.africa attracts 8 000 registrations
The .africa geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) has attracted over 8 000 registrations so far.
This is according to the ZA Central Registry (ZACR), the administrator for the .africa gTLD, which says organisations ranging from banks to media companies are registering .africa domain names.
"Leading continental and international brands are snapping up .africa domain names because they recognise the importance of being associated with Africa's bright future online. With many positive stories coming out of Africa, brands understand that .africa domain names are valuable virtual real estate," Lucky Masilela, CEO of the ZACR, says in a statement.
The general public has been able to apply for .africa domains for the past three months. The landrush period took place for the month of June, when registrations were open to everyone, but the registration was sold at a higher price. From 4 July, general availability kicked off and registrations for .africa opened up to the general public in earnest, on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Before the sunrise period, from 4 April to 2 June, the domain was only open to trademark-holders and other intellectual property (IP) rights-holders to apply for .africa domain names associated with their IP.
"Fifty-four countries in Africa are now united under a single, continent-wide domain name, staying true to the Oliver Tambo and Abuja Declarations of the 1990s. These written resolutions stated that ICT will be central to Africa's future wellbeing and .africa is surely among the top African-led ICT initiatives of the last 20 years," ZACR says.
Masilela believes initiatives like .africa help harness the power of new technologies to solve old problems.
The .africa domain names are now available and anyone can register through accredited registrars. However, it was not always an easy road for the gTLD, as an almost four-year legal battle between ZACR and Mauritius-based DotConnectAfrica Trust held up the delegation of .africa until recently.