DotConnectAfrica End of Year Newsletter December 2016
    A Year in Review- 2016!
2016 #YearOfTheWomen 
End of Year Message from 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.
Every year I take time to review and go over all that transpired throughout the year and share with you, as you have been an integral part of our journey. 2016 has been an involving and satisfactory year, despite the challenges of  some of what we have had to go through.  We are thankful for every part of the process and experience.  I am glad to share with you some of what DCA Group has done and achieved.

DCA Walking the Talk and Impacting Lives

In fulfillment of our declaration of 2016  as #YearOfTheWomen,  DCA indeed offered and created more avenues to promote the woman entrepreneur, the CEO, the President, the Head girl and the 6 year old who did not want to get married as she "wants to do her own thing".  Thus these girls and women seem to have found more rewarding times within their daily lives as well as making important life choices. 

flagship Trust program  Miss.Africa launched a Pan-African seed fund through our DCA academy programme - an initiative that  supports women and girls in STEM.   Through this effort, we identify how we might support the impact and scalabi lity of their initiatives.    Most of our activities this year therefore were focused in the fulfillment of the program, related to girls and women in technology. 

As it is well known in Africa, DCA Trust is an early champion of "girls and women in tech"
among many other innovative causes we have championed in Afric a.    We started off with tech training program for girls internally at DCA, followed by the fulfillment of the most popular yearly "Miss.Africa" seed fund".  The initial fund was able to award multi-country initiatives including Kenya, Madagascar and Cameroon.   

This year in October I was very proud to attend a graduation ceremony of Twenty Five (25) women selected from over three hundred applicants who benefited directly from receiving the Miss.Africa training.   The girls were trained on mobile app development over a 3 month program by a partner organization.   I also presented the prestigious Miss.Africa Trophy award to the founder of the Kenya based organization in recognition of the efforts and collaborations in making the Miss.Africa program a success.
DCA also utilized our #2016YearofTheWomen,#STEM4girls, #girls4tech and #womenintech hashtag themes to campaign for women all over the world by highlighting their work, recognizing the efforts, participating in their causes, and various women-centric topics and forums around the world.   

In 2017, we look forward to seeing more African women and girls benefit throughout Africa, with Miss.Africa program. 
"When you empower a woman you empower a community".

In line with our mission of educating and advancement of Internet in Africa, other ongoing efforts of DCA include Digital and Social media dissemination, mobile platform development and training.  We also have pipeline service oriented projects that we have been working on to hopefully launch in 2017.
Status of The .Africa gTLD Court Case

The unfortunate legal challenge we are undergoing with ICANN has been a burden to DCA's ongoing positive effort to expand and implement our mission to the people of Africa.   Despite being assisted with Top Tier legal firms at all times, it takes much of our executive and research time over a battle that has lasted over 5 years.
  • In January 2016, DCA Trust  went to court over ICANN's processing of the Independent Review Panel (IRP) ruling. This found ICANN indeed violated is Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and that the Board's actions/inactions on our.Africa gTLD application were not accountable 
  • In March 05, 2016, a United States District Court, Central District of California - Western Division gave a ruling granting an Interim Relief [PDF Case No: CV 16-00862 RGK (JCx)] for DCA Trust by issuing a decision that ICANN should hold off from delegating the .AFRICA top-level domain (TLD) for ZA Central Registry (ZACR). The court found "serious questions" going toward DCA's likelihood of success on the merits and a balance of hardships that tips sharply in DCA's favour.....[Cont'd].... As such, the Court GRANTED a preliminary injunction barring ICANN from delegating the rights to .Africa until this case is resolved. 
  • Recently on December 14 2016, the Ninth Circuit court of appeals also granted the unopposing motions on dismissal of appeals [PDF D.C. No.2:16-cv-00862-RGK-JC] on  the district court's lack of jurisdiction and denied ICANN's request to include language that DCA's preliminary injunction order is void and the appeal is moot.

We await the court process that will hopefully concluded soon.

African Governments Continued misunderstanding over .Africa

I wrote various public commentaries and sparked a debate about the ICANN transition having an impact on the US elections.  I wrote to The Hill a message I titled "ICANN is already under the influence of Foreign Governments".   This drew an example of how ICANN allowed the African Union Commission (AUC), an Intergovernmental body to heavily interfere in the .Africa application so as to delegate it to itself.  This eventually led me to take ICANN to Court.   However. I did not expect that there would be another body that would try to change the rules.   In support of the AUC, the African Telecom Union (ATU) recently came up with
a widely opposed proposal from an African Group's Common Proposal (AFCP) for the modification and expansion of Resolution 47 to include generic top level domain and specifically cited .Africa.  To make my views heard, I wrote in a public rejoinder to the proposal on an Industry blog CircleID: "Why African Telecom Union (ATU) Proposal Should be Rejected".  I stated categorically that the ATU's sponsored Tunis "Africa Proposal" is the same as Uncle AUC's Dakar "Africa Agenda", proposed to circumvent global ICANN policy, and should be rejected!

