On 15 April 2021, Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services officiated at the First Edition of the Zimbabwe Domain Name Systems Forum that is meant to promote the good use of the Internet.
“Domain Name Systems have become an important component of the internet ecosystem. We appreciate these great partnerships we are witnessing today where local organizations that include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Registrars, Civic society and Academia collaborate with international organizations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names Numbers (ICANN) and Internet Society to improve the Zimbabwe DNS Ecosystem so as to match international standards and promote trust and confidence in the good use of the internet.
“The theme for the Forum which is “Towards the implementation of a multi-stakeholder sustainable structure for Domain Name Systems in Zimbabwe” is in tandem with the Government’s commitment towards working with Stakeholders in the ICT sector to ensure the full utilisation of technology in the attainment Vision 2030. We believe this Forum can make a significant impact on advancing the domain name infrastructure and industry, which is critical to the Internet and its growth,” Dr. Muswere said.
He revealed that the Dot ZW country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) was created on 6 November 1991. The registry was managed by Professor John Sheppard who worked at the University of Zimbabwe Computer Centre. The zone file was hosted on servers in the United States. Initially, all domain names were registered directly under dot ZW, with the first two being mango.zw (which is still operational) and healthnet.zw. Thereafter the first of the current second-level domains .ac.zw and .co.zw were established.
The current situation is that Zimbabwe’s DNS falls under the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) who have delegated management of .zw and .org.zw to TelOne, .ac.zw and .edu.zw to the University of Zimbabwe Computer Centre, .co.zw to Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (ZISPA) and .gov.zw to the Government Internet Service Provider (GISP).
The ICT Minister said the government will work with stakeholders to implement Domain Name System policies to ensure that there is a level playing field for all the stakeholders. This will also improve on recommendations to fight cybercrime since due to the new normal, the digital space has become the driver of social, economic and political development.
“Privacy, Surveillance and Security remain important for internet users and through multi-stakeholder engagement we will attain the best policies to ensure that our Internet Ecosystem develops. To this end, the Government is working to implement the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill to ensure that internet use and users are governed by legislation that is moving with times.
“Our mandate as a Ministry is to Connect the Unconnected and ensure that everyone and everywhere has access to the internet. I challenge the management committee that will be selected to develop DNS in Zimbabwe to ensure that we promote the internet for development and contribute towards Vision 2030,” Minister Muswere added.