Saturday, June 11, 2011

ICANN Accredited Registrars in Africa

ICANN currently accredits domain-name registrars for the following Top Level Domains:
.aero, .asia, .biz,.cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .tel, .travel

In Africa there are only four ICANN accredited registrars with the Internet Solutions based in South Africa, Kheweul.com of Senegal accredited in 2007 and Ghana Dot Com Limited accredited in 2010. This is really worrying given that there are over 890 ICANN accredited registrars in the world. It shows that Africa is still a very a small player in the web industry but there is reason to believe that the continent's web industry is slowly emerging from the doldrums.

Here is a profile of the four and only ICANN accredited registrars in Africa:

Internet Solutions: Established in 1993, IS has evolved from an Internet Service Provider to a Converged Communication Services Provider. A division of Dimension Data, IS has built South Africa's largest online business community. Accredited TLDs .biz .com .net .org

Kheweul.com was the second ICANN-accredited registrar in Africa and the first in West Africa. Kheweul.com was accredited to register domain names from the .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro top-level domains. Accreditation came in May 2007.The key person here is Mouhamet Diop who is the Chairman and CEO. The company promised to work "closely with all African country-code top-level domain managers and all world-wide registries to provide domain name services to local African communities." They also plan to promote the digitization of African cultural heritage and help the preserve of African multimedia content. Accredited TLDs .biz .com .info .name .net .org .pro

AfriRegister: In October 2007, AFRIREGISTER S.A. signed with ICANN  an agreement to operate as an ICANN accredited registrar. Afriregister is the 3rd African ICANN Accredited Registrar. It offers registration services for domain names extensions both for generic TLDs (.com; .net; .org; .info; .biz, etc) and country code based ccTLDs, particularly African ccTLDs (.bi; .ci; .ke; .ug; .co.za, etc)

Ghana Dot Com Limited Ghana.COM was the fourth company accredited by ICANN and is a descendant company of the Internet pioneering company Network Computer Systems (NCS). It was the fourth company in Africa to receive the accreditation and joined Internet Solutions of South Africa , Afriregister of Burundi and Kheweul of Senegal.Key person here is Nii Quaynor who is the chairman. Ghana.COM aims to bring more people into the community of websites and providers of information services. The domain registrar is expected to become multi-currency and to  accept payments in convertible currencies in the region and for example customers in Ghana may pay for services in Ghana Cedis and likewise for CFA regions.

I have not confirmed this and will update readers with new information. Mobile payments will especially be a convenient means as Africa is currently a mobile continent. Kenya's KENIC already accepts payment via Mobile. Accredited TLDs .aero .asia .biz .cat .com .coop .info .jobs .mobi .museum .name .net .org .pro .tel .travel