Exchange program

Exchange program with DNS Industry leaders

Any entity that wants to offer domain name registration services under gTLDs with a direct access to the gTLD registries is required to obtain an accreditation from ICANN. To that end, the interested entity must apply for accreditation and demonstrate that it meets all the technical, operational and financial criteria necessary to qualify as a registrar business. The relationship between ICANN and every accredited registrar is governed by the individual Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA), which set out the obligations of both parties. For a total of over 1000 registrars, only seven are from Africa. This shows that the Domain Name System (DNS) business is not an active sector on the African continent.

In March 2013, a Domain Names event was organized in Addis Ababa with the participation of registrars from Africa and the other regions. This activity was part of the implementation of the ICANN Africa Strategy developed in 2012. Later on, at the first ever organized DNS Forum in Africa, and as a pre Conference event for ICANN 47 in Durban, a few key DNS industry leaders have offered to contribute to capacity building in Africa, by receiving staff from African Registrars and registries in their premises for a short period to help them learn more on technical and commercial operations. For the implementation, ICANN has planned some resources in the FY14 plan to support this initiative.

The Exchange program with DNS industry leaders is one of the projects in the strategy implementation plan. We anticipate that five (5) participants (interns) will be selected for the Fiscal year 14 and more could benefit from the Fiscal year 2015 program.

Program objectives

It will promote strategic partnerships between global and local entrepreneurs in the DNS industry. Participants will acquire experience in technical management, business planning and commercial operations, through a mentorship program.

This could certainly help equip more African entrepreneurs and contribute in fine to the growth of the DNS industry in Africa.


Potential participants to this program are staff from the seven African accredited registrars. The program will then be open up to African registries in its second phase starting in July 2014. ICANN will provide airfare, accommodation and meals for a two-week internship program to the selected participants.

Responsibility of the African Registrars:

The African registrars will ensure that proposed staffs to the program are responsible people whose profile will help gain the maximum benefit from their participation to the program. The program beneficiary agrees to provide a written report no later than seven days after the conclusion of the internship program.

The registrars will be responsible to obtain their visa for the country of the receiving registrars.

ICANN Africa staff will monitor the program and ensure follow up.

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