1.1 This document describes the Government Reserved Name Policy for the dotAfrica TLD. Its objective is to promote the adoption and use of the dotAfrica TLD by African governments and recognised intergovernmental organisations by allowing such governmental authorities to protect their national interests.
1.2 This will be achieved by allowing governmental authorities to reserve names that are of significance to them and their citizens before the dotAfrica TLD is opened to general domain name registrations. The reserved names will not be available for registration by any other entity and can later be redeemed after the TLD has been launched.
2.1 Several basic principles underpin this policy.
“Accredited Registrar” means a registrar that has been accredited by ICANN and the Administrator to sponsor the registration of Domain Names in the .africa TLD.
“Administrator” means the registry operator of the dotAfrica TLD.
“Application” means an application for inclusion of a name in the RNL in terms of this policy.
“AUC” means the African Union Commission.
“Beneficiary” means the party recorded in the RNL as the ultimate registrant of a Reserved Name.
“Domain Name” means a Domain Name of the Domain Name system.
“dotAfrica” means the “.africa” TLD.
“Launch” means the date of commencement of the Sunrise Phase of the dotAfrica TLD launch.
“Governmental Authority” means African Governments, and recognised intergovernmental organisations.
“Guide” means the Government Reserved Name List Guide made available by the Administrator which sets out details of the implementation of this policy as well as interpretive guidelines.
“ICANN” means the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit public benefit corporation incorporated in the State of California, United States of America.
“IDN” means Internationalised Domain Names, which are Domain Names that contain IDNs are Internet Domain Names that contain non-ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters, and are displayed in software applications, in whole or in part, in a language-specific script or alphabet, such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Tamil or the Latin alphabet-based characters with diacritics, such as French. For example, a string in traditional Chinese commonly has an equivalent simplified Chinese. A potential example in Latin characters is encyclopædia and encyclopaedia”.
“Moderator” means the moderator appointed by the AUC to in terms of this policy.
“Pre-Sunrise” or “PSR” means the phase in the launch of the dotAfrica TLD between delegation of the TLD by ICANN to the Administrator and the Launch date.
“Redemption” means registration of Reserved Names as corresponding Domain Names under the dotAfrica TLD.
“Representative” means an individual registered to access the RNL Portal and apply to reserve names on behalf of a Governmental Authority in terms of this policy.
“Reservation Period” means the period after the Launch date for which the Reserved Name will be listed in the RNL.
“Reserved Name” means a name that has been inserted into the Government Reserved Name List.
“Review Panel” means the review panel established by the AUC in terms of this policy to review objections to the Moderator’s decisions.
“RNL” means the Government Reserved Name List, being the list of names reserved in terms of this policy.
“RNL Portal” means the Reserve Name List Portal, a website that has been created by the Administrator to facilitate the Government Reserved Name List application process.
“SMD” means Signed Mark Data.
4.1 For the purpose of the Reserved Name List and its successful operation, the Administrator has set up a Reserved Name List Portal (RNL Portal). The purpose of the RNL Portal is to:
5.1 Applications can only be made via the RNL Portal by Representatives who have been registered on the RNL portal. Representatives must be registered by Governmental Authorities prior to any Application being made.
5.2 If any stakeholder wishes to insert a name in the RNL, it must contact the Representative for its Governmental Authority who will make the Application on that stakeholder’s behalf as described in this policy (subject to approval by the Governmental Authority).
5.3 Only Governmental Authorities may register Representatives, and only one Representative may be registered per Governmental Authority.
5.4.1 Registration of Representatives follows the process as outlined by Figure 1 below.
5.4.2 The Administrator will send letters of introduction to Governmental Authorities describing the terms of this policy and inviting nomination of a Representative per Governmental Authority.
5.4.3 Each Governmental Authority should send a nomination to the Administrator including the name, email address and letter of appointment from the Governmental Authority for the person concerned, and stating that the Representative accepts the terms of this policy.
5.4.4 The Administrator must send an invitation to each nominated Representative with a link to the appropriate page on the RNL Portal.
5.4.5 The Administrator will set a deadline for nomination of Representatives, after which received submissions will be processed.
5.4.6 Representatives will register via the RNL Portal, and must provide the following information as part of the registration process:
5.4.7 The Moderator will review all registration submissions for accuracy or duplication. The Moderator has discretion whether to approve the registration of any particular Representative.
5.4.8 In the case of more than one submission from a single Governmental Authority, the Moderator will refer the matter to the Review Panel to resolve the duