The May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica is now confirmed, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) announced in a press statement today (Tuesday, 26 March 2014).
According to the ZACR, the final outstanding paperwork was siged at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore today.
Today’s agreement outlines the contractual terms according to which the ZACR will launch and administer the dotAfrica generic top-level domain (gTLD), starting as early as May 2014.
“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,” said Alice Munyua of the African Union Commission and ZACR dotAfrica initiative.
“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,” Munyua said.
Applications for .africa domains will happen in two phases: “sunrise”, and “land rush”, ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela said.
“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,” said Masilela.