|TLD type||Generic top-level domain|
|Registry||ZA Central Registry|
|Intended use||African and Pan African Constituency, African Union|
|Actual use||General Availability 1 July 2017|
|Registration restrictions||None specified yet|
|Structure||Registrations at second level (ie. domain.africa)|
|Documents||ICANN Registry Agreement|
|Registry Website||dotAfrica Registry|
.Africa is the officially designated top-level domain (TLD) for the African and Pan African communities and users wherever they reside. It is a sponsored generic top-level-domain (gTLD) operated by the ZA Central Registry. .Africa is open to individuals, businesses and organizations around the world. .Africa domains are intended to showcase their brand and commitment to the African continent, establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services, expanding a brand’s regional influence and acquiring online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market.
The .Africa domain became available to the general public on 4 July 2017.
The .Africa gTLD has been delegated to the ZA Central Registry. The .Africa application that was submitted by DotConnectAfrica Trust is now the subject of an unresolved disagreement with ICANN (DCA Trust vs ICANN) following an Independent Review Panel (IRP) Process that was invoked by DCA Trust under ICANN’s accountability mechanism in October 2013. The IRP was administrated by the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) New York, US.
DCA Trust had passed all the new gTLD applicant evaluation criteria, but before the Initial Evaluation (IE) result was issued, a Governmental Advisory Committee GAC Objection Advice that had been issued in Beijing in April 2013 was later accepted by the ICANN Board in early June 2013 which caused the ICANN Board to instruct ICANN staff that DCA Trust’s .Africa new gTLD application will not be approved. This had caused the non-completion of the evaluation of DCA Trust’s application; which then led DCA Trust to challenge the ICANN Board decision through a series of accountability mechanism.
DCA Trust prevailed in the Independent Review Process ("IRP") against ICANN when the Panel of jurists ruled on 9 July 2015, that ICANN violated its Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation; and therefore declared "that both the actions and inactions of the Board with respect to the application of DCA Trust relating to the .AFRICA gTLD were inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of ICANN".
As a result of the IRP declaration, the ICANN Board resolved on July 16, 2015, to reinstate DCA’s application back to the new gTLD Process to complete initial evaluation. The IRP ruling also ordered ICANN to continue to refrain from delegating the .AFRICA gTLD to ZACR.
On January 20, 2016 took ICANN to the US Court regarding the way ICANN processed the IRP which declared DCA Trust the prevailing party in July 2015. The United States District Court, Central District of California in a ruling granted DCA Trust an Interim Relief for DotConnectAfrica and ordered ICANN to hold the delegation the .AFRICA top-level domain (TLD) to ZA Central Registry (ZACR). The same court also granted a Preliminary Injunction for DotConnectAfrica on April 12, 2016.
ICANN and ZACR both contested the ruling, the court dismissed ZACR from the case leading to the filing of an interlocutory appeal that will be heard on September 19, 2016.
The court had set the scheduling for the final jury trial for the .Africa case on February 28, 2017.
- "Africa Gets Its Own Web Address with Launch of .africa". BBC. 10 March 2017.
- Writer, Staff. ".africa gTLD now open to general public - ITWeb Africa". www.itwebafrica.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- Africa in One Space
- "Continent Ready for New Internet Address Regime". allAfrica.com. March 14, 2011.
- "Announcing the Birth of the Dot.africaGeneration". allAfrica.com. March 22, 2010.
- DCA Vs ICANN IRP