History of .Africa…. The quest to find the truth.
History of DotAfrica (.africa):
My quest to find the truth about DotAfrica has been inspired by the desire to tell Africa the real history and legacy behind this great domain that is deemed as a key to the change of the African dimension online. Africa has indeed been riddled by many non starter projects yet even with these; it has still been favorite as the destination, the next big thing in technology.
As I mined the internet I stumbled upon a revealing chronology of what might as well be regarded as the big exposé. First and obvious is that an organization by the name DotConnectAfrica would easily be credited for the loudest voice in putting Africa on the Digital map having done very expensive and exclusive campaigns.
From my research, it also appears the idea of an African Domain was first floated over 10 years ago but went dead, until a lady by the name Ms. Bekele from Ethiopia, was appointed by ICANN to serve on a gNSO counsel. While pursuing her term at GNSO, championing IDNs successfully on behalf of the international community, which she got a big credit from the community (IDN endorsement) at the same time she was reinventing .africa with a fresh impetus and vigor and took the idea and totally owned it to a point of making media statement that she was was pregnant with baby.africa Its only after the African Union had presented DotConnectAfrica with an Endorsement for its spearhead-ship and DCA started to drive the project, a wrangles began to emerge.
As my sources tell me, and some of it is publicly recorded, an opposing team construed from the past then quickly assembled and began conniving under table process to coerce AU back to retracting he endorsement given to DCA, reportedly with a forged letter, therefore, failed without success. The AU endorsement has been dutifully and rightly valid at the time it was given, and so the process for an RFP to look for alternate partner by African Union was birthed.
It was not until November 2010 during an Africa ICANN Board candidate was nominated at ICANN, with aims to represent the “Community At Large” at ICANN, that DCA took the opportunity to do an exposé with the negative deeds of the shortlisted candidate on the dotafrica project, namely Mr. Pierre Dandjinou. In an unprecedented one of a kind “No Vote” Campaign against the Candidate, DCA was vindicated when Dandjinou lost the seat for another Nominee. In its 8 count exposé, DCA alleged that the Candidate was Biased, Not Transparent, Grossly Conflicted, Obstructionist, Misleading and Prejudiced, attributes not fit to a leadership position. Link here DCA also wrote a letter to the ICANN CEO at the time. The well written interesting campaign piece finished with a famous quote “You should stop telling lies about me, so I can stop telling the truth about you” Michael Douglas, Wall Street (2010).
Inspired by this quote, I will further continue to dig out as much truth as possible in the most unbiased and truthful way so that for once the African success story that is being threatened from all sides is freed from chains of patronizing mentality.