.africa (finally) ready to launch

After about 5 years of bickering behind the scenes and over 3 years after the first new gTLD’s went live, .africa is finally ready to launch. It took so long before the launch was possible because there were two applicants for this TLD. Both claimed to have support from African countries, but reasonably soon it became clear that the bid coming from the registry also running .co.za (ZACR) was the more sound bid.

The other applicant (dotConnectAfrica or DCA) even succeeded in requesting the wrong TLD at first (they first requested “.dotafrica” instead of “.africa”). And in time the support from African governments they claimed to have received, turned out to not come from the right local authority or the support was withdrawn later on. This however didn’t keep DCA from still using that tumbled-down support as a reason to start one litigation after an other to prevent the TLD from being awarded to ZACR.

Earlier this month an American judge ruled that ICANN may continue with granting .africa to ZACR, even though there is no final ruling yet regarding the complaints from DCA. The judge stated that it would be unlikely for DCA to win the further trial, but that if they would prevail, the TLD could be re-delegated to them anyway. And that Africans would otherwise be harmed by keeping the .africa TLD in limbo during to the ongoing legal action.

So .africa will go live soon, but the legal actions probably aren’t over yet.

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This post was written by admin on February 16, 2017

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