences in Kenya, experiences in Tanzania, we can share, so what perhaps had been a very serious issue in one of the countries at some point is ‑‑ ideas are exchanged, and this has been really helpful.  So four years down the road, I would say we are happy with the process and we have also seen it strengthening the process of ICT development and also brought in stakeholders and one of them is the Government.  I would like to say we've been very much in administering the development of the ICT policy in our region and this process of IGF at the national level.  Civil society, we have been very concerned, we are part and parcel of the evolution of the ccTLD live from when it started the delegation, for example, in Kenya way back in 2002.  And so at some point we asked ourselves, we wanted to know how far have we gone, what are the issues arising out of the evolution of the ccTLD, so last year we commissioned a study and were working with the five ccTLDs in the region.  The intention was to look back and he see, what are the issues?  So our study, we wanted to look at management of the ccTLDs, we wanted to look at the consumer side of things, we wanted to look at issues of governance and also best practice, the types of cyber crime and then how does this relate to connectivity and the Internet.  And out of this, we came up with findings, and this information is available on our website, if you would like to look at it.  I would like to mention a few things.

One of the findings is that there's a need, identity of the ccTLD is very important to the consumers so even as we talk about costs, as was mentioned by the previous speaker, that identity at the local level is very critical, but many of these consumers are not aware.  We still talk about dot com, we still talk about, so we need to do a lot more work for awareness of the ccTLD in our national markets.

And then out of this, there are some recommendations that have come out of the study.  Because of time, I'll just highlight some of them.

We talked about our ccTLD, a few numbers, the opportunity to grow is there, but they have not grown.

So a lot of it was strengthen technical operations, strengthen business operations, but as the study says, strengthening must be viewed just providing efficient technical and business for the domain names, must get involved in education, in awareness creation and begin to provide critical starting points for online, social, economic, cultural and political activity.  In addition, create, improve and maintain partnerships to ensure a healthy ecosystem develops along the ccTLD, in other words, we must mainstream the ccTLD as a tool for development.

Another recommendation is that the ccTLDs are not just technical institutions.  They have an impact on the Internet's development of a country.  They are between the political, social and economic institutions and the international Internet governance and policy processes, they therefore have responsibilities of representing local issues as we do through the EA‑IGF at global forums and talking about ICANN, talking about ITU, talking about IGF, so we need to engage more actively in the global aspect of Internet Governance, and this, there are quite a number, but I know the Chairman gave me only five minutes.  Am I in time?  Some other recommendations, we need to strengthen the technical operations and here we are talk being improving the registry system to global best practice, implements IPV6, and improve bandwidth and other ccTLD infrastructure.

Strengthen the business operations and governance, establish local control of the ccTLD, create governance model, aware define Internet community, sustain operations through building and operation and manage support relationships with the Government, including improving relations with the registrars and ensuring a healthy ecosystem develops along the ccTLD, including exercises and additional related services.

Thank you, Chairman.  The report is available on our website.  Thank you.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you, Muruiki.  The framework that you took I think is very much interesting, but I leave it to the house, I think it's an interesting framework that from an AfTLD point of view we would like to look at it in more detail and see if we could use it for other regions to be clear how we could improve other stakeholders.

Now to Anne‑Rachel Inne, we have ten minutes, I know I am being extremely unfair to you, but I will put it on the fact that we are friends.

>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE:  Yes.  Good afternoon, everybody.

Thanks to AfTLD for inviting me to this panel.

