Gihan Dias's Report on the Recent AFTLD Meeting
I met AfTLD President Dr. Alex Corenthin from .SN (Senegal), AfTLD Manager Barrack Otieno,exco members, AfTLD members and other participants, including registrars. Although younger and smaller than APTLD, AfTLD is a very active and dynamic organisation with most of the ccTLDs in Africa as members. Despite having a much smaller budget and lower membership fees than APTLD, it carries out a range of meetings and activities.
Many of the African ccTLDs are quite small, with less than 10,000 domains registered, though several are much larger. One interesting feature of Africa is that many countries – especially in West and Central Africa – speak French, while others – in East and South Africa – speak English. AfTLD mainly conducted its business in English, but French was also spoken.
This AfTLD meeting was held after the conclusion of a 4-day “Train the Trainers” workshop. It was followed by the African Internet Summit (AIS) organised by Afrinic and AfNOG. The technical meeting was held in the morning, followed by the AGM.
After the welcome, the first presentation was by Kariba Moko from the Domain Registrars Association of Kenya (DRA.KE) on Marketing ccTLDs, what is working? He started off with an ambitious target of making Kenya’s domain name industry reach a revenue of US$ 300 million. He then explained how registrars could achieve this target, and how DRA.KE and KeNIC work together to develop the industry. One way they have done so is to automate the KeNIC operations.
Thereafter we had a presentation from a legal expert on Data Protection Regulations: emerging challenges for registries and registrars. Although most African countries currently don’t have data protection regulations, it was useful to know what such regulations may require.
I was then invited to speak on Stakeholder Engagement tips for Registries and Registrars. I took the opportunity to introduce APTLD, our diversity and what we do, in addition to stakeholder engagement. The presentation was well received. I also invited AfTLD members to attend our next meeting in Tbilisi. Several persons indicated their willingness to do so, so we have the opportunity for our event to be a tri-continental one.
We also discussed possible collaboration between APTLD and AfTLD, to be followed-up by the GMs.
Thereafter, there was a presentation on ow DNS works, mainly targeting registars.
The AfTLD AGM was held after lunch, and in the evening we visited the KeNIC office and were given a tour and introduction to how KeNIC works. We also visited the AfTLD office, which is located at KeNIC.We also got an experience of Nairobi traffic, and taking a 20km diversion to avoid it. Thereafter, KeNIC hosted us to an authentic Kenyan dinner.