As reported earlier, .AFRICA was delegated to the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) after the legal dispute with DotConnectAfrica (DCA). The Registry has finally announced the launch schedule for the domain extension in the following three phases:
- Sunrise Period (4 April 2017 – 2 June 2017)
During the Sunrise Period, the trademark owners will be allowed to secure domain names matching their registered trademarks before .AFRICA is made available to the public.
- Landrush Period
Phase 1: 5 June-9 June
Phase 2: 12 June-16 June
Phase 3: 19 June-23 June
Phase 4: 26 June-30 June
Registration will be open to everyone around the world without any restriction, but the domain will be sold at a higher price than during the General Availability phase.
- General Availability (4 July 2017)
Registrations will be open to the general public and will work on a “first come, first served” basis.
Bernadette Versfeld, a partner in the Technology, Media, Telecommunications & Intellectual Property Practice at Webber Wentzel said:
The .AFRICA generic top level domain is an essential domain name extension for any business trading in Africa.
It is anticipated that the .AFRICA domain name extension will be in high demand and businesses are advised to include this domain name extension in their branding strategy. The cost of registration is minimal compared to the risks of failing to register.