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Countdown to .africa domain landrush

Countdown to .africa domain landrush

With less than 100 hours to go until the end of the .africa Sunrise Phase, .africa domain names will be up for grabs when the .africa landrush phase begins on 5 June 2017.

This is according to the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) which says that major intellectual property owners across a variety of industries have applied during the current 'sunrise phase'.

The next phase or 'landrush phase' means that trademark owners have until midnight on Friday, 02 June 2017 to secure their .africa domain names.

"Thereafter, ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR), the administrator for the .africa gTLD, will not be able to guarantee the availability of .africa domain names matching intellectual property holders' registered or validated brand names," reads a statement from ZACR.

Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR says, "The dawning of the landrush phase means .africa registration will be open to everyone around the world, without any restriction. This is a key milestone for the African and global Internet Community".

The .africa Landrush Phase means applicants that do not have prior rights to a domain name can apply to register a .africa domain that may be considered most valuable. These domains are not allocated on a first come first basis and attract a higher registration fee.

The four (4) Landrush periods will run consecutively for 5 days. Applications will be finalised at the end of each period but contested domain name strings will proceed to auction per the published auction policy, according to the ZACR.

This is the next stage in a process that kicked off when ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) approved the launch plan and dates for .africa.

At the end of March, ITWeb reported the news and added that the confirmation of dotAfrica launch dates was the culmination of a near four-year legal battle with ZACR's rival and Mauritius-based DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust.

ZACR says benefits associated with .africa for brand owners include showcasing the brand and its commitment to the continent, establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services, and expanding the brand's regional influence and "acquiring valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high potential market."

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