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ICT4D Week 2018

Thursday, February 28, 2019

7yr on: Only 11 ICANN accredited Registrars are from Africa - ITREALMS

For the past seven years, only 11 accredited Registrars of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are from the African region, reports ITREALMS.

Investigations by ITREALMS showed that Upperlink Limited is the only ICANN accredited registrar from Nigeria, likewise Burundi, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia have one each.

South Africa is leading with four ICANN accredited registrars, followed by Morocco with two, according to the African Domain Name System (DNS) market study conducted by ICANN in 2017.

A copy of the study available to ITREALMS, indicated that compared to other regions, Africa has a very small number of registrars accredited by ICANN, under its 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), which is the most current contract governing the registrar relationship with ICANN.

ITREALMS reports that those currently accredited by ICANN in Africa are namely, AFRIREGISTER S.A.; Arcanes Technologies; ATI; Diamatrix C.C.; Domain Name Services (Pty) Ltd; Genious Communications SARL/AU ; Ghana Dot Com Ltd; Internet Solutions (Pty) Ltd; Kheweul.com SA; Upperlink Limited; and Web4Africa Inc. 

However, ITREALMS  gathered that there are some inhibiting factors militating against the African potential ICANN registrars, including the laws and practices inhibiting freedom of expression online, which must be scrutinised as these inhibit content creation and hence demand for websites, blogs and domain names.

Rules governing who may register a domain and how to do so, ITREALMS reports, should be as simple as possible and easily available, stressing for example, that rules in place in some countries require domain names to match the business cum personal name of the entity should be removed.

Similarly, ITREALMS further gathered, that those countries requiring registrants to have a legal presence in their country should review these with the aim of removing such requirements. 

“Requirements, if any, relating to compliance prior to registration of all intellectual property rights laws should be removed and rules should rather focus on add addressing violations through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms after registration,” part of the study stated.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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