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Dot Africa needs a registry

Kevin Murphy, February 13, 2011, 22:05:00 (UTC), Domain Registries

DotConnectAfrica, one of the organizations planning to apply to ICANN to run .africa as a new top-level domain, has put out its feelers for a technical back-end partner.
In a press release, DCA today solicited expressions of interest from registry services providers. “Presence and/or experience in developing markets” is said to be “preferred but not a must”.
I expect there will be quite a few EOIs winging their way to the company in the next few days.
The whole of Africa only has about 110 million internet users currently. But with only 11% penetration, there’s pretty good growth potential. And chances are there’s not a great deal of ccTLD lock-in yet.
The nearest equivalent existing TLD is .asia, which has about 185,000 active registrations.
That’s less than half as many as .asia had post-landrush, but still represents a nice chunk of change for a back-end provider that does not have to pony up the cash for marketing.
DCA is one of two organizations known to be pursuing a .africa bid, and easily the highest-profile of the two. The other is called Dot Africa.
As a geographical name protected by ICANN’s new TLDs Applicant Guidebook, .africa will only be awarded to an applicant with proven governmental support.
That likely means that it will be the African Union, not ICANN, that ultimately decides the winner. In this slide deck, DCA says it has support from the AU and from 20% of African governments.

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Comments (2)

  1. avri doria says:

    One of the things Africa needs, as much as a .africa, is to further develop its industrial base. Why doesn’t it create its own backend. I expect there are talented people willing to help and there are product offerings of registries in a box and other kits for the new registry.
    It is sad to see that instead of bringing new full service registries into existence, especially in developing economies, the new gTLD program is likely to just increase business for the incumbent registries and their registry service departments.

  2. Rono says:

    Murphy I guess when writing this you did not consider doing enough homework, one of the organizations DCA already has Africa Union endorsement, and going by the fact that this is more of an economic rather than political venture, AU being an intergovernmental body cannot endorse power over states. 60/20/20 is the qualification required and not just government support, we all know what governments do when it comes to such hot topics, normally they only endorse and leave the rest to happen, again to suggest that an organization with governmental support will be given the express award is to demean the whole procedure since One can have the first and may not qualify on either of the organizations. Are you suggesting that now African Union determines the winner here, I believe that these matters are only handled by ICANN and African Union is only an endorser going by the procedures? Looks like the organizations routing for the .Africa TLD are an issue to you rather than the procedures and the exposure and track records.
    Mr Avri, We cannot try to compare the situations of the two continents based on the populace , India is large and therefore the numbers compared to Africa may make African market seem so dismal , Might I also say that broadband penetration here in Africa especially in the recent months is hitting an acceptable trend that does not only say Africa is an “emerging” but Is actually ripe market for ICT that is already driving itself and rather than talk about technology transfer to Africa , we already have transferred quite a chunk of mobile technology abroad(Developed Nations). So we don’t have to make mistakes with the process of Africa getting a domain because it’s the first time, we have to get it right.

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