Ghana to open up DNS industry

The Ministry of Communication would soon start a process of including more private sector companies in the Ghanaian DNS industry to sell ‘.gh’ names and expand the rather low uptake of the ‘.gh’ domain names.

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communication, who announced this at a training workshop, said Ghana was now selling about 3,500 Domain Name Service (DNS).

He said the situation, however, did not reflect the explosive mobile internet data usage, which stood at about 63 per cent of the total population of 29 million.

Dr Omane Boamah, who was represented by Mr Issah Yahaya, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Communication, said in order to improve the adoption of the ‘.gh’ domain extension, the Ministry began a project in 2012 to automate the ‘.gh’ domain registry.

The Communication Minister, who was addressing a two-day training workshop on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Africa Stakeholder Engagement Bureau, said: ‘I am glad to say that this has been done successfully and registration is done online.’

The training is focused on DNS Entrepreneurship.
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet.

DNS is, however, a hierarchical decentralised naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network.

The Minister praised ICANN for choosing Ghana as one of the beneficiary pilot countries; saying that the workshop would go a long way to improve Ghana’s DNS industry and also improve the uptake of the ‘.gh’ domain names.

He, however, complained that Africans still could not register sites to ‘.africa’ because the right to operate that domain name was the subject of a legal tussle in a US court.

He explained that the introduction of a generic top level domain ‘.africa’ was expected to change the African domain market and attract companies, which sought to make their Africa-based presence known to the world.

Dr Omane Boamah also hailed the ICANN Africa Strategy 2016-2020; which explicitly identified Capacity Building as an objective of the CCTLDs, as well as fostering competition in the African industry.

He also lauded the project for seeking for the opportunity to contribute to the digital entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa by introducing pilot DNS business training and incubation sessions, targeted at African registries and registrars.

Mr Yaovi Atohoun, the Stakeholder Engagement and Operations Manager, ICANN Africa said the workshop would equip participants with adequate knowledge to help in the growth of the DNS in Ghana.

Mr George Attah Boateng, the Director General, NITA said the Agency had developed an extensive 4G (fourth-generation wireless, the stage of broadband mobile communications) and fibre optics access infrastructure and a national data centre where both government and private sector could collocate and purchase data centre services.

He said NITA was currently looking for private sector partners to make both access and datacentre available to private sector for use in their development of ICT.

Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, the Chairman of Ghana Dot Com Limited, urged the young professionals to be open minded in their approach to issues and to constantly think of how they were going to practice what they had learnt.

He said the meeting was important not only because the participants would get the chance to learn new things, but was also part of the process of developing the wider ecosystem of the internet.

The workshop is geared at boosting DNS business acumen in Ghana and its objectives are to stimulate various registries, registrars and young entrepreneurs to develop proper marketing strategies for their domains.

It is also to demonstrate the economic potential of domain name business, especially through sharing of similar case studies with participants.

Additionally, it seek to encourage registries and registrars to think about sustainability of their businesses by leveraging various marketing strategies and business models to achieve growth.

The workshop is organised in collaboration with the Ghana ccTLD Manager, Ghana Dot Com (GDC) Limited, and hosted by the National information Technology Agency (NITA). GNA

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