The Untold Story of African ccTLDs

In my Infostate of Africa graphic I tried to bring attention to one of the geekier problems facing Africa: the issue of country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLDs) and why only a fifth of African countries own and control them. For those of you who aren’t sure what this means, think .us, .uk, .nz, .jp etc. (United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Japan respectively), all those domains are owned, controlled by and managed from the countries they represent. Not the case in the majority of African countries.

In her post African TLD issue sparks heated debate, Rebecca Wanjiku explains why…

African countries struggling to take over management of their country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) should invest in servers and training engineers to operate registries before complaining, said Ann Rachel Inne, Africa region liaison at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).Some of the countries complaining about the TLD delegation process have not invested in the technology necessary to manage their own TLDs, Inne said. They lack databases showing how many domains exist under the country code, she said.

This has lead to many of Africa’s ccTLD’s to be managed and operated by foreign private companies or individuals.

Rwanda, Congo (Brazaville) and the Democratic Republic of Congo complained that their ccTLDs are operated by a Belgian living in Switzerland, and that pleas to ICANN for repatriation of the domain management have not yielded results.

The Rwanda ICT Association has been trying to redelegate management of the .rw TLD for two years, according to Pierre Claver Secyugu, a government delegate from Rwanda. “We hoped to complete the redelegation process in three months.”

Mauritius has one of the most developed ICT infrastructure in the continent, but Mohammed Asraf Ally Dulull, minister of Information and Communications Technology, said that country has yet to take management of the .mu domain from an individual operating in California with servers in different parts of the world.

Africa’s ccTLDs - .ao, .bf, .bi, .bj, .bw, .cd, .cf, .cg, .ci, .cm, .cv, .dj, .dz, .eg, .eh, .er, .et, .ga, .gh, .gm, .gn, .gq, .gw, .ke, .km, .lr, .ls, .ly, .ma, .mg, .ml, .mr, .mu, .mw, .mz, .na, .ne, .ng, .re, .rw, .sc, .sd, .sh, .sl, .sn, .so, .st, .sz, .td, .tg, .tn, .tz, .ug, .za, .zm, .zw

The map above shows the country-code top-level domains (ccTLD) of the African continent. Africa has more recognized countries than any other continent but only 10 of the ccTLDs have functional registries within the African countries they belong to. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority now allows sponsored top level domains. .ASIA is one of them. Could this pave the way for the .AFRICA sTLD?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • muti
  • StumbleUpon
About the author: Jonathan Gosier is a UI designer, software developer and writer. He currently lives in Kampala, Uganda where he incubates and invests in East African entrepreneurs as the CEO of Appfrica Labs. He's also a TED Fellow.
This entry was posted in Infographics, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.