18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.dotafricaDotConnectAfrica Trustyahoo.comView

DotAfrica is a ‘Standard’ gTLD:

DotAfrica gTLD will be a standard, open, generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) that serves the diverse needs and purposes of the global Internet community, but with special focus on promoting Internet use in Africa. It will have no community restrictions in its registration policies.

DCA believes that DotAfrica does not qualify as a community-based application for two main reasons:

a) There is no clearly delineated, organized and pre-existing community that is targeted by the DotAfrica gTLD.
b) It is difficult to clearly identify who are the ‘members’ of the community, since a ‘community-definition’ of DotAfrica will restrict its use and functionality. Since ‘DotAfrica’ does not necessarily mean a TLD for ‘Africans’, it is difficult to determine the persons or entities that are considered to form the community, and the number of people or entities that make up the community.

It is for these reasons that we think that any community-based application submitted for DotAfrica is merely to get a very important generic word that refers to a geographic name as a gTLD string for the ‘purposes’ of a community that is very difficult to define and construct.

DCA Trust intends to apply for DotAfrica as a standard gTLD and after its application is successful, to implement an open gTLD registry in line with the Mission and Purpose of DotAfrica. DotAfrica will not cite any particular community both in the application, and in the resulting new gTLD Registry agreement.

For example, it is not envisioned that community-based restrictions such as policies allowing registration of community members only or use of registered domain names in conformity with the stated purpose of the community-based TLD, as enshrined under Article 2.18 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement will apply to DotAfrica. DotAfrica is therefore not aimed at any particular community, and as such, no community has participated directly or indirectly in the development of the policies of the TLD. DCA Trust does not believe that DotAfrica gTLD should be operated and used to serve the needs of any particular community. DCA Trust has not defined a community-based purpose for DotAfrica gTLD, and no particular community has been named in this application.

Expected Objectives and Benefits of the new gTLD Programme:
ICANN as the organization overseeing the new gTLD programme is dedicated to preserving the security and stability of the Internet, promoting competition, achieving broad representation of global Internet communities, and developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. The new gTLD programme is in line with ICANN’s primary mission of ensuring the security and stability of the DNS, and, in particular the Internet’s root server system. According to the principles, recommendations and implementation guidelines for the new gTLD programme, the reasons for introducing new Top-Level domains include:
Demand from potential applicants
An application process that would promote competition in the provision of registry services
New TLDs are expected to add to consumer choice, market differentiation, and geographical and service-provider diversity

According to the new gTLD Applicant’s Guidebook, the new gTLD programme is expected to open up the top-level of the Internet’s namespace to foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS. Some of the important expected objectives of the new gTLD programme are:
i. Creating significant potential for new users and benefits to Internet users across the globe.
ii. Expansion of the Internet by opening up the domain name space, thereby creating new business opportunities based on new web sites that will be introduced
iii. Increased benefit of choice to Internet users
iv. Provide a platform for innovation and further inventiveness on the Internet
v. Foster more creativity in the use of domain names

DCA’s application for the DotAfrica gTLD is in line with the new gTLD programme objectives of ICANN. We believe that the expansion of the Internet will also lead to the expansion of Internet use in Africa. This is fundamental to DCA’s Mission and Purpose for DotAfrica: harness the prospects and opportunities presented by the new gTLD programme to introduce profound changes to the way the Internet is utilized in Africa, especially the new domain names that will be created and become available under DotAfrica gTLD.

Important Duties & Responsibilities of a ‘Registry Operator’:
DCA understands that being delegated the gTLD and appointed ‘registry operator’ is a very important responsibility that imposes certain duties and obligations to operate a part of the Internet DNS which obliges DCA to:

1) Operate the DotAfrica gTLD in a stable and secure manner.
2) Comply with consensus policies and temporary policies.
3) Implement start-up rights protection measures such as a Sunrise period and a Trademark claims service during the start-up phases for registrations in the TLD as provided in the registry agreement.
4) Implement post-launch rights protection measures.
5) Implement measures for protections of country and territory names in the new gTLD.
6) Pay recurring fees to ICANN.
7) Regularly deposit Registry Data into escrow with a ‘Data Escrow Agent’.
8) Deliver monthly reports in a timely manner to ICANN.
9) Provide a Whois service.
10) Maintain partnerships with ICANN accredited registrars.
11) Maintain an abuse point of contact.
12) Cooperate with contractual compliance audits.
13) Maintain a Continued Operations Instrument so as to minimize risk to users and registrants.
14) Maintain community-based policies and procedures (This will not be applicable for a non-community⁄standard application for DotAfrica gTLD)
15) Have continuity and transition plans in place.
16) Make TLD zone files available via a standardized process.
17) Implement DNSSEC.

Charitable Mission & Purpose
As an independent non-profit, DCA Trust intends to utilize surplus proceeds from the registry operation accruing to the Trust Fund for charitable projects. Funds will be regularly allocated to different corporate social responsibility programmes. Specific projects will be identified, and supported. As the first gTLD for Africa, it will aim at bridging the digital divide that exists between other regions of the Internet community and Africa by promoting the use of ICT for development. Therefore, DCA intends to focus on development projects that will aid the increased use and penetration of the Internet in Africa, including provision of low-cost⁄affordable computers, Internet bandwidth, and user training for disadvantaged groups, target local communities and focus groups in Africa.

Some of the programmes that DCA has already initiated :and continues to support include the Youth Demographic in 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 aimed at different youth audiences and encourages their involvement in discussions that define and increase their common stake-holding in the development and evolution of the Internet.

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 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.

The African ccTLDs and the Yes2DotAfrica Awareness Campaign are other two initiatives that DCA will support.

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