Monday, October 17, 2011

African Domainers: Where are they?

It seems to me that 'domaining' is still an alien word in Africa. Beyond South Africa's Silicon Cape, it seems there are not many Africans involved in the business of buying, parking, developing and selling of domains.

There are several obstacles and barriers to entry. Key amongst them is pricing. There's a very popular but flawed argument in African ccTLD circles that "we keep prices high to finance our administrative expenses". Some African countries also have extra burdening regulations like requiring users to develop domains within two or three months of acquiring domain names; requiring users to buy hosting packages as prerequisite for buying domain names and so on. So many unnecessary rules and lack of understanding of the commercial side of domain business inevitably locks out thousands of potential investors and internet entrepreneurs leaving African ccTLDs with archaic registries that are a burden to governments and are run like government departments. Innovation in the domain name system will definitely put things right in this industry from next year.

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