Sophia Bekele

Sophia Bekele

CEO of DotConnectAfrica
Joined on October 6, 2011 – Ethiopia
Total Post Views: 108,890


Sophia Bekele is a former ICANN generic Names Supporting Organization (gNSO) Council policy advisor from 2005-2007 & contributed to policy over the new gTLD programme and IDNs, is Founder/Spearhead of the Yes2DotAfrica campaign. She is a thought leader in Corporate Governance, international policy, Business Strategy, Internet, ICT & development. Professional Profile; Wiki Profile;

Featured Blogs

DotConnectAfrica Trust Response to John Jeffrey's ICANN Legal Blog Posting

The attention of DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust) has been drawn to a recent blog posting by John Jeffrey, the ICANN General Counsel and Company Secretary, who wrote to clarify what he termed as "misinformation and erroneous reporting that have framed parts of the discussion" regarding the recent DCA vs. ICANN IRP Final Declaration. As we can't see a way of making comments on his blog, DCA Trust as a directly affected party, will respond to the issues Mr. Jeffrey has advanced... more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

Posted here on behalf of DotConnectAfrica Trust as rejoinder and reply to Andrew Mark's recent article... In his article, Mr. Mark tried to re-frame the ongoing discussions and commentary about DCA Trust's recent IRP victory against ICANN as one about "requisite support for geographic string" to assist him reach the biased conclusion that ZACR's bid has the required support to run .Africa whilst DCA Trust's bid does not. more»

Fadi's Resignation, Sepp Blatter's Resignation - Others Should Consider Resigning as Well…

Fadi Chehade, the incumbent President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on 21 May 2015 announced his intention to leave ICANN by March 2016. No actual reasons were given for his summary and unexpected decision to stop being the head of an organization that he has led since 2012 -- against the background that Fadi Chehade had recently received an ICANN Board-approved contract extension up till 30 June 2017; together with a slate that has a long list of things to do with many uncompleted assignments. more»

"No Legal Basis for IANA Transition": A Post-Mortem Analysis of Senate Committee Hearing

The recent hearing conducted by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation on 'Preserving the Multi-stakeholder Model of Internet Governance' again showed that the Republican-controlled US Congress needs to act decisively to protect the status quo. The Senator Thune-led Committee convened the hearing on 25th February to look into the 'IANA Transition' and assess the level of preparedness of the non-governmental agencies that are handling the Internet Technical Management functions... more»

ICANN Should Not Ululate Over "" IRP Outcome: Decision Exposes Failure of Accountability

The IRP Panel that was tasked with deciding the vs. ICANN IRP that was filed regarding the application for the .hotels new gTLD name has made a decision that seems favorable to ICANN as the Defendant. However, this is not a victory for ICANN but an indictment of the ICANN procedures and accountability systems which are widely viewed as detrimental to new gTLD applicants. more»

ICANN Africa Strategy - A View from the Inside

"Africa is rising" is a phrase we are accustomed to hearing nowadays. We Africans also seem desperate to make that positive narrative about Africa. From the vantage point of the digital Africa that I seat, it is most promising, but only if we can face some of our own self afflicted stagnation. Having been in the African Domain scene for nearly a decade now, I am always challenged to view our situation with a pinch of salt, a fact that doesn't attract many friends. But I am willing to go at it and point out the shortcomings. more»

Wikileaks 2012, NSA 2013, NTIA Mishaps & Global Cyber Crime 2014: U.S. Exceptionalism over IG 2015?

The internet has become almost part of our daily involvement and reality is that it affects every facet of our modern lives. We are increasingly becoming dependent on the Internet, for which reason its availability, functionality, safety, stability and security are now of great and continuing concern to all of us and most importantly to US Congress, who so far has maintained stewardship over these key functions. more»

Congress Will Oversight ICANN: And You Can Take That to the Bank

Even though the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) plays a very important role in the global Internet ecosystem, its activities are not frequently mentioned in the mainstream international media; that is, until ICANN's name is mentioned alongside that of the US Congress in a US$1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill. Since the bill was passed by the House of Representatives, the issue of ICANN has assumed a certain topicality and has attracted commentary from many pundits. more»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Thank You GNSO - From the

The recent announcement at the ICANN 50 London, by all stakeholder groups and constituencies comprising of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to endorse a joint statement in support of the creation of an independent accountability mechanism "that provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community" is a very welcome development to the Multistakeholder framework. more»

From Wikileaks of 2012 to Snowden's NSA Leaks of 2013: Implications for Global Internet Governance

2012 will always be remembered as the Year of Wikileaks. Similarly, 2013 shall also be remembered as the year that Edward Snowden, a computer security specialist and former CIA employee and National Security Agency contractor, leaked classified information regarding the NSA global surveillance programs. Whilst Wikileaks was about US diplomatic cables, the Edward Snowden disclosure of classified NSA information to private media organizations such as the UK Guardian newspaper has had graver implications for global Internet privacy. more»

The "ICANN Africa Strategy" Is Not the Same as the 'African Agenda'

The ICANN-45 International meeting of the ICANN Global Community in Toronto, Canada provided an opportunity for the unveiling of the initial draft of the ICANN Africa Strategy, an episode that will always be remembered as a landmark moment which signaled the official commencement of ICANN's new approach to Africa. Indeed, a new chapter has started regarding how ICANN will relate henceforth to Africa. more»

Emerging Cyber-Security Threats and Implications for the Private Sector

The new gTLD program will have a profound impact on the private sector's increasing dominance over Internet information resources and ownership of critical registry technical infrastructure assets. It is already anticipated that only the private sector will take full advantage of the commercial possibilities... However, the successful introduction of new gTLDs will also create new challenges of security for the private sector. more»

DCA Open Letter to Congress in Defense of the Status Quo on Global Internet Governance Model

As spearhead of the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign, I recently wrote a letter on behalf of DCA, to the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Senator Jay Rockefeller which was also copied to other U.S. leaders and officials to express support for the present status quo on Global Internet Goverenance and a Reaffirmation of the Mult-stakeholder model. The full text of the letter is published in this post. more»

The Empire Fights Back!

Even as we increasingly discover that every facet of our modern lives now revolve around, and are dependent on the Internet, for which reason its availability, functionality, safety, stability and security are now of great and continuing concern to all of us. These issues have a profound impact on its overall governance. To most of us, during the past three decades, the Internet has always been available, stable, affordable and open; and it should continue this way even as it is controlled and administered in a secure manner... more»

2012: The Year of the New gTLD Program and the Year to Support ICANN - Part II

As we go into 2012, I am encouraged that there are many, including top officials and leaders in Washington DC, who believe in ICANN's leadership of the multi-stakeholder model, and that the organization should be allowed to successfully midwife the new gTLD program. The Honorable Senator John 'Jay' Rockefeller for example was reported in the ICANN Blog as giving his full support: "I think we have to get used to dot-hotels. I think we have to get used to dot-auto." more»

2012: The Year of the New gTLD Program and the Year to Support ICANN - Part I

The ICANN new gTLD program began today, 12th January 2012, with the application round now open and this important activity will make 2012 a very memorable year. It is expected that a minimum of 500 fresh applications for new generic Top Level Domains will be received by ICANN through the online TLD Applications System (TAS) by April 12 when the round closes, for processing and evaluation afterwards. This promises to be a hectic and engaging period for new gTLD applicants, and also for ICANN. more»