An Ethiopian woman fighting for .africa, a new generic Top-Level Domain

Sophia Bekele
Sophia Bekele

Addis Ababa, EthiopiaSophia Bekele appears to be a lone voice crying in the African wilderness and fighting for the delegation of the .africa (pronounced ‘DotAfrica’) new generic Top-Level Domain.

She has been on various forums discussing and presenting on the DNS Industry and its benefits to Africa under the Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance (MIG) Framework. She has been very active in the Internet Domain Name Service (DNS) Industry since 2005, when she was first elected as the first African to serve on the gNSO Policy Advisory Council of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN.) The ICANN generic Names Supporting Organization undertakes policy advisory and policy development processes for Internet generic names. It was this experience that made her become fully enmeshed in the work of Global Internet Governance and multi-stakeholder advocacy that led her to where she is now: leading a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) initiative as one of the applicants contending for the .africa generic Top-Level Domain.

The new gTLD Program is a globally approved program for the expansion of the Internet under which new generic names such as .africa, and other geographic and city names, including corporate brands will be approved. ICANN governs the new gTLD process, and in May 2012, received nearly 2,000 separate applications from different registry operators all over the world who wish to manage the new gTLDs that will be introduced by ICANN in the coming months. Read more