In response to the above, the ICANN CEO also wrote to  Mr. Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stating ICANN concerns on the  above proposal and that its initiations might have been triggered by some misunderstandings of some African countries on a specific Top-Level Domain application.  This validates my long standing view that the African governments have always been misled by the vested interest groups on the characterization of .Africa gTLD.  

Finally, while we enjoy the festivities of this holiday season with  friends and family, I  want to give thanks to all our supporters,  followers and those who believed in us as well as those who have been with us through some of our challenging journey of accomplishing our mission for the people of Africa.

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 2017!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
Sophia Bekele
In this Issue
Seasons Greetings
 (Message from Executive Director)

Saluting 2016, the #YearoftheWomen
DotConnectAfrica Recap; Global Policy Advocacy and Contribution
Lisbon, Portugal: High Level Talk: Africa's development on EurAfrican Forum Meeting

Nairobi, Kenya: Miss.Africa announces 2016, Seed Funding Tech Initiative for women in Africa

DotConnectAfrica Tedbits: The Innovation Issue

Nairobi, Kenya: Our Impact Initiatives: Miss.Africa Seed Fund App Developers Graduate. Award Ceremony at eMobilis
DotConnectAfrica Tedbits: "THE WOMAN'S ISSUE"
Nairobi Kenya: DCA Trust Announces eMobilis as the Winner of its Inaugural USD 5000 Miss.Africa Seed Fund

DotConnectAfrica Update: United States Court Has Granted an Interim Relief for DCA Trust on .Africa

Salute 2016 - The Year of "The Women": A New Year's Message
DCA Video of the Year

DCA Seen and Heard

DCA Trust invited to the Strathmore SMC Roundtable: Promoting Management Science Excellence in Practice

Africa's first fully electrified cross-border railway line opens from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to the Red Sea port of Djibouti

DCA Song of the Year

Quotable Quotes
Message from Editor: SEE YOU IN 2017
DCA Video of the Year
Miss.Africa Mobile App Dev Awards Nairobi

DCA Advisory Board Seen & Heard
DCA Congratulates all of you on your hard won efforts, achievements, and successes in your endeavors.   
We value your relations!  
Seven Seas Technologies Kenya has received $3 million from Toyota Tsusho CSV Africa Pte. The deal adds CEO mike Macharia into the billionaires list Read more

EXCLUSIVE - Flashback to the 90s - "Building an inclusive Internet"

A trained molecular biologist,  Dr. Tan Tin Wee, a pioneer ended up introducing the Internet and the Web to Singapore. He led the first Internet service provider, Technet Unit, National University of Singapore (NUS), for academia and research in the country. Read more

Salim Amin on "Panel of Judges" for  Africa 2016 Photo Competition

The winners of the Agility, Africa 2016 Photo Competition have been announced and awarded. The competition drew over 2,500 photo. Read

Nebiyu Yosef for dotafrica
Nebiyu Yoseph has been named  and will receive the "2017 Modern Day Technology Leader" award by BEYA STEM, an industry group that supports the industry   Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Nominated by AT&T, in his role of a Lead Advanced Tech Support/Analysis at Wireless AT&T,  Nebiyu is an Experienced System Architect with proven history of lead development and production roles. 
Adding to her International accolades Sophia Bekele has been enlisted among 10 Ethiopian "Women Who Matter" - by the influential  media The Reporter Daily, Ethiopia

Our own Sophia Bekele, is enlisted amongs "  Women That Matter", in celebration of the Ethiopian New Year January 11, 2009 aka. January 11, 2016 Civil Calendar. 

What/who is your inspiration? Sophia Bekele 
"Disrupting the status quo, people who are game changers, my opponents, and underdogs like David from The Bible"

"It could be film,
it could be sports or a big company, but all made a difference. As part of The Reporter's New Year edition tradition, we selected 10 women who, during the years, made their mark on society. While some are obvious choices and some obscure, they were selected by their achievements and ambitions",
  wrote Meheret-Selassie Mokonnen of The Reporter Media in Ethiopia, conducted the interviews with these inspiring women. Read on The Reporter.  (complete the CAPTCHA)
DCA Trust Good citizenry at Strathmore University  Kenya  
DCA trust was invited to the Strathmore SMC Roundtable. The theme of the Round Table Forum was "Promoting Management Science Excellence in Practice" and with the objective to give the students the exposure as well as help them to understand the standards they will be required to have as they seek to join professions in the management science area.

DCA Trust in the past participated in the career day and advised students on best industry ideals and skills.
Made in Ethiopia: Africa's first fully electrified cross-border railway line opens from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to the Red Sea port of Djibouti   
The dream is that one day the railway will extend from Djibouti's coast all the way across Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Read more
Loliwe - 'the train is pushing'
by Zahara

Zahara (Bulelwa Mkutukana) described "Loliwe" as a song written to inspire one to achieve their destiny through patience and perseverance.

Quotable Quotes
 "The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lets meet in 2017! 

2016 the #YearoftheWomen has indeed been a great year for the DCA Group, and we can't even begin to list them all, because you have been part of our journey.

From witnessing successful training of 25 female beneficiaries Miss.Africa Seed Fund who will go on to become a great group of developers in both web based and mobile apps. We look forward to seeing another group of geeks in 2017.

We also saw progress in the .Africa court case vs ICANN where we won two important decisions where the Court granted Interim Relief or Temporary Restraining Order and later a Motion for Preliminary Injunction which stopped any delegation of .Africa.

In the year 2017 we expect even more  success both for the case that will conclude hopefully in February 2017 and for our in-house projects to scale further especially the Miss.Africa Seed fund project since women represent over 50% of the African continent's talent that is unaccounted for.

We look forward to the new year for new opportunities and encourage you to continue walking with us. 

Thank you for being part of our journey. 
Happy Holidays to you and your own and blessed 2017!   
Thomas Kamanzi
Editorial Advisor/

Join Our Mailing List
 2016: A Year In Review 
Saluting DCA's 2016 #YearoftheWomen  

#YearOfTheWomen 2016: Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling":  This year was aptly dedicated by DCA Trust as the "Year of the Women".  From Simone Biles, the first American women gymnast to win four gold medals in a SINGLE Olympics or the Ethiopian Almaz Ayana to win the women's 10,000 meters setting a new World and Olympic record at the Rio World Olympics 2016 to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton First Woman Nominated by a major US, Party for Presidency for US election, to the women who work daily to make the world better. Viva to you all!
DotConnectAfrica Recap: Global #PolicyAdvocacy, Commentary and Contributions  
During the year 2016 DCA Trust and its affiliates has contributed to and participated in several Internet Governance topics and forums that include :
Lisbon, Portugal: DCA at High Level Talk: Africa's development on #EurAfrican Forum
Main picture: EurAfrican Delegation Inset: Left: DCA Founder Ms. Sophia Bekele with Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

International Entrepreneur and ICT Activist, Sophia Bekele was invited to a high-level key note panel at the Eurafrican Forum in October 2016, Lisbon, Portugal. Read more

"Regarding technology and innovation, Africa is heavily focused on the apps economy, a gravitation towards mobile, cloud computing and internet of things (IOT). This is helped by the fact that women and youth are getting to be part of this innovation because of the work that organizations like DCA Trust is doing locally. As regards broadband in Africa, it is not so much the lack of connectivity but the quality of connectivity which needs to be improved."-- Sophia Bekele
Nairobi, Kenya Our Impact Initiatives: Miss.Africa #SeedFund #MobileApp Developers Graduate. 
October 2016: After a successful 3 month training of the Twenty Five (25) women selected from over three hundred applicants who benefited directly from the Miss.Africa Seed fund. Read more
July 21, 2016: DCA Trust in a #STEM4girls Pan-African campaign, the Miss.Africa program is mobilizing a Round II Seed Fund for Tech initiatives n Africa that will avail small grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles. Read more

"Miss.Africa, Generation.Africa,
the .Africa gTLD -
We know we rallied Africa"
  CEO, DCA Group, Sophia Bekele
June 2016: DotConnectAfrica is very proud that most of the PanAfrica initiatives we pioneered in Africa such as Miss.Africa for Women education and empowerment  particularly in ICT and STEM has now gotten attention of African leadership and mainstreamed in the African Agenda at various African Counties.  Read more 
Madagascar: Django Girls initiative empowered by Miss.Africa fund

DCA agree and believe in the power and untapped potential of Africa and we have made strides in ensuring that this potential is uncovered.

Kenya: Inaugural Grand Prize Seed Fund Winner eMobilis with part of the 25 women benefited from fully funded training

Pycon Cameroon programming training session funded by Miss.Africa fund 

More pictorials from our activities can be accessed here
Nairobi  Kenya : DCA Trust Announces eMobilis as the Winner of its Inaugural Miss.Africa #SeedFund

Happy Women's Month

March 15, 2016: The Miss. Africa Initiative, a pan-african trust program of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) announces its winner of the Miss.Africa 2015 USD 5000 Seed Fund as eMobilis. Read more
California : US Court GRANTS DotConnectAfrica a Preliminary Injunction on .Africa  
April 12, 2016 Nairobi, Kenya: A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA - WESTERN DIVISION ruling has granted a Preliminary Injunction for DotConnectAfrica, the decision for case no. 16-CV-00862 RGK (JCx) [PDF] DotConnectAfrica Trust v. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers & ZA Central Registry.

The Court finds it more prejudicial to the African community, and the international community in general, if the delegation of .Africa is made prior to a determination on the fairness of the process by which it was delegated.  
Read more  
Celebrating the End of Women's History Month

"Women's issues are no longer being discussed in dark corners and hushed tones"     

March 2016: From our newsletter, Internet industry updates, policy trends, tips, and news on Africa.

It is indeed the Year of The Women and what a great start it has been!
Read more 
March 2016: A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA - WESTERN DIVISION ruling has granted an Interim Relief for DotConnectAfrica by issuing a decision [PDF Case No: CV 16-00862 RGK (JCx)] below that ICANN should hold off from delegating the .AFRICA top-level domain (TLD) for ZA Central Registry (ZACR).  Read more
January 2016: 2016 came with such hope and promise, we continued to promote the equitable transformation of the women and youth initiatives, as a priority, to forge in the power of "Creative disruption".   Read more 
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