.AFRICA top level domain name about to take its place in cyberspace
Africa will soon be able to take ownership of its rightful territory in cyberspace. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the body responsible for regulating global domain names, has officially delegated management of the new .AFRICA top level domain name space to the ZA Central Registry, the body currently responsible for managing South African specific top level domain names (.co.za, .org.za, .joburg, .capetown and .durban etc).
This means that we are very close to being able to offer registrations of domain names within the .AFRICA space. If you own a brand used or intended to be used in Africa, picture YOURBRAND.AFRICA. Not only does this provide exciting marketing opportunities and the possibility of owning your slice of Africa online, it is important to secure registration of your brand in the .AFRICA space before nefarious third parties or “cybersquatters” do so, bearing in mind that it is far cheaper to pre-emptively secure your brand in this space rather than going through costly recovery processes after the fact.
The .AFRICA extension will be launched in three phases, namely Sunrise, Landrush and General Availability. Although no firm dates have been scheduled as yet, the tentative dates are as follows:
• Sunrise period - 04 April 2017; and
• General availability period - 04 July 2017.
The Sunrise period allows trade mark owners to preferentially register domain names that match their registered trademarks identically, before the .AFRICA space opens up to the general public on a first come, first served basis in the General availability period. The Landrush phase, falling between the Sunrise and General availability phases, will afford applicants the ability to secure registration of premium domain names, such as generic names, before general availability at an increased price.
Should you be interested in securing your brand in the .AFRICA space, contact the Spoor & Fisher Domain Names Department at firstname.lastname@example.org / +27 12 676 1167.