DotAfrica gTLD logo.png
Introduced11 February 2017[2]
1 July 2017 (public availability)
TLD typeGeneric top-level domain
Intended useSites associated with Africa, pan-Africanism, and/or the  African Union
Registration restrictionsNone specified
StructureRegistrations at second level (ie. domain.africa)
DocumentsICANN Registry Agreement; Policies
Registry websiteregistry.africa

.africa[3] 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. The .africa namespace is open to individuals, businesses and organizations around the world. The .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.[4]


.africa was launched at the African Union Commission[5] in 2017.

The .africa domain name registration[6] was made available to the public in July 2017.[7] The first large corporation to adopt the .africa domain was Absa.[8][9]

Regional support

The .africa initiative[10] is fully endorsed by the African Union Commission.[11] According to Registry Africa, 78% of African governments support the TLD.[12]


The operator of the .africa gTLD[13][14][15] is Registry Africa.[16] Sponsoring Organisation is the ZA Central Registry[2] trading as Registry.Africa.[17]

As of January 2021, there were about 28,038 registered .africa domains from 70 accredited registrars.[18]

Legal dispute

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.[citation needed]

Dispute background

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 ZA Central Registry (ZACR).

On January 20, 2016 ICANN was taken 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 to 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. Six months later, the case was moved to the Superior Court of California owing to lack of jurisdiction. Superior Court Judge Howard Halm denied the motion by Dot Connect Africa to obtain an injunction that saw the launch of the top level domain at the African Union Commission, in Addis Ababa.[19]

The final delegation of the .africa Top Level Domain went to Registry Africa Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the ZACR.[20][16]


  1. ^ ".africa Domain Frequently Asked Questions". .africa - Registry Africa. 2020-05-16. Archived from the original on 2020-05-16. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  2. ^ a b "Africa Gets Its Own Web Address with Launch of .africa". BBC. 10 March 2017.
  3. ^ ".africa Domain Name - One Continent. One Digital Identity". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  4. ^ ".africa gTLD now open to general public - ITWeb Africa". www.itwebafrica.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  5. ^ "Launch of dotAfrica | African Union". au.int. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  6. ^ "FLOODGATES OPEN FOR AFRICA'S NEW DOMAIN". dotAfrica. 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  7. ^ Eweniyi, Olanrewaju (2017-07-07). "You Will Soon Be Able To Register Your Own DotAfrica Domain Name". Konbini. Archived from the original on 2019-08-19. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  8. ^ "The Bright Continent Emerges As ABSA Champions dotAfrica". dotAfrica. 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  9. ^ bizcommunity (2018-11-02). "5 things Absa learnt when adopting the .africa domain". bizcommunity.
  10. ^ "Bid for .Africa (Dot Africa) Passes Initial Evaluation | African Union". au.int. Archived from the original on 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  11. ^ "DotAfrica (.Africa) Roadshow launches at the African Union Headquarters | African Union". au.int. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  12. ^ "African Regional Support". .africa - Registry Africa. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  13. ^ "Registry Agreement africa".
  14. ^ "IANA — .africa Domain Delegation Data". www.iana.org. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  15. ^ "IANA — .africa Domain Delegation Data".
  16. ^ a b "About dotAfrica Top Level Domain". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  17. ^ ".africa Domain Name - One Continent. One Digital Identity". dotAfrica. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  18. ^ ".africa". Registry.Africa. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  19. ^ Sunday, Frankline. "Inside Kenya-SA fight to control .Africa domain". The Standard. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  20. ^ Ajao, Oluniyi D. (2017-02-27). ".africa will soon be open for business". TECH dot AFRICA. Retrieved 2020-05-19.

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