I'm glad to be talking after all of you actually, because I have a lot of, you know, some of the things that I wanted to say that quite a few people said here.  And two things that I wanted to raise, Vika said, you know, what are some of the global participation challenges for ccTLDs in the region?  And there is awareness and knowledge at home first.  If you don't know what you're talking about, if the ccTLDs are not considered to be something really for the Information Society that you want to build at home, then, you know, how can you go out and say what you want to do with them or, you know, ask people to do something with them?  We've seen from Paolo's presentation that African ccTLDs are managed by, you know, a lot of them coming now with Governments, some are managed by telecos, universities, traditionally telecos have not been in the business of the Internet so a lot of them have left them just on the side and I can tell you from experience that, in fact, 99% of the ones that are managed by either telecos, universities, you know, and even right now Government, some are in regulatory agencies and I will tell you more about the framework a little bit later, all of these, the managers are basically doing this job as a moonlighting job more than anything.  Their job is not to manage the ccTLD.  Their job is something else in the organization and partly they do the ccTLD.  AfTLD is witness to the fact that a lot of times ‑‑ and this is across, you know, during the past practically ten years, that we've tried to help them grow ‑‑ a lot of times we can't even get the manager to come to trainings just because they can't get permission from their bosses to come to trainings.  Some are obliged to take their vacation time to come to AfTLD trainings.  Yes?  All right.

And this is the majority.  So at home, awareness needs to be there.  Knowledge of what a ccTLD represents as a community tool, you know, as something on which national E Government e Government, e citizenship, e education, e health are going to sit, if you don't have that knowledge, then your TLD won't get anywhere.

I told you about the ECOS framework that was taken inside the regulators West African regulators forum meetings, for example, since 2002 that said ccTLDs have to be managed by regulatory agencies.

Well, regulatory agencies have no idea, you know, how to manage a ccTLD.  Some of them are making the effort today because when a rule is taken at regional level, then it has to come down home to be implemented, this is what they call transposition of the regional   techs into the national ones, so they took decisions at regional level which have later on come to be even against sometimes the National Information Society Initiative at home.  So these are some issues that are very much local but that transpire internationally.  When I was, for example, with this forum in May, last May, and the parliamentarians were talking about infrastructure people in privacy, I think, and it was so funny because in a room full of parliamentarians who were debating the Information Society, in talking about architecture, I said, you know, some of the rules that you do around ISP's, around, you know, protection and all of that, whom do you consult at home?  Half of the room had no idea that they had ccTLDs.  Of course, a lot of them were from developing countries, but I can tell you, you know, some parliamentarians from developed countries also had no idea that they could actually, you know, go sit with their national TLD to learn about this infrastructure, to learn about how it functions and basically these different steps that the technology goes through and to be able to basically devise laws that would be accommodating and not just that would end up being token points for growth of domain names because of higher prices, because of absolutely nonimplementable local laws, you know, ISP issues, for example, so these are all some of the problems that we're having and some of the challenges really, because if that is not resolved, then going forward is an issue.  Glad to know from Leslie that 26 of African ccTLDs are part of the ccNSO.  This is one, as Leslie will tell you, one organization inside ICANN where exchange of best practices, seeing your peers tell what they have done that is good or bad and, you know, some of the issues that they're meeting internationally are things that are, I think, worth the while for ccTLD managers to be presents at ccNSO.  The issue again is for a lot of them going to those meetings, is really an issue just because, you know, they're entities, organizations ‑‑ their entities, organizations are giving them a hard time.  There are also issues like I have not seen a lot of ccTLD managers from our region sit with the African union on the cyber security initiative.  You know, as I said, so they're at home, you know, why is it that ccTLDs are not proactive enough?  Because, again, as I said, they do a moonlighting job but really we have to get out of that and some of you guys have to also be proactive in terms of explaining to your organizations how important this architecture is for, you know, the countries.

