DotConnectAfrica Update: The next big .THING for Africa Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

FAQ- dotafrica -DotConnectAfrica

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers recently voted to approve the

new gTLD program that will see companies, organizations, communities create their own unique Top level domain extensions on the internet.  It will be possible for entities to apply for their .brand or .community or .industry or .region in the new internet dispensation.

  • Dotafrica (.africa) is one of the proposed new gTLDsand the initiative is spearheaded by DotConnectAfrica, a nonprofit and non-partisan organization based in Mauritius.and presence in various countries of Africa.
  • In the last 6 years. DotConnectAfrica has led a sustained campaign of global sensitization on the benefits of having a .africa domain name.

A “.africa” will simply be Africa’s home on the cyberspace.   A “dotcom” for Africa.

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For those who have questions still and/or are not yet in the loop on the .”africa” initiative and the overall newTLDs program,   DCA has prepared a simplified FAQ to help you quickly understand, support and embrace the next big.THING on the internet for Africa – A “.africa”.

FAQ.africa

What is a top-level domain (TLD)?

A “top-level” domain,TLD, is what comes after the last dot in a domain name.  The most commonly known top-level domains are . COM, .NET,  .ORG,  .INFO and .BIZ. There are also country-specific top-level domains, such as  .NG for Nigeria,   .EG for Egypt and .AO for Angola.

How are new top-level domains coming to market?

On June 26, 2008 ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers  a non-profit organization formed to manage the technical concerns of the Internet) adopted the policy recommendations of the gNSO (generic Names Supporting Organization, one of the groups that coordinate global internet policy at ICANN ) for the establishment of the new gTLDs and announced the “Biggest Domain Name Expansion” in the history of the Internet.  Thus opening the domain space to allow any public or private organization from anywhere in the world to register any string of letters as a gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain).

On June 20th 2011, the ICANN Board of Directors approved the new gTLD program that will allow brands, organizations ,regions and communities to turn their own brands or names into Top Level Domain name extensions or create broad generic strings like .car .cafe etc.

ICANN has opened the Internet’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination. No one can predict where this historic decision will take us,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN during an occasion.

Who is DotConnectAfrica?

DotConnectAfrica (DCA) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization registered in Mauritius, Africa, Reg.ID CT8710DCA90, which was inspired to come to fruition to coordinate the implementation of the .Africa initiative.   At the same time, to address the lack of adequate internet policy in Africa and and acknowledgment of the impact of the policy in widening the gaps of the digital divide. www.dotconnectafrica.org

What is the governance structure of DotConnectAfrica?

The governance structure for DotConnectAfrica is made up of a consortium of public-private partnership, businesses, non-profit – NGOs and other relevant African organizations and individuals in the region. Read More…….

Why should I or my  organization join DotConnectAfrica’s  initiative?

There are many reasons that you or your organisation should join DCA’s DotAfrica initiative.   Please read our mission and our 6 year accomplishmentshttp://www.dotconnectafrica.org/yes-campaign/accomplishments/

What should we do if we want to join the DotConnectAfrica’s initiative?

If your affiliated organisation would like to join DCA’s initiative, please contact  eoi@dotconnectafrica.org.   If you would like to join as an individual,  email us at yes2dotafrica@dotconnectafrica.org

You can also join our Pan-African social media followings on facebook and twitter: 

Find us on FacebookDotAfrica;  DotAfrique;  DotAfriqya Follow us on TwitterDotAfricaDotAfrique;  DotAfriqya

When can I get a .Africa Domain?

The process of application for New Top Level Domains will begin on 12th, January 2012 and end on 12th April, 2012. You can refer to the “Timeline” below for information about the Process:

Photo Courtesy ICANN

Photo Courtesy United Domains

Can I Pre-Register a .Africa Domain?

Names cannot be registered until the DotConnectAfrica Registry has started to work, so pre-registration of names is not possible in the .africa Top Level Domain.

DotConnectAfrica however understands that some registrars are already offering to “pre-register” or “reserve” .africa domain names by offering to make registration applications as soon as the registration process formally begins.  These services are not illegal but cannot be considered exactly as “pre-registrations” since they are nonbinding and do not grant any rights to the applicants.

Given a risk of confusion and even fraud, consumers and companies are encouraged to check exactly what is and what is not being offered.   In case in doubt, please contact us for further clarification.

How much will a domain name cost?

Each ICANN accredited registrar (domain retailer) determines its own prices and policies for domain name registrations. In addition, most registrars offer additional services, such as Web site hosting, that may be of interest to you.

Where will I get a .AFRICA domain name when it’s available?

You will be able to register .AFRICA domain names through any .africa accredited registrars (domain retailers). These will be announced at the appropriate time.

What are the valid characters and valid lengths for domain names?

.AFRICA names can contain the English-language letters A through Z, and the digits 0 through 9. You can also use hyphens, but hyphens cannot begin or end your domain name. Spaces and special characters (such as !, $, &, ? and so on) are never permitted. The minimum length is 3 characters, and the maximum length is 63 characters

Who can register names under .AFRICA TLD?

Legal entities within the African region (defined by ICANN as Africa region;

see  http://www.icann.org/montreal/geo-regions-topic.htm)  can register names under .AFRICA TLD.

Read Full press Release http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs053/1102516344150/archive/1106526001060.html

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