From today (Tuesday, 04 April 2017) trademark owners can secure dotAfrica (".africa") domain names matching their registered trademarks before the new dotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) is launched to the public in July.
The dotAfrica Sunrise Period will run for the next sixty days and will see the securing of valuable brand names in the form of registered trademarks and unregistered, validated trademarks. "During Sunrise, brand owners across Africa will be encouraged to apply for .africa domain names that match their registered or validated intellectual property," says Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry Non Profit Company NPC (ZACR NPC).
According to Mr Masilela, .africa is the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) for the African continent. "It is an African initiative created by Africans for Africans and the International Internet community. In order to ensure responsible growth, the .africa registry will place special emphasis on securing the rights of intellectual property owners, Internet users and the broader African community during the Sunrise Period and beyond," he explained.
Africa is home to an array of world-leading brands valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars that require protection. The Africa Brand Index by Ornico lists the following amongst the top 25 social media brands on the continent: SuperSport, Woolworths, Vodacom, Safaricom, FirstBank, Jumia, Airtel, Pick n Pay, MTN and others. For its part, Brand Africa has at least six homegrown African brands included in its global listing of the Top 100 Most Valuable Brands.
"Brand owners should extend their presence into the .africa gTLD from this week to ensure that they secure their chosen brand as a workable domain name," said Mr Masilela.
This week's Sunrise Period follows last week's news that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) approved the launch plan and dates for .africa. ICANN’s approval of the .africa Launch Plan has triggered a final countdown process starting on 4 April 2017 leading to General Availability on 4 July 2017 when the public can apply for .africa domain names.
Confirmation of the .africa launch dates follows the delegation by ICANN of the rights to administer the new, pan-African .africa gTLD to ZACR on 15 February 2017. Delegation means .africa names can be published on the web.
How it all works
dotAfrica (.africa) is the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) for the African continent. It is an opportunity to forge a unique online identity which will associate your products, services and/or information with the continent and people of Africa.
The Registry Operator for .africa is the ZA Central Registry Not-for-Profit (ZACR – NPC) trading as Registry Africa.
.africa is endorsed and supported by the African Union Commission (AUC), individual African governments, regional governmental agencies and organisations and enjoys widespread support from the African community.
.africa will bring the continent together as an Internet community under one umbrella allowing e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish. It is truly an African initiative established by Africans for Africa and the world.
Visit nic.africa for further details, or follow the conversation online using the hashtag #dotAfrica.
This news brought to you by Afro-Corne.