The .gh domain is critical for Ghana’s digital presence, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, has said.
.gh is Ghana’s country code top-level domain (CCTLD); which is an internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a sovereign state.
Dr Omane Boamah said the Communications Ministry considers this as a very critical resource to all the projects it was undertaking to ensure that Ghana is truly transformed through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and would support the efficient establishment and management of the .gh CCTLD.
He said government would also promote the local internet community’s participation in the policy making process for the running of the registry.
“The domain name system is like the phone book of the internet. Any disruptive attacks against this phone book will create total confusion in the digital world,” Dr Omane Boamah said on Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a three-day Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC) Road Show seminar in Accra, Ghana.
“Imagine a worm attacks your mobile phone and reshuffles the entries such that original entries are pointed to difference entries, it will be very difficult to call anyone on your phone.
“The phone analogy made here underpins the importance on maintaining a very robust .gh country code Domain Name Service (DNS) system,” he added.
The Road Show seminar which focuses on securing .gh domain names using the DNSSEC technology; is being organised by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) Africa Stakeholder Engagement Bureau and hosted by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).
Dr Omane Boamah said since 2011, the Ministry had in line with the electronic transaction act began a process to re-develop and automate the .gh registry.
“I am glad to announce that the technical development is almost complete and the organisation process to establish the Ghana Domain Name Registry (GDNR) is on-going,” the Minister said.
He said the Ministry would soon announce a process to invite business entities to be accredited as registrars to sell .gh domains to end users as prescribed by the Act.
He lauded ICANN Africa stakeholder engagement for initiating the Africa DNSSEC Road Show; stating that the DNSSEC had yielded positive results with a few more countries on the continent adopting the technology.
Mr George Attah-Boateng, the Director General of NITA, said since 2012, NITA had been actively involved in the redevelopment of the .gh registry, and that the incorporation of the DNSSEC technology was of great interest to NITA.
He announced that the Agency is on the verge of deploying the first ever city public wi-fi in the country starting from May.
Mr Attah-Boateng said very soon NITA would be partnering with other IT agencies; so that they could extend internet connectivity to other private organisations.
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, the Chairman of Ghana Dot Com, gave an overview of .gh and DNSSEC, and their significance in Ghana’s socio-economic development.
He recounted that the genesis towards the creation of the .gh registry had been very difficult and challenging; adding that “this is the history of one of the first domain name registries installed by Africans and operated by themselves in Ghana in 1995 and the registry had since being operating”.
Mr Yaovi Atohoun, the Stakeholder Engagement and Operations Manager at ICANN Africa, said the Road Show was part of the implementation of the ICANN Africa Strategy.
He said one of the major objectives of the ICANN Africa Strategy was to develop a DNS, which had already being implemented in some African countries.