Friday, June 15, 2012

The New gTLD "Reveal" How Well is Africa Represented?

 The New gTLD "Reveal" has finally come to pass and though it is nice to see some representation from Africa, it is still a drop in the ocean compared to the total number of applications submitted. There are 4 applicants from Africa applying for some 15 new gTLD strings altogether. {It was reported that there are 17 new gTLD strings from the Africa Region but I can only trace 15, so let me know if I did not factor in other strings.}

Out of the 15 African gTLDs, 9 are .brand(dotbrand), 1 is community(dotarab), and 5 are geographic including 3 .city(dotcity) gTLD strings for Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

Compared to the 1930 gTLD strings being applied for, this is definitely a drop in the nation and perpetuates our history of being the "outsiders" in the internet business. I'm also shocked that while African internet representatives vehemently lobbied for the reduction of application fee to $47,000 in order to benefit applicants from the region applying for certain classes of gTLD strings, not a single one has emerged to take advantage of the vastly reduced application fee. There are certainly lots of missed opportunities for Africa in this new gTLD application round.

For example big cities like Lagos, Cairo, Rabat, Tunis, Nairobi could have had .city new gTLDs. Some communities in Africa could have created internet namespaces to brand their cultures, businesses and much more. For example, a .somali(dotSomali) could make a lot of sense given the Somali people's unique culture, language and the fact that they don't have a viable nation and are spread all over the world.

Regional blocs like ECOWAS, COMESA, SADC and EAC could have done with internet addresses for official use in branding their agencies and online profiles. The African Airlines Association and .afraa(dotafraa)? Or maybe everything will fall under dotafrica Top Level Domain name? Even the African Union should have applied for a gTLD, .AUC(dotAUC) to host its online content given that it is quickly growing into a super bureaucracy.

Anyway, the idea of .africa(dotafrica) sounds pretty exciting and I can't wait for my .africa domain!

So which are the strings applied for by African organizations?
.africa -DotConnctAfrica Kenya with CentralNIC as technical partner 
.africa - Uniforum SA South Africa
.africamagic -MNET(Electronic Media Network) South Africa with CSCInfo.com as Technical partner
.arab -League of Arab States Egypt
 .capetown-Uniforum  South Africa
.dstv -Multichoice South Africa with CSCInfo.com as technical partner
.durban-Uniforum SA South Africa
.gotv Multichoice South Africa with CSCInfo as technical partner
.joburg-Uniforum SA South Africa
.kyknet MNET(Electronic Media Network) South Africa with CSCInfo.com as technical partner.
.mnet MNET South Africa with CSCInfo as technical partner.
.multichoice MNET  South Africa with CSCInfo as technical partner.
.mzansimagic MNET South Africa with CSCInfo.com as technical partner.
.naspers Naspers South Africa with CSCInfo.com as technical partner.
.supersport MNET South Africa with CSCInfo as technical partner.
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