With reference to the ongoing IRP matter between DCA and ICANN, we can confirm that we have met with the ICANN management team in Buenos Aires during the ICANN-53 Meeting.
The feedback we have received has been encouraging. Like everyone on the dotAFRICA team, ICANN is also frustrated with the IRP delays. They are however expecting the transcript of the IRP hearing to be finalised within the next week or so, followed by the release of the panel’s decision sometime in July (hopefully early in the month).
The ICANN board then needs to review and consider the decision, which they have undertaken to do promptly. We have asked ICANN to specifically consider whether there is still a need to uphold the current suspension on the .AFRICA TLD delegation. We hope that they will prioritise this issue once they have received the panels decision so that we can get on with the delegation process and the launch of the TLD to the African community.
Much of the timing depends on the actual date that the IRP decision is given. As soon as this happens we will be in a better position to provide the community with more definitive dates as to the .AFRICA launch timelines.
In the interim I would like to remind everyone of the introduction of the PROXY Registrar Service, which will enable better access to the gTLDs (including the dotCity TLDs). You will also be pleased to note that we have some exciting news on the dotCity gTLDs, but more about this in the coming weeks.
dotAfrica Project Team
ZA Central Registry & Domain Name Services