The Department of Information Technology (DIT) announced the launch of the top level domain suffix ‘.krd’, in 2015. Could you brief our readers on the purpose of the .krd domain?
The purpose of the .krd TLD is to promote Kurdistan and raise the people of Kurdistan to the international stage by providing an online space over which to promote and develop the institutions, businesses, culture and language of the Kurdistan Region and its people. As such, the TLD aims to establish a dedicated, open namespace that represents Kurdish people within Kurdistan and internationally, and offers a new and innovative approach for internet users globally to engage with the people of Kurdistan.

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet (Google) Inc in his co-authored book, “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business” states that establishing the .krd is a step towards virtual statehood.

.krd is our pride and national flag in cyber space and plays a strategic role in validating our institutions in an age of expanding globalization. It will enable Kurdistan to take part in the increasing amount of global, cultural and commercial activities that take place online and will give Kurdistan the ability to bring its rich language, cultures and traditions to the world.

Kurdistan is currently blessed with a Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister who have a clear understanding of the importance of Information Technology. If this support continues, we believe the next five years will bring huge steps forward.

We are working hard to make sure the rights of registrants are protected and that policies are in place that safeguard transparent operations. .krd has a dedicated website answering any questions at: www.dot.krd

What are the key components of Kurdistan’s e-Government strategy? And what are your current and future projects for e-government initiatives and for improving the way the KRG interacts with its citizens?
The key components of our e-Government strategy are:

  1. Designing and implementing a connected and secure IT infrastructure
  2. Developing and sharing government-wide IT applications, including utilities, data hubs and e-Services
  3. Providing clear IT governance and leadership for government-wide programs
  4. Building capacity in the region through education and training
  5. Implementing sound IT policies enshrined in appropriate legislation, standards and regulations
  6. Encouraging IT participation in order to nurture the emergence of a dynamic IT industry, and helping raise the level of internet penetration in society
  7. Ensuring efficient and transparent mechanisms for IT investment The difficulties that the Middle East as a whole and Kurdistan in particular are facing have slowed down our progress. Achieving the strategic goals mentioned above requires significant resources and powerful IT governance. Therefore, it is essential to identify the projects that are of higher priority and urgency. Delivering any IT services requires crucial infrastructure components and businesses that will utilize them. Creating KRG’s first datacenter and ensuring secure access network are the two most crucial infrastructural projects that the Department of Information Technology is working on. Digital Identity Management Systems as well as HR and Payroll are the first business applications that will be implemented with other e-services following.
The recent economic crisis showed the value of Information Technology, with DIT playing a significant role in quantifying and measuring government expenses.

How do you envision the DIT growing and evolving in its role over the next five years?
Running a government without IT is nearly impossible or at least extremely inefficient. The recent economic crisis showed the value of Information Technology, with DIT playing a significant role in quantifying and measuring government expenses.  We believe our leaders see great value in taking advantage of technologies in general and IT in particular.

Kurdistan is currently blessed with a Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister who have a clear understanding of the importance of Information Technology. If this support continues, we believe the next five years will bring huge steps forward.

Payroll, Human Resources Management, Education, Health etc. will all be managed efficiently and transparently within the next five years. Having these systems in place will contribute to a transparent and healthy economy where decisions are made based on solid facts and data.