The May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica has been completed in the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore. The agreement states that the dotAfrica domain will launch early this May.
The agreement was signed by ICANN representative, Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), and ZA Central Registry (ZACR) representatives, Lucky Masilela (CEO) and Neil Dundas (COO). The ZACR and African Union Commission (AUC) are partners in the drive for Africa to have its own space on the Internet though the dotAfrica geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD).
“The drive to establish Africa’s own space on the worldwide web began many years ago, but officially commenced with the submission of a formal application in February 2012. The Singapore agreement signals the morphing of the technical launch phase of dotAfrica into the commercial launch phase. We’ve come to the end of the beginning, and the beginning of great things for Africa on the web,” said Alice Munyua of the AUC and ZACR dotAfrica initiative.
“The finalization and acceptance of contracting terms from ICANN means nothing can stop the dotAfrica show. In May 2014, the curtains will rise and the first of the dotAfrica domains will become available for application. The former will seek to ensure that domain names are made available to applicants who have corresponding trade mark rights, while the latter will see generic premium domain names being made available to the public” explained the ZACR’s Masilela.
The agreement specifies that the Top Level Domain to which it applies is .africa (“dotAfrica”) and states that “ICANN designates Registry Operator as the registry operator for the TLD.