Africa will get its own Internet domain suffix, dot Africa, within the next 18 months after it has been decided which registry operator will manage the domain suffix
More than 500 applications have reached the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from registry operators across Africa showing interest in running and managing the domain suffix.
ICANN, which is the global company responsible for allocating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and managing the systems, will give its final decision after scanning all the applications in the first quarter of 2013.
The domain name is expected to have tremendous implications in the investments sector. Kenya Internet Governance Steering Committee chair at the ministry of information, Alice Munyua, said the name would help market African investors to the outside world through the Internet.
“Dot Africa is a top level domain suffix, similar to what we have here in Kenya, dot ke or even like the way we use gmail.com, yahoo.co.uk and so on. So, this is going to be a very new top level domain suffix that identifies Africa as a whole region,” said Munyua.
The applicant to be chosen by ICANN is required to release details on how individuals and organisations from various parts of the continent could go about registering with the name. Whoever wins would be monitored for five years and if proved incapable, the management would be transferred to another domain registry company.