.africa applications begin - TechCentral

.africa applications begin

From Tuesday, 4 April, trademark owners will be able to secure .africa domain names matching their registered trademarks. This is before the new generic top-level domain is opened to the public in July.

ZA Central Registry CEO Lucky Masilela said this “sunrise period” will run for 60 days. Those with registered trademarks and unregistered but validated trademarks will be able to secure .africa domains.

“During ‘sunrise’, brand owners across Africa will be encouraged to apply for .africa domain names that match their registered or validated intellectual property,” Masilela said in a statement.

“To ensure responsible growth, the .africa registry will place special emphasis on securing the rights of intellectual property owners, Internet users and the broader African community during the sunrise period and beyond,” he said.

Brand owners should extend their presence into the .africa generic top-level domain from this week to ensure that they secure their chosen brand as a workable domain name, said Masilela.

After a lengthy legal dispute, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers approved the launch plan and dates. Icann earlier delegated the rights to administer the new domain to the ZA Central Registry. Delegation means .africa names can be published on the Web. The corporation’s approval of the launch plan triggered a final countdown process starting on 4 April leading to general availability on 4 July, when the public can apply for access.

According to law firm Webber Wentzel, the three launch phases to be followed are:

Sunrise period 4 April to 2 June
During this period, trademark owners can secure domain names matching their registered trademarks before .africa is made available to the public. A Trade Mark Clearing House must first validate the registered trademarks. Alternatively, and specifically for the .africa top-level domain, a Mark Validation System will be used to validate trademarks which are not yet registered, company names, trust names and common law trademarks (as well as registered trademarks for trademark proprietors who do not wish to validate through the clearing house).

Landrush period Phase 1 = 5 June to 9 June; phase 2 = 12 June to 16 June; phase 3 = 19 June – 23 June; phase 4 = 26 June – 30 June
This registration is open to everyone around the world without any restriction, but the registration is sold at a higher price than the regular price.

General Availability 4 July
Registration will open to the general public and works on a “first come, first served” basis.  — © 2017 NewsCentral Media


  1. Good luck trying to find a local registrar that can participate. Despite being told that all ZACR Registrars are invited to participate within the Sunrise and Landrush period, ICANN has apparently issued ZACR with a new policy surrounding the availability of these gTLD’s that prevents ZACR Accredited Registrars from participating, and in addition ZACR is not yet geared to provide their Registrars with the technology for them to interact via the existing EPP Proxy system.

    Time will tell if this is considered unlawful competition and fair trade practices.

  2. I believe that there are three local ZA Registrars who are also ICANN Accredited Registrars who I understand can participate in Sunrise and Landrush. For Sunrise, anyone should be able to apply via the local MVS (Mark Validation System) for a SMD (Signed Mark Data) token. (I got one for myself!) See http://dotafrica.org/en/home/
    Give the SMD to an ICANN accredited Registrar who is participating in Sunrise and expect to pay $300 or more and do so a reasonable time before Sunrise ends.
    Or perhaps contact a local IP firm? Webber, Adams – etc.

    The ZACR Proxy should be open to the rest of us local registrars (who can already do the ZA Cities) from the 4th of July – first come, first served.

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