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Ghana to open up Domain Name Service industry

Dr. Omane Boamah
Dr. Omane Boamah – Communications Minister

The Ministry of Communications says it would soon start a process of including more private sector companies in the Ghanaian DNS industry to sell “.gh” domain names and expand their rather low uptake.

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communications, 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 stands 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 Communications, 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 Communications Minister, who was addressing a two-day training workshop on DNS Entrepreneurship by 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.”

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet and DNS is 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 seek 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 the opportunity to contribute to 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 DNS in Ghana.

Mr George Attah Boateng, the Director General of the National IT Agency (NITA), said the Agency had developed an extensive 4G 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.

Source: GNA

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