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New dawn breaks for dotAfrica trademark

New dawn breaks for dotAfrica trademark

Great interest in dotAfrica (.africa) by trademark owners has seen the geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) score within the top ten globally for the largest number of domain name reservations during the Sunrise Phase of the new gTLD's launch process.

According to the domain's administrator ZA Central Registry (ZACR), in total, .africa recorded 981 registrations by trademark owners over the 60 days from 4 April 2017, placing it firmly within the top 10.

"The long journey to delegate the rights to administer .africa to the ZACR has clearly created a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for Africa's new home on the web," said Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.

He added: "All good things come to those who wait, Africans have certainly waited, and it's been worth the wait."

The gTLD enjoys the support of the African Union Commission (AUC) and an overwhelming majority of African governments, the ZACR has stated.

ZACR monitored and measured the number of intellectual property owners that submitted marks through the global Trade Mark Clearing House (TMCH) and ZACR's own Mark Validation System (MVS) to ensure protection of priority rights as far as is reasonably possible before .africa is launched to the general public on 4 July 2017.

The .africa Sunrise Period prioritised the securing of valuable brand names in the form of registered trademarks. During Sunrise, brand owners across Africa were encouraged to apply for .africa domain names matching their registered or validated intellectual property.

Masilela thanked ZACR's accredited registrars for their steadfast commitment to .africa. "Their support has been invaluable in providing trademark holders with the opportunity to secure relevant domain names that are associated with their marks."

"The new .africa gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market. It also enables individuals and organisations to showcase their brands while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services," reads the statement by ZACR.

The .africa domain is now at the tail end of the second Landrush Phase, meaning .africa registrations are now open to everyone around the world, without any restriction.

The administrator recently announced that a second phase of the .africa Pioneer Programme will run until 23 June, allowing for more applications for preferred access to the approved .africa domains.

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