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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 the 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.
DCA seeks to assist in the strategic coordination of government internet policies, establish policy priorities, offer new policy choices, and ensure that the implications of internet policy options are fully considered. DCA encourages all stakeholders to participate in this dialogue, in particular the African Diaspora.


What is the governance structure of DotConnectAfrica?

The governance structure for DotConnectAfrica is made up of a consortium of public-private partnership to include sponsor organizations and co-sponsor members, 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 andaccomplishments.


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 .


When can I get a .Africa Domain?

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


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.