Leading technology brands and the largest brands in the world have began acquiring .africa.com domain names, Techloy has learnt.
Described as the ‘.COM for Africa’, the .africa.com sub domain name seeks to provide a brand new “Real Estate” on the Internet that represents the whole 54 countries of Africa in one space.
“In the first few weeks since we started offering domains, trademark and brand owners have quickly picked up their domains including twitter.africa.com, starbucks.africa.com, ibm.africa.com, evian.africa.com, standardbank.africa.com, lego.africa.com, marksandspencer.africa.com, emirates.africa.com, philips.africa.com, miele.africa.com, and the list goes on and on,” says Ope Odusan, Managing Director, Africa.com Domains in a statement.
The .africa.com domain names are available to anyone in the world — corporations, trademark owners, SMEs, online businesses, bloggers, email and domain entrepreneurs — and can be easily purchased online via its registry and accredited resellers without any documentation for about $40 USD per year (about N7,000 Naira). However, it also offers premium domain names between $200 USD and $750 USD per year.
In addition to trademark and brand owners securing their names on the .africa.com domain, a number of savvy investors have also purchased premium names such as business.africa.com, design.africa.com, capital.africa.com and many more.
“Our customers are very excited about the .africa.com domain, and we expect to be a large seller of these names into the Nigerian and Ghanaian markets,” said Oluniyi Ajao, CEO of Web4Africa, an ICANN Accredited Registrar based in Ghana in a statement made available to Techloy.
It appears that those who acquire their .africa.com domains feel the need to own a domain that associates them with all the 54 countries on the African continent. Or perhaps since they’re doing business in Africa, they wish to gain access to the rapidly growing African Internet market of over 167 million users as at June 2012, according to the Internet World Stats.
But the .africa.com domain name shouldn’t be mistaken for .africa, the proposed Internet generic top-level domain (gTLD) for Africa which reportedly could be launched in March 2014, according to ITWebAfrica, citing the ZA Central Registry (ZACR).
As global brands continue to take a slice of Africa’s Internet real estate, it remains to be seen if acquiring these Africa-styled domain extensions would have any meaningful impact on their operations in Africa or how successful the domain extensions would be globally.