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Breaking News: The long wait for .AFRICA is over. Welcome dotAfrica! http://nic.africa More details to follow soon.

Should you have any questions not covered below, feel free to contact us.

The onboarding process will all be performed through an online interface at the official ZACR website (https://registry.net.za/). All account management, technical integration, documentation and anything else regarding the onboarding process will be available online.
The same agreement will apply for .Joburg, .Durban and .CapeTown. A separate; yet highly similar; agreement will be provided for .Africa.
Yes. For Technical Accreditation and Transfer procedures, 2 accounts will be provided for testing per registrar.
Yes, only for registrations cancelled during the policy specified Grace Period.
All billable transactions will be on a prepaid basis. Registrars that would like to have credit extended to them may apply with the Registry.
Yes, as part of monthly billing. Historical financial documentation may be downloaded at any time by accessing the registrar online account.
The ZACR will provide all registrars with 1 associated account with the Registry. Registrars wanting to use separate accounts may do so by applying with the registry. All gTLD accounts will work on a prepaid method. Invoices will be provided weekly, at the start of the week. Costing will be made available closer to the Launch.
As it stands, the ZACR will not be charging any Accreditation Fee for ICANN registrars wanting to integrate.
The ZACR will provide numerous reports, including historical financial information, domain listings, contact listings, status of domains, previously deleted domains, etc... All the functionality will be available through the Accredited Registrar's Panel. The reports will be available for download at any time.
Materials are currently available on the Registry website here.
All domains will follow the Lifecycle described below.
  1. Registration. Domain may be deleted within the first 7 days following creation for a partial refund.
  2. Domain reaches expiration date and enters the Pending Suspension Phase. This phase lasts a total of 5 days. During the 5 days the domain name may be renewed.
  3. Domain reaches the end of the Pending Suspension Phase and enters the Pending Deletion Phase. This phase lasts a total of 5 days. During the 5 days the domain name may be renewed.
  4. Domain reaches the end of the Pending Deletion Phase and enters the Closed Redemption Phase. This phase lasts a total of 20 days. During the 20 days the domain name may be renewed at a premium and may not be deleted or transferred.
A minimum of 2 sessions will be provided per registrar account, per gTLD. This number may increase based on demand. Registrars will have to connect via SSL to the Live Environment. Registrars will have to provide their incoming IP address/range prior to having access to the Live environment.
All access control information will be duplicated from the initial server on which the registrar has gotten their technical accreditation. If a registrar already has an account with the ZACR, that information will be duplicated. Registrars may go from there to customize their access controls per server if they see fit.
The ZACR will make use of 2 in-house extensions. None of the extensions are mandatory.
  1. The first is a Cancel Pending Action extension.
    The purpose of this extension is to be able to cancel a domain that has accidentally entered the Suspension or Deletion phase.
  2. The second is an Autorenew extension.
    The purpose of this extension is to mark a domain with an Autorenew flag. Domains that have Autorenew flags set to “True” will automatically renew for an additional year upon expiration. All ZACR extensions are optional and will not be a requirement to Technical Accreditation for the gTLDs.
Yes. The ZACR processes commands as and when they are received by the server. This further enhances the information available on the WHOIS system as the WHOIS performs a real-time lookup of the domain.
Yes. Understanding the need for privacy and to keep personal information personal, the ZACR will make public its Whois policy regarding privacy.
ICANN Accredited Registrars who have also been Accredited by the outlined requirements (technical) of the ZACR. The ZACR will be implementing a Proxy Registrar solution. The purpose of the proxy registrar solution is to allow registrars who are ZACR Accredited but not ICANN accredited, to be able to register domain names in the new TLDs through the sponsorship of their Proxy Registrar.
A local presence is not required.
All domains registered during Launch will have a lifespan as specified in the initial registration. Domain names registereed during General Availability will have a lifespan of 1 year prior to their need to be renewed. Renewal will be charged at the standard purchasing price and may only be performed for 1 year at a time.
No. Autorenew is an opt-in function that may be used at the discretion of the registrar.
The root zone will be published at 15 minute intervals. This number might decrease with implementation of dynamic zones.
Yes. Governments, local authorities and various other NGOs will have the opportunity to reserve names as defined in the ZACR Reserved Names Policy. Premium names may be reserved by the Registry. Pricing for reservation of names will be made public. The ZACR will make public certain categories and their reserved names.
Pricing will be made available through the ZACR website and associated TLD websites. A downloadable PDF version of the pricing will be made available for all TLDs once it is finalised.
The ZACR requires that all registered names have a minimum of 2 authoritative nameservers. The nameservers do not have to be responsive on registration of the domain. The domain will not be published until the nameservers are responsive. The ZACR does allow the usage of glue in association with nameservers. Orphan Glue Records will be checked for yearly and removed off the system. For technical purposes, the ZACR makes use of host attributes. No billing will be performed for the creation, association or amending of nameserver records.
Currently the ZACR has only implemented KeyData. DSData is being developed and will be available before launch. Version 1.1 of the DNSSEC standard will be implemented.
Contact objects must be registered with a minimum of the Internationalised version of the postal information (ASCII). The ZACR provides and encourages the population of the localised version of the postal information (UTF-8). No contact object will be transferred between registrars. Updates on contact objects can be done for all associated fields.
The ZACR only requires that the registrar keep records of the request for change from the current and new registrant, as well as the approval letter/memorandum/email from the current registrant giving permission for the change. In the event that a change of registrant is initiated through legal proceedings, the registrar must keep record of final resolution or order that stipulates the requirement and approval for a change of registrant. This is for auditing purposes. From a technical aspect, a change is registrant only requires a domain update. A change of registrant will not renew a domain nor charge the registrar.
The domains must not be used in a manner that is against the law or that could be harmful or elicit harmful actions/behavior.
All transfers will be handled as per the ICANN Inter-Registrar Transfer Procedure. If the domain expiration date may be increased by 1 year; up to a maximum of 10 years; the date will be increased and the Gaining Registrar will be billed accordingly on successful transfer.
The technical implementation differs greatly from that of the co.za EPP requirements. Due to the fundamental differences, most requests require different information and processing. For more on the Technical aspects, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask your Registrar or ISP about .africa domain registrations. You may wish to participate in Sunrise if you have any rights to the name.

