On 3-5 July, the sixth Africa DNS Forum will take place under the theme “Building a Sustainable Domain Name Industry in Africa” in Cotonou, Benin. The Forum is co-organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), and AfRegistrar. It will be hosted by the Regulatory Authority of Communications Electronics in Benin (ARCEP). This year’s forum follows on the success of the preceding forums, held in Durban, South Africa (2013), Abuja, Nigeria (2014), Nairobi, Kenya (2015), Marrakech, Morocco (2016), and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2017).

Over the past six years, the Africa DNS Forum has become an important annual event, bringing together regional players and world experts in the DNS field to share experiences, best practices, and provide updates on developments in the domain industry. This year’s three-day event builds on the takeaways from the previous one, and addresses key issues that directly concern the regional industry. Among this year’s topics are data protection and privacy, registry and registrar platform development, Internationalized Domain Names and Universal Acceptance initiatives in Africa, and investment opportunities in the Africa DNS industry.

Moreover, on 6 July, the African Internet community will celebrate 20 years of Internet Governance in Africa. Representatives of ICANN leadership, as well as the Internet pioneers of Africa, will come together for the celebrations in Benin, twenty years after the first African Internet Governance Forum was held in Benin in 1998. The anniversary will be marked by a day-long event themed “An Efficient Governance of Internet in the Service of Africa Development.” Representatives of ICANN, Internet Society (ISOC), local governmental authorities, United Nations Development Programme, Internet pioneers of Africa, and more will be partaking in the event. For more information on the event, visit www.internethistory.africa.

The first week of July will allow the regional Internet stakeholders to celebrate and reflect back upon the journey of the Internet in Africa, and discuss ways to improve the Internet penetration rates, online business opportunities, and participation in the global Internet Governance across the continent.

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