The .africa address went live in February 2017 after ICANN, the organization responsible for coordinating the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers, launched a new generic top level domain for Africa on February 15.
The registrations is being handled by ZA Central Registry, a nonprofit based in Johannesburg.
The launch of DotAfrica was done in three phases:
- Sunrise Period (4 April 2017 – 2 June 2017) – during the Sunrise Period, trademark owners were able to secure domain names matching their registered trademarks before .africa is made available to the public.
- Landrush Period (Phase 1 = 5 June – 9 June; Phase 2 = 12 June – 16 June; Phase 3 = 19 June – 23 June; Phase 4 = 26 June – 30 June) – this registration was open to everyone around the world without any restriction, but the registration was sold at a higher price than the regular price.
- General Availability (4 July 2017) – registration is now open to the general public and works on a “first come, first served” basis.
- According to ZACR CEO, Lucky Masilela, the new dotAfrica gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market.
It also enables individuals and organisations to showcase their brands while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services.
“Initiatives like dotAfrica help harness the power of new technologies to solve old problems and grow value for the continent through the dotAfrica Foundation. dotAfrica is unique in that it gives Africans that important sense of pride and identity at the same time motivates them to achieve the very best for their continent and themselves.”
“ZACR petitions all Africans in particular and the world at large to take ownership of dotAfrica during General Availability as this new domain truly belongs to us all,” Masilela said.