DotAfrica amongst the top 50 most desired domains

Sammy Buruchara: Author of the Commentary.

The ICANN latest reveal of the applications pending batching has shown a number of very crucial details of what the new domains system is like. The new system before batching presents new applications with the North Americas having the highest applications amounting to 911, Europe follows with 675, Asia pacific which already has one continental domain .asia has three hundred and three domains, Latin America which shares the same ecological niche with Africa has 24 new applications 7 domains higher than Africa which has presented 17 new domains.

The number of the domain applications per the five RIR regions indicates just how the different regions are differing, the lowest number of applications have been presented by Africa and Latin Americas and Caribbean, this comes from the similarity in the different scenarios that they have between each other in terms of economic development as well internet infrastructure.

A question of the government support vis a vis Private sector involvement have come to the fore as the two are the main stakeholders in the development of the nations with the government mostly doing the traditional governing and administration while the private sector can be credited with the introduction of the new technologies that are driving the economies.

The effect of these scenarios can be largely attributed to the academic as well as entrepreneurship growth that exists mostly in the individuals that have had an opportunity to advance by either working in the western countries or having studied in the developed nations prime academic institutions, another fact is that many of the startup entrepreneurs that have contributed highly have been incubated in the leading technology firms as well as lived in the most vibrant states that are leading in new technologies and startups.

Africa being a best example has in the latest days shown huge interest in the domain and internet industry and these has prompted technology corporations alike to setup base in African leading cities, these actions have reflected positively in the advancement of talent. Such actions have prompted ICANN as well as other governing bodies to shift new focus on putting Africa in the map among not only the emerging markets but also a new frontier that needs more emphasis to be developed.

The number of domains applied for indicate that Africa and its peers are showing strong interest in cutting a niche and claiming a stake in the internet fraternity and that its voice too can no longer be ignored. Particular case it’s the African geographic domain that has created much interest and has been received with anticipation, Certainly Africa is ready to manage and administer its own domain within the continent a fact that will create a ripple effect in how the domain business is handled.

The immediate beneficiaries will be the small and medium sized enterprises that have become the largest employer. Individuals as well who want to register personal domains have a great opportunity to get first rate domains that no longer exist in the current exhausted 21 gTLD’s.

Africa among the rest has shown a good start, the most pressing factor is whether the governments as well as the private sector are working in tandem or hard enough to ensure that Africa gets new domains in this current application round. Certainly the outcome of the new African gTLD will either inspire the application of new domains like .cities or .language. It’s therefore an important era that will either encourage new adaptations or totally close hopes.

With the current 17 applications it shows that Africa is ready to take on new domains. Certainly our dotAfrica (.africa) is amongst one of them, to note that our marketing efforts has already paid off which is illustrated by the current pre-registration’s in the new gTLD’s portal; where .Africa registration ranks amongst the top 50 most desired domains, this goes to show just how important this domain is important for Africa having campaigned for over five years.

(The author is chairman of DotConnectAfrica Global Strategic Advisory Group. This commentary first appeared in CircleID)


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