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Safaricom readies to host Africa domain

By By Fredrick Obura | Published Mon, June 25th 2012 at 00:00, Updated June 24th 2012 at 19:19 GMT +3

By Fredrick Obura

DotConnectAfrica (DCA), a nonprofit organisation championing for dot Africa (.Africa) top level domain name is in talks with Safaricom and other partners to establish an Internet registry system infrastructure to be located in Nairobi, Kenya.

DCA, with offices in Mauritius, has been leading the DotAfrica effort for the  last four years in Africa under the Yes2DotAfrica campaign.

The organisation is set to sponsor, establish and operate the “.africa” Internet domain or TLD registry with global recognition and regional significance dedicated to the needs of pan-Africanism.

According to DCA’s Chief Executive Ms Sophia Bekele, the setting-up a world-class registry system infrastructure that is physically located in Africa will be an important task to the unconditional success of the DotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) project.

“To this end, DCA has reached a landmark agreement with CentralNIC London, to set-up a registry services system in Africa, and has also signed important agreements with Safaricom and Fincom Technologies - for the co-location of mission critical computer hardware and network technical infrastructure that would support the registry functions of DotAfrica gTLD,” said Bekele.

“The beneficial access offered by the data centre operations of Safaricom would enable the DCA Registry to provide an Internet registry system that features off-site fail-over and escrow to satisfy high availability requirements of gTLD.”

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Bob Collymore, Safaricom chief executive, commended DCA’s decision to base the registry system in Kenya. Fincom, will provide computer and network technical support and local facilitation or representation services to DCA.

Mr Barry Ryan, a director at DCA and chief executive officer Fintech Group Africa, which owns Fincom, noted that Kenya offers a suitable location as it boasts one of the best ICT, telecommunications and internet connectivity infrastructures in Africa, including the optic fibre links connecting the country to high-speed global networks.

Strategic move

CentralNIC is to provide DCA with registry software, consulting and training services and work closely with DCA to ensure the registry established satisfies  stringent technical and operational requirements of the ICANN new gTLD programme.

CentralNIC Chief Executive Officer Ben Crawford said the initiative by DCA will also make full use of CentralNic’s deep experience doing business in the English-speaking, Arabic and Francophone worlds.

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