Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DNSAfrica Offering free Domains for Rwanda

The Belgian company(registered in France?? ), DNSAfrica, that manages Rwanda's .RW ccTLD namespace is offering FREE domain names to Rwandese citizens and Companies, so long as they can keep the DNS locally. Foreign entities can however register domains at a fee of 225 EUR and strict measures have been put in place to ensure foreigners do not acquire free .RW domains:

On the .RW registry's website, the NIC states "The registration of a domain is free of charge for the citizens of Rwanda  who are resident locally, provided the domain name is run on local servers, if possible. It is our sole discretion to accept the free registration in our country code, and we will ensure that no abuse of registration takes place. If we suspect that a domain request is made by a company or individual that is not entitled to a free registration, we will reject the application at our sole discretion. A company or an NGO duly registered in our country and operated from there can also qualify provided there is no foreign participation. Local institutions, governments, ministries and other authorities have a right for free domains at the highest priority.

In order to avoid foreign individuals or companies to register free domains, we require that the applicant scans the proof of his citizenship and the proof the he resides locally. A subsidiary of a foreign company, even if registered in our country, is regarded as a foreign entity.

While foreign participation is not clearly defined here. I am assuming it's "foreign ownership" but what if the company is Rwandese but managed by foreigners? Because management is also "participation".  I will look elsewhere on the DNSAfrica website, it seems the managers of .RW, Rwanda's ccTLDs want to ensure "foreigners" pay their pound of flesh in acquiring the .RW domain names.