Icann has won a long legal battle against DotConnect Africa Trust over appointing ZA Central Registry as the registrar for the domain

Internet web. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Internet web. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Companies and individuals will soon apply for websites ending .Africa after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) won a long legal battle against DotConnect Africa Trust (DCA).

Icann, an international body that oversees domain names, has been prevented from appointing ZA Central Registry (ZACR) as the registrar for the .Africa domain name, after DCA challenged its decision in a US court.

ZACR is a nonprofit organisation that is responsible for the approval of South African internet domain names. It administers domain names such as .co.za and .org.za. DCA Trust is also an independent and nonprofit organisation, with offices in five countries, including Kenya and the UK.

DCA Trust made a series of accusations against Icann for the manner in which it handled its application to administer the .Africa domain name. DCA Trust, among other things, said Icann conspired with the African Union Commission and ZACR to "defraud" DCA Trust of a "fair" evaluation process.

ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela said: ". Africa will soon be open for business."

ZACR plans to open the first phase of applications in April. This is targeted at intellectual property rights holders, among others. Applications for general applications will commence in July.

"The imminent commercial launch of .Africa means that Africans will soon be able to showcase their pride and identification with the African continent," said Masilela.

 

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