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Logo new-03-e1566127736523
TLD typeGeneric top-level domain
Intended useAfrican and Pan African Constituency, African Union
Actual useGeneral Availability 1 July 2017
Registration restrictionsNone specified yet
StructureRegistrations at second level (ie. domain.africa)
DocumentsICANN Registry Agreement
Registry websitedotAfrica Registry

.Africa[2] 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 Registry Africa. .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.

The .Africa domain became available to the general public on 4 July 2017.[3]


.africa was launched at the African Union Commission[4] in 2017.

.africa domain name registration[5] was made available to the public in July 2017.[6] The first large corporate to adopt the .africa domain was Absa.[7][8]


The operator of the .Africa gTLD[9] is Registry Africa.[10] Sponsoring Organisation is the ZA Central Registry[1] trading as Registry.Africa.[11]

Legal dispute[edit]

The .Africa application that was submitted by DotConnectAfrica Trust is the subject of an unresolved disagreement with ICANN (DCA Trust v. 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 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.[needs update]

The court had set the scheduling for the final jury trial for the .Africa case on February 28, 2017.[needs update]


  1. ^ a b "Africa Gets Its Own Web Address with Launch of .africa". BBC. 10 March 2017.
  2. ^ ".africa Domain Name - One Continent. One Digital Identity". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  3. ^ ".africa gTLD now open to general public - ITWeb Africa". www.itwebafrica.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  4. ^ "Launch of dotAfrica | African Union". au.int. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  5. ^ "FLOODGATES OPEN FOR AFRICA'S NEW DOMAIN". dotAfrica. 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  6. ^ Eweniyi, Olanrewaju (2017-07-07). "You Will Soon Be Able To Register Your Own DotAfrica Domain Name". Konbini.
  7. ^ "The Bright Continent Emerges As ABSA Champions dotAfrica". dotAfrica. 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  8. ^ bizcommunity (2018-11-02). "5 things Absa learnt when adopting the .africa domain". bizcommunity.
  9. ^ "IANA — .africa Domain Delegation Data". www.iana.org. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  10. ^ "About dotAfrica Top Level Domain". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  11. ^ ".africa Domain Name - One Continent. One Digital Identity". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-09-26.

External links[edit]