Educate, as everybody said here, is very important.  Engage locally and regionally.  Really.  We need you guys to be there because some of the laws or whatever, frameworks as they call them, that they're devising right now around the Information Society at African union level definitely have to have your input.  You know.  The fact that we can learn from what has happened that was not good is absolutely important, you know.  Of course who talked about the architecture?  One of the issues that a lot of the ccTLD software is of course the architecture, you know, at home, because if you're sitting in a university that is a Government subsidized university, as most are on the continent, there's definitely not enough money to do the rest and, you know, give you something for your architecture, so a lot of us have ‑‑ you know, a lot of you guys have to be creative.  Same basically for Telcos, when you're sitting in a Telco organization, you have to really educate them and that is not really happening.  I don't see the ccTLD managers being proactive enough, to go tell their people that, look, really, we have to make sure that works and it works right, you know.  There is no reason why if you give somebody the right price, the right architecture why they should go somewhere else and do business.  It is for you guys to also be a little bit proactive because you're the ones who know.

I think I will actually stop here so we can have a little bit of time for questions.  And if anybody asks me any questions about dot Africa, they will have to read the applicant guidebook.  All right?


>> Thanks.  The problem, it doesn't say anything about dot Africa, so people who ask questions.  Thank you very much for your views.  We have had to excuse, there's another 6:00 appointment, but we have the information here for those who may have questions about the findings in the East Africa region.  We have the contact information.

I will sum up what the speakers said, there are key   points that they have covered.  I will take questions, if we have any questions.

We are out of our time, but I would like to test if we can take questions for the next five minutes before we close, maximum ten.  I see two hands already.  I will stop there.  If you could just identify yourself by name so that you may remember, also for transcription purposes, that we can remember.  I'll start with you, then I will come to you, ma'am.

>> Okay.  Thank you very much.  My name is Davis Taca, I'm CEO, LM Holding Limited, before I get to my question, so you understand where I am coming from, we encourage schools especially in Kenya to go the web way, so tech Internet, web resources, get port always on the Internet and so on and so forth.  Currently we are doing about 229 schools.  The challenge that we face is to try to push a particular ccTLD in the local cases,  .KE, I don't know how much work, this becomes a general question, I don't know how much work the ccTLD managers spend on the ground marketing, right, what solid marketing activities are they doing, especially in Africa or in Kenya in particular or in Africa in general, what tangible marketing activities are they doing so that people who are encouraging institutions and societies to go the web way you, you know, get it a bit easier to try and push them from one mentality of maybe just global ccTLDs, to what the ccTLDs ‑‑ that's question number one.

Number 2 is, is there a deliberate effort to bring down the cost of the ccTLDs, some of them are $35, $60, the dot com is about $10.  I notice the issue of unit cost being very high because there are very few ccTLD domain registrations, but is is there a deliberate effort to bring that down?  And finally, can there be deliberate national or public training or awareness creation systems, different from marketing, so this is just general awareness, so are there deliberate efforts to be done so that when we are on the ground and we are encouraging people to take up web resources, then we don't also have to do the work of a ccTLD manager and explain to the people what a ccTLD is.  Thank you.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you very much for your question.  Please for the next question, if you can be very straight and to the point.  Thank you for the background and to understand where you came from.

>> Yes.  You asked for the background.  Any name is Dorothy Gordon, I'm director general at the Ghana India Center of Excellence and ICT, I am very concerned by the information which has been shared today.

I believe that we must sit down and really strategize on how we can raise awareness.

I believe that it must be AfTLD that takes on the challenge of raising awareness throughout the continent on how key and strategic issues, the issues around this are for the future of the Internet on our continent.  I also want to volunteer the institute, we are a capacity building institute and we are experienced at delivering online and distance education and we will be happy to work with you to develop a set of resources for Africa which can help people to train, you know, sitting at their desk.  The problem with many of our decision and policymakers is they just don't have the time, so it's difficult to get them, and in a room, you know, they come for a training and they're exhausted.  So let us give them the opportunity to learn within the time that suits them best.  And I believe we can do this by a lot of distance education.

I also want to supports my Kenyan brother in calling on all of those who are administering the domain names at the national level to really accept the fact that we are competing.  I don't want to mention any of the places that we are competing with, but we know where to go to get a $10 domain.  I mean, my own domain is not  .GH.  I had a choice between $10 or $20 because I was buying three or four, say $40 or $200 if I went for the  .GH.  So I think we have to have a strategy and price accordingly so that we grow it to the level that it makes sense for us to even have them.  And then I also want to call attention to the fact that we should be lobbying because we know that part reason that our national level domains are not growing is because of blanket blocking by commercial entities in the West so that if you are using your own domain, they will not accept commerce from your site because you are  .GH,  .NG, dot whatever, so you are forced to go to a dot com so you can be internationally accessible, so I think some of these issues have to be addressed and you are the people to address them, and we are there to support you.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you very much.  You made comments more question.  Thank you very much.  I have AfTLD directors that will look at your question so I will continue Chairing.  And we'll continue this quickly.

The whole thing of lobbying is an interesting one, if you have a problem right now, then just imagine how bad the problem is going to be with 500 new gTLDs coming into play.  So it is interesting, it will typically force the local corporations here to be under dot com instead of ending with.KE so you'll find a scenario where it's KE.PWC.com, you know.  So that's one great challenge.  But I take your point, it's something that one needs to think about how we can best strategize about it.

Pricing.  I don't know who can respond either from AfTLD, on pricing.  I'll ask you, Paulo to try to respond to pricing.  Before he does, it is local, but the ccTLD will have to handle pricing.  The honest truths as my brother and sister stated, if your pricing is anything more than $10, you will really struggle in the years to come.  It's really important that we must work on pushing the prices down if we hope to encourage people in our countries to buy the domain names.  From the South African experience, our leading dough main is ‑‑ depending on the exchange, between 7 and 8 U.S. dollars to get the name.  I can tell you upfront now that come February or so next year, that price will have come down to 35 rands, because not competing on price.  

>> I the way I see the pricing issue is like chicken and egg issue, because for Tanzania, the registry is not for profit so the pricing is based on the volume of domains so die pending on marketing you can easily chrome the price.  You have more domains you can take the price down if not for profit.  If you're for profit, it's an issue I can't respond.

Again in terms of marketing, this is challenging to ccTLD based on the nature of the service.

The service itself is a bit technical, so it's not just a normal marketing guy can sell the domain.  You need to have a lot of technical explanations.  But begin, like the model how I expressed during the presentation, the three model, three model means if it's implemented, it means the registry manager, then you have registrars who does the registrations, then you have end user, which are the registrants and you find that most, ISP's, their business is domain services so you find the marketing issue lies on the registries.

Now, you can find some means of having the registrars to do the marketing, there may be incentives.  If you give incentives and they compete, then at least they can assist in marketing.  But again, another issue which can be taken on the aspect of capacity building but at the same time with an element of marketing is through like public lectures at the universities.  If you conduct DNS lecture at the universities or secondary schools if you can, at the end of the day when they graduate and they get employed somewhere, there will be the ccTLD so it will be easy for them to convince them to go for the  .KE.  That's what I can contribute.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you, Paulos, the focus still on the AfTLD on the policy aspect and technical operational aspect.  Clearly, marketing and communications in terms of capacity building will have to be another program that we look at.  I know already marketing workshop already, so the challenges it will take.  Paulos?

>> Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I think that we looked at the price issue very well.  Yes, it's a chicken and egg situation, but I just wanted to share something that we'll be arguing about in Malawi, what is the issue on price in the African content, I think what you'll see dealing with ‑‑ maybe I can explain a little bit.  First of all, there was slavery.  How much was a slave worth in Africa?  Very low.  Right?  They got bought out.  Then came colonialism.  Now they'll take all of our domains.


Now it's a joke.

>> (Speaker is off mic).

>> Yes, because I think that if you look at the discussion that's been going on for the last two weeks, you'll see that the trend is slavery colonization, globalization and that trend continues.  Whether we want to continue on that path, that's for us to decide, because admittedly, probably we are a little bit more in control.  This is not to say that we are advocating for high prices, this is to say that we need to calculate the cost that we incur and based on that cost, we need to charge a good price for the domain.  So if we're going to go for a dot com price and a globalized system, probably we are going to pay more, as we already paid under slavery and the colonialism.  It's food for thought, so when you're the manager, you need to think about it carefully, calculating your course and really charging what is a reasonable price.  And they put it as chicken and egg.

Yes, marketing is an issue, and I would like to draw the community to the workshop that the ccNSO held on marketing, there was a very successful workshop, I can't remember where it took place, I think it was ‑‑ one of the very attractive marketing tools was a naked lady on the website from the Philippines.  And again, so the marketing is there.  There's been some capacity development issues on marketing and the material is available online.  The ccNSO has actually looked at it.  I just thought I would bring up those two issues.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you, Paulos.  We have any further issues?  One question, okay, please introduce yourself again for the benefit of the audience.

>> My name is Gideon and I would say welcome to Kenya, it's not my choice of question, but just a few comments on the ccTLDs.  Someone said about the deliberate blocking, and I would say if that exists really, then it means that when ‑‑ visited Kenya, said that Africa should really work towards having more of its content online.  I could say most of the websites that are on the ccTLD are normally, you would find that maybe they belong to Government or the businesses that are related to Government, so the content is always very old.  Nobody updates, nobody does anything that would make the rankings go up, so as long as we are not going to improve our visibility and the content, the SCO's must be done on a regular time, so every time you do maybe something on a CO.K it's up there, but because nobody does this, you can find the content is even a year old and that doesn't really help.  Another thing is to involve the young people.  You could ask, you could do maybe if you ask most young people, they don't even know about the ccTLDs, they only know about the dot coms and dot orgs, so if we can have a way of asking the Government or the private organizations which have pretty much worked overtime to push most of the Internet issues, it would be better so that many young people understand that there are not only dot coms but we also have dot ceo, we have many that belong to their country, so when they register and buy a domain, they buy it in their country, so when they do their websites, that would really improve the availability of content on the ccTLDs, that would really help us.  Thank you.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Leslie?

>> Yes, we have all been through similar experiences or are going through similar experiences, the cc's are some of the best communities for sharing, so if you're starting some of these things from scratch, many of us are happy to share through the cc's or AfTLDs, there's nothing better than somebody else looking at it and maybe adapt that go to your own country.

>> VIKA MPISANE:  Thank you very much, Leslie, I think that's a very important point in this community for the framework and the operational framework of the ccTLDs or the registries is to please avoid reinventing the wheel.  It really helps if you participate in the community ccTLD, societies, you can always get easily dot D or dot UK to partner with you to show you how they set it up, in a space of a couple months we can have your registry running.  One of the key players in the field, mainly on the West and Northwestern side on the in orchestrating the infrastructure.  We are closing now.  I haven't seen any other hand or additional comment.

Just a quick one as well is honestly, in the real sense, the point about marketing and awareness, we take it very strongly in terms of setting up a program on that going forward, mainly because the content is important, we're not a content agency, but we see a need, resources allowing to collaborate, in such things where we can see over and above our primary business what other secondary adding services we can provide to the African Internet community.  So basically, that's it.

As for any other thing, we have the conference in French, late November, register operations, Solomon, yes, for the guys in that region, you'll get communication from AfTLD probably in the next two weeks or so about that workshop.  Anything and everything set up about Africa and AfTLD, yes, that's what we are trying to do and we hope that we can find a way of using dot Africa for the benefit of building up the African Internet community.  I think that should be the highest and most important goal regardless of whoever gets dot Africa at the end, we need dot Africa to bring the perspective back to Africa.

Other than that, there's nothing more I would say.  I would like to thank our speakers, Drs. Paulos Niranda, Madam Gitra, our friend Maria who had to leave and Rachel, thank you very much, and thank you for our partners here who have taken as well to come and attend this session.

With your permission, I declare this meeting closed.  Thank you.