The 2nd AfTLD conference was held at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, South Africa between 7-11 April 2008 under the theme “Strengthening our Internet Institutions”.
The aim of the conference was to promote discussions and share ideas while making decisions and commitments to improve Internet registries in Africa.
In her opening keynote address Hon. Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, Minister of Communications in South Africa mentioned that Africa lags behind Europe in the Internet industry. A good example is South Africa, for a country with a population of approximately 50 million people only 387 000 co.za domain names have been registered (despite co.za being in the top 26 ccTLDs in the world).
The Minister also stated that identifying a country by its ccTLD is pivotal for national sovereignty as it provides social and economic upliftment to its community on the Internet, adding that “Africa’s time has come” to be a dominant player in the Internet industry while being supported by its governments that should empower the registries.
Representatives from the following organizations were also in attendance:
• CENTR - https://www.centr.org/main/index.html
• Nominet .UK - http://www.nominet.org.uk
• IANA & ICANN - http://www.icann.org
• APTLD - http://www.aptld.org/
According to Elad Kinstler the manger of the Lexsynergy office in Johannesburg the event was a great success in terms of its aims and shows the willingness of most African registries to learn from others to improve their services by acknowledging that they are behind in many aspects such as registration restrictions, ease and speed of registrations, internet access availability, registration prices and that they need to catch-up quickly.