DotConnectAfrica NewsletterDecember 2015
    A Year In Review- 2015!

Season's Greetings  

2015 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica!

Message from the Founder/CEO
~ ~
As Founder and CEO of DotConnectAfrica Group, it gives me great joy and honor to send this end of year message to the entire Pan-African constituency and international community
 of supporters and well-wishers all over the globe.
2015 is coming to a close. As such, I always tend to review the past year and reflect on our accomplishments.

Indeed, 2015 has been an extraordinary year for us here at DCA Group. It has been an extremely busy and satisfying year.  Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I write this End of Year message to all our supporters, partners, and stakeholders in general.

Our various initiatives under DCA Group engaged and partnered with Africa and different global publics during 2015. We continued our active participation in different forums for ICT knowledge generation and using the public engagement platform to share our notable experiences on leadership, technology, entrepreneurship, African Diaspora, Internet policy and accountability debates. We continued to advocate for a free and open Internet at the US Congressional level as well as African and inter-governmental sector. We have also continued to advocate prudent and accountable Internet policy oversight as well as providing thought leadership of the same, via our regular commentaries.

Our New Media sector played a key role in capturing and disseminating the voice of Africa, along with its partners. DCA Academy also pushed its goals further as it announced its business plan competition that would provide seed funds for viable technology startups in support of women-in-technology under our Miss.Africa Initiative. Nearly 90 applications were submitted to date. Overall, our group efforts continued to innovate, expand, and consolidate during 2015, and we are quite happy with the sort of positive impacts that we have been making in Africa and globally.

Finally and most importantly, DCA Trust not only conquered a close to four year battle for .Africa but through the process gained valuable lessons that will help the internet governance fraternity and also give a closer insight to challenges that must be fixed before ICANN could embark into a new internet domain application round as well as any transition of over sight by US Government.

An unforgettable year for DCA Trust and its .Africa IRP Victory
The high point of our year was the Independent Review Panel (IRP) victory over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) -the California-USA based organization that oversees the Internet Domain Name System. DotConnectAfrica Trust had applied for the .Africa generic Top-Level Domain registry from ICANN in 2012.

You may recall in October 2013, DCA Trust had taken ICANN to an Independent Review Panel (IRP) at the International Center for Dispute Resolution, to challenge an ICANN Board decision regarding DCA Trust's .Africa gTLD application. After a process that lasted twenty (20) months, the IRP Panel finally ruled that ICANN violated is Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. The IRP outcome demonstrated that ICANN Board actions/inactions regarding the DCA Trust .Africa gTLD application were not accountable. Following the IRP victory, DCA Trust's .Africa gTLD application was returned to complete the Geographic Names Panel evaluation. The application is currently in Extended Evaluation.

Let me use this opportunity of this 2015 Year End Review to comment on some current Internet Governance issues in our industry.

Ramifications from DCA's IRP for ICANN Accountability and Transition
During 2015, the issue of the Internet Assigned Names Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition continued to occupy the attentions of the ICANN community and US government authorities. Work on the IANA Transition Proposal continued, and during the last quarter of 2015, the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) completed its work, while waiting for the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Enhancing ICANN Accountability to complete its tasks.

One ramification of the DCA IRP victory over ICANN is, the effort by the Accountability Group to 'refine' the Independent Review Process. (see Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability Paris Communique'. The report of the CCWG Paris Meeting indicated that there was broad agreement on several elements including community-driven panel selection processes. As the leader of an organization that has utilized and exhausted all the processes in the ICANN Accountability Mechanisms, it is my view that the selection of members of an IRP Panel should not be left to community processes, since this would leave room for unwarranted interference by vested interests and make such 'Enhanced IRP Panels' prone to ICANN Board influence.

DCA's engagement with Congressional Oversight of Internet and Matters Arising
Following DCA's engagement with US Congress and my correct prediction last year that Congress would oversight ICANN, a few high profile hearings were conducted during 2015 by both Houses of Congress regarding the IANA Transition. During the US Senate Committee Hearing on February 25 2015, Senator John Thune, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation had used FIFA as a good example of a global body that was largely unaccountable, and stressed that ICANN must not become like FIFA in the absence of US government oversight. In an post-Mortem analysis of Senate Committee Hearing, I argued in a public commentary stating there is "No Legal Basis for IANA Transition" and "Only proper regulation by an independent agency with full Congressional mandate will ensure that a 'FIFA-Mafia type' organization of systematic corruption does not emerge. ICANN should not be trusted by Congress to regulate itself".   The FIFA scandal demonstrates what unaccountable international non-governmental organizations could become in the absence of proper supervision; and underscores the need for closer monitoring of ICANN. I further argued and made a public call for "Others Should Consider Resigning as Well...", noting the resignations of Fadi and Sepp Blatter etc.  Finally, I provided my own testimony to US congress on the issue, "Stakeholder Perspectives on the IANA Transition".

Other Developments in 2015 and Outlook for .Africa and Transition 2016
Another important development during 2015 was the announcement of the unexpected resignation of the ICANN President/CEO, Mr. Fadi ChehadĂ© which would most likely leave a mixed and incomplete legacy at ICANN.  On the Transition, the NTIA has extended the performance period of the IANA Contract up to September 30, 2016.   If the Transition is not approved by Congress by election time, chances are that the matter will be left for a new US Federal Administration to deal with, leaving the question I raised in my public commentary to The Hill, "Why fix what is not broken - November 2016 Elections will determine fate of Internet Privatization".  This week the UN General Assembly will decide on the mandate renewal of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+10 High-Level Meeting, the IGF is one of the main outcomes of WSIS. Other issues that continue to be subjects of discussion include Net Neutrality, Zero-Rating and data development.

For DCA Trust, 2016 will bring us closer to winning the .Africa gTLD which has always been our main goal.  We remain committed to the fulfillment of our mission and purpose to enable us accomplish the charitable objects of our charter.  
Enjoy all your Holiday Celebration!
Finally, while we enjoy the festivities of this holiday season with  friends and family, I want to end this 2015 sharing with you the fabulous event I attended in San Francisco, an evening of entrepreneurial innovation of technology start-ups that look at technology trends through the lens of fashion.

Co-organized  by IBM Global Entrepreneurship program and The 360 Fashion Show  & Tech , the event under the theme "Startup Runway & Innovation Awards" featured wearable technology products, fashion startups, and international apparel designers, representing the intersection of fashion and technology.
This year many African designer and fashion Icons have entered the International stage.  In the Tech World we participate in,  Africa also awaits its own name, its own brand, its own online identity.  You and me can finally bring it to the web.
Ours is a warm and grateful hope that you, our supporters will continue to stand beside us, as we walk to the promising yet attainable digital success that we so badly want for Africa.  We not only have the skill but the zeal to deliver our promise. 

On behalf of DCA Group and myself, I wish you a joyous, tranquil and fulfilling Holiday Season  for Africa and the world!.
See you all in 2016!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
Sophia Bekele
In this Issue
Seasons Greetings
 (Message from Executive Director)
DotConnectAfrica Recap; Global Policy Advocacy and Contribution
Zurich, Switzerland: DCA Trust CEO Keynotes at the 2nd Quantum Global Advisory Board Symposium on 19th November 2015

Oakland CA: KEYNOTE:" The Market Has No Morality" Sophia Bekele speaks on Business Ethics and her recent Moral & Legal victory over the global internet governance body, ICANN

 Nairobi Kenya: Miss.Africa announced the 2015 Seed Funding Tech Initiative for women in Africa, Winner to be announced February 2016
New York and Los Angeles: DotConnectAfrica Trust Wins Resounding Victory against ICANN in IRP Accountability
Nairobi Kenya: DotConnectAfrica delegates attend the 3rd Africa DNS Forum

Nairobi Kenya: DotAfrica.TV brings to you views and opinions of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit #GES2015

DotConnectAfrica Tedbits: The Innovation Issue
Silicon Valley, CA :DotConnectAfrica speakes at #GES #African Entrepreneurs Silicon Valley Forum
Washington, DC: DotConnectAfrica Trust Joins the Launch of the Congressional Black Caucus #CBCTECH2020 Initiative
 Berkeley, CA:  SOLDOUT #HaasABF2015: Keynote: Sophia Bekele heralds "Africa's Digital Opportunity is NOW"
Singapore: IBCA made presentation to ICANN GAC on its Proposal for Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs 
Paris :DotConnectAfrica #CONNECTing-the-Dots: Options for Future Action" at UNESCO, Paris

2015 the year of creative disruption
DCA Song of  the Year

DCA Congratulates Ethiopia

#AfricaDay: Celebrate the Land of Digital Opportunity

A Condolence Message to Kenya and Victims of Garissa University, murder of Ethiopian Christians in Libya by ISIS, the recent France attack and all victims of terrorism worldwide


Quotable Quotes
Message from Editor: SEE YOU IN 2016
Beyonce - I Was Here

Ethiopian Airlines hosts its first ever "All Female flight Crew.  How Exciting!

Ethiopian Airlines dispatched its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. The flight was scheduled for Bangkok, Thailand on 19th November 2015. The airline says it wants to promote women's empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers. [ more ]

Ethiopian Metro

Ethiopia builds the first metro system in sub-Saharan Africa

A newly opened urban metro service is also set to transform the urban transport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. The $475 million Light Rail Project which is the first ever in Africa, is a joint venture between Ethiopia and China and the first of its kind for the city and sub-Saharan Africa. [ More]
DotConnectAfrica joined the Africa people and the world at large to celebrate Africa Day, an annual commemoration of the 1963 founding Fathers of Africa. .[more]
Quotable Quotes
 Endurance is the crowning quality, And patience all the passion of great hearts.
James Russell Lowell

2nd Corinthians  3:12 [NIV]
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.

See you all in 2016! 

2015 has proved be an year of great expectation, hard work that yielded great success and hope for DotConnectAfrica. This was only possible with your support and encouragement.

DCA Group has achieved many of its goals and launching setting foundations for what will be exiting projects in 2016. Having had a winning streak in 2015, we look at the ending of this year with thankful hearts. Having you all as part of our journey has been monumental.

2016 is expectant with great and more surprising events and progresses; by grace we will be able to realize more from our visions and plans. We will continue to remain innovative and forward looking for the price. 

Thank you for being consistent supporters!
We Wish you a Joyous Merry Christmas and  Happy New 2016!   
Thomas Kamanzi
Editorial Advisor/

Join Our Mailing List
 2015: A Year In Review 
DotConnectAfrica Recap:  Global Policy Advocacy, Commentary and Contributions
During the year 2015 DCA and its affiliates has contributed to and participated in several Internet Governance forums that include:
Zurich, Switzerland: DCA Trust CEO on Thought Leadership at the 2nd Quantum Global Advisory Board Symposium on 19th November 2015
International Entrepreneur and ICT Activist, Sophia Bekele was invited to speak at the the 2nd Quantum Global Advisory Board Symposium on 19th November 2015, Zurich, Switzerland. Read more
Oakland, CA: KEYNOTE: "The Market Has No Morality" Sophia Bekele speaks on Business Ethics and her recent Moral & Legal victory over ICANN

Founder/CEO of DotConnectAfrica
Group & CBS International, Sophia Bekele was invited to speak on the subject of Business Ethics at the School of Business, Lincoln University, Oakland California. Read More

DotConnectAfrica delegates attended the Na ir obi Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya, which also attracted top investors and leaders of blue chip tech firms including Microsoft, IBM, Google and some members of the Shark Tank Tv program.  Read more 
DCA Trust participated and shared its experience at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) "African Entrepreneurs & Silicon Valley Forum: 'Bridging Gaps and Making Connections' " forum, organized by the White house and USAID on 8th July 2015.  Read more 
From our newsletter, Internet industry updates, policy trends, tips, and news on Africa...  Read more 
Nairobi, Kenya: Miss.Africa - First PanAfrican Women-in-Tech Initiative, announced the 2015 Seed Funding for women tech initiative in Africa  

DCA Trust received an overwhelming number of applications from across the African continent to apply for the Miss.Africa Seed Fund, do not miss out! The applicant selection and vetting process is under way and the winner of the $5000 Seed Fund will be announced in February 2016 Read more
New York and Los Angeles : DotConnectAfrica Trust Wins Resounding Victory against ICANN in IRP Accountability  
July 10, 2015:   In a landm ark decision, an Independent Review Process (IRP), at the International Center f or Dispute Resolution (ICDR) has ruled that ICANN has vio late d its Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, following an ex pert determination of an IRP suit that was filed by DotConnectAfrica Trust in October 2013 to challenge an ICANN Board decision. This precedential win received a lot of media coverage, analysis  and commentary. You can read the articles available here DCA vs ICANN Media archive
Nairobi  Kenya : DotConnectAfrica delegates attend the 3rd Africa DNS Forum

DCA Trust delegates attended the 3rd Africa D NS forum hosted by the Kenya Network Information Center ( KENIC), from 6-8 July 2015, at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, under the theme: "The future of Africa's Domain Name Industry; Opportunities and challenges".
Washin gton, DC: DotConnectAfrica Trust Joins the Launch of the Congressional Black Caucus #CBCTECH2020 Initiative

On Tuesday, May 19 2015,  DotConnectAfrica Trust joined, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at the launch of CBC Tech 2020, a new initiative aimed at engaging the tech sector in increasing African-American representation and inclusion in the industry.
  Read more  
Berkeley, CA: SOLDOUT #HaasABF2015: Keynote: Sophia Bekele heralds "Africa's Digital Opportunity is NOW"
The organizers of the 2015 Africa Business Forum at the Haas School of Business in the University of California, Berkeley invited the Founder/CEO of DotConnectAfrica Group Read More  
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Founder of DCA amongst the Keynote Speakers  invited to  address the 2015 E-learning Africa International Conference 
Sophia Bekele invited to give a Keynote Address at 2015 E-learning Africa International Conference . The event is co-organized by the African Union and hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.DotConnectAfrica Group. Read More 

The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA) was invited to present comments it had submitted for the proposed Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs during ICANN GAC session. Read more
DotConnectAfrica was invited as distinguished panelist in the 2015 UNESCO international multistakholder conference, under the theme CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action to discuss the first draft of the Comprehensive Study on Internet-related issues Read more 
Our theme and engagement for 2015 is therefore, Creative Disruption, and here is why? Read more 
  Connect with us on our multilingual social media platforms
View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube 
DCA logo dotafrique logo dotafriqya logo     DotAfrica logo with no labels dotafrique logo dotafriqya logo
Follow us on Twitter  DotAfrica;  DotAfriqueDotAfriqya             Like us on FacebookDotAfricaDotAfrique; DotAfriqya