The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) has approved the launch plan and dates for dotAfrica with a final countdown process starting on 4 April 2017 leading to General Availability on 4 July 2017 when the public can apply for dotAfrica domain names.
“We are extremely grateful to the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African public for their unwavering support throughout the long journey to launch dotAfrica. It began as far back as the OR Tambo and Abuja Declarations where it was resolved to use ICT to ensure the development of Africa. It is now time to create the next chapter in the dotAfrica story as we focus firmly on making General Availability a reality in July,” said ZA Central Registry CEO, the dotAfrica gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) Registry Operator, Lucky Masilela,
Confirmation of the dotAfrica launch dates follows the delegation by ICANN of the rights to administer the new, pan-African dotAfrica gTLD to ZACR on 15 February 2017. Delegation means dotAfrica names can be published on the web.
The Sunrise Phase will allow trademark holders and other intellectual property (IP) rights holders to apply for dotAfrica domain names associated with their IP from 4 April to 3 June 2017. While the Landrush Phase, where anyone can apply for premium dotAfrica domain names with auctions is set for month of June 2017.
For the general public, General Availability, commences on 4 July, allowing members of the public registering their own dotAfrica domain names for the very first time.
The AUC many times underscored the importance of dotAfrica as a vehicle for African socio-cultural activities in the digital era that will allow the continent to contribute to the global digital economy. The entire continent can now be united together as one Internet community; enabling e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish under a single African umbrella.