The excitement of getting the dotAfrica domain seems to have disappeared because so far less than 20 countries have participated; leading to the postponement of the deadline to March this year.
According to South Africa’s ZA Central Registry, the deadline was set for the first week of February for African governments to submit lists of important names of sovereign interest and national significance for inclusion in the dotAfrica ‘Reserved Names List’ (RNL) process.
It appears that out of all the African nations only 17 countries have been involved in the process. This countries include Benin, Niger, Senegal, Mauritius, Ghana, Burundi, Algeria, Tanzania, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan, Egypt, Gabon and Liberia. The African Union (AU) has also engaged in the RNL process as an entity, say ZACR representatives.
However, the ZACR does say that over 600 reserved names have been approved, with 26 names pending approval and no rejections thus far.
“As the envisaged May 2014 launch date for the new dotAfrica domain draws closer, it is now critical that all other African countries who desire a dotAfrica presence place their important names on the RNL,” said Alice Munyua of the African Union Commission (AUC) and ZACR dotAfrica initiative.
Munyua’s reference to the May sunrise launch date of dotAfrica comes after the ZACR originally planned for this process to start in March this year. This in turn has resulted in general availability of the domain being pushed forward to later in 2014.
According to ZACR reasons for the sunrise delay included dealing with South African exchange controls and its name change from UniForum SA: a process that is under review by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Nevertheless, the ZACR has been endorsed as the official operator of the dotAfrica registry and its dotAfrica ICANN application passed the initial evaluation phase.