Although the ZACR has signed the Registry Agreement for the operation of the .Africa TLD, the launch is delayed because of an IRP process between ICANN and another applicant for the .Africa TLD. 

Read all about the IRP process and the latest updates here.

The .africa TLD will be launched in two phases, namely:

  • Sunrise and Landrush. For the Sunrise phase, trademark & brand names will be the priority. Landrush applications are usually for premium or sought-after domain names.
  • General Availability: This is the general open registration and continuous operations phase.

If you are a trademark holder ICANN prescribes a process, which we as the Registry Operator need to follow to ensure that genuine trademarks are protected and sold to the valid entity. The trademark holder will need to register their trademarks with the ICANN Trademark Clearing House or the Mark Validation System.

A .africa domain name will cost about $18 per annum.

This annual fee excludes the fees that registrars will charge the end users, and differs from the pricing for Sunrise, Landrush and Premium names. A full pricing schedule will be made available closer to the launch of .africa

There are various protection mechanisms and policies, which the Registry Operator needs to adhere to and we are also bound by ICANN to make these policies part of our operations.

The various policies include:

  • Rights Protection Policies
  • Dispute Resolutions
  • Sunrise Policy
  • Landrush Policies, etc

See the Policy menu item above for more information.

Pre-registration .africa domain names will not be possible. Any application submitted during the dotAfrica Sunrise phase must have a corresponding validation token (SMD) in order to obtain the highest possible priority allocation.

If an applicant wants to secure the best possible claim to a domain name application during the launch, it must be associated with a pre-validated trade mark in either the TMCH or MVS. Without this a claim to the corresponding domain name is relegated to lesser priority status. The official way in which you can best secure your rights to a name in the new .africa namespace would be through the pre-validation of a registered mark.

See the MVS at www.markvalidation.com for more information.

For more detailed information on the launch program with the anticipated timelines, click here. If you have any rights to the .africa domain/s name you want, you should apply during Sunrise.

dotAfrica is the new Top Level Domain (TLD) for the African continent: It is an African initiative created by Africans for Africans and the worldwide audience of companies, organisations and individuals interested in, associated with and connected with the African community and markets.

The dotAfrica initiative is fully endorsed by the African Union (AU) and has widespread support across the continent - from African governments, the business sector, civil society and the technical community. dotAfrica is led by a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee from across the continent.

Benefits of a dotAfrica TLD

  • Identify with the continent.
  • Showcase your brand and commitment to Africa's growth and development.
  • Expand your footprint and influence in the region.
  • Establish a home for Africa-specific services, products and information.
  • Acquire valuable online reale-state in a fast-growing high potential market.
  • Secure and protect your Intellectual Proerty Rights (IP).
  • Participate in Africa's online renaissance.