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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

DotAfrica project: ICT Ministers urge AU to setup modalities


THE Conference of African Ministers of Communication and Information Technology (CITMC) have urged the African Union (AU) Commission to set up the structure and modalities for the implementation of the DotAfrica project.

This was in support of the ICT experts’ session recent recommendation to the Ministers who met in Abuja as part of its third conference that held recently at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

They also supported the implementation of the draft convention on Cyber Legislation by 2012 across the continent.

A declaration of the Abuja ministerial meeting made available to ITRealms Online showed that they demanded from the African Union Commission to work with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and with all the development partners to continue activities on harmonisation of policy and regulations in Africa based on the platform created by Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa (HIPSSA) project in order to implement the remaining components of the Reference Framework adopted by the CITMC during its second meeting.

The ministers called on AU to finalize work with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, within the framework of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) on the draft Convention on Cyber Legislation and support its implementation in member states on or before December 2012.

CITMC equally tasked AU to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of the African Space Agency (ASA) taking into account existing initiatives and develop an African Space Policy in cooperation with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and ITU.

“Implement the integration of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission governance into the governance of CITMC and provide support to Member States in implementing the e-Post programme in cooperation with the stakeholders,” part of the declaration read.

Further, the Ministers advocated for enhance organizational and institutional capacity building for better programmes and initiatives coordination, and for an appropriate and consolidated mechanism for reporting to the CITMC.

They stressed the development of an action plan and a monitoring mechanism for implementation of CITMC decisions.

In addition, they wanted a strengthen capacity for the Departments in charge of Communications and Information Technologies within the African Union Commission, so as to allow an optimum implementation of this declaration.

CITMC additionally appreciated the role of African institutions, UN agencies, African and international development partners as well as the private sector in supporting the AU efforts to develop the ICT sector in the continent.

In a related development, South African-based Internet Solution has won the first choice for the registry operation of dotAfrica.

DotAfrica’s mission is to sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance.

The namespace, according to experts, is dedicated to the needs of Pan-African Internet community and is intended to spur reinvestment of surpluses in socio-technological advancement initiatives relevant to the continent.

DotAfrica, ITRealms Online also gathered, was registered by Ghanaian-based Network Solutions LLC on behalf of the body on June 21, 2004 led by Nii Quaynor, who doubles as a board member; to operate a successful not-for-profit initiative that is a technically sound, leading edge Top Level Domain (TLD) registry for the community.

As part of the mission, DotAfrica is committed to contributing to the development of Internet on the African continent and proposes to re-invest back proceeds into the social and technological advancement initiatives within the community. A revenue allocation structure will be adopted by the DotAfrica registry to guarantee that a portion of revenues will be directly re-invested into the community through a grant programme through openness, transparency, and initial officers’ fiscal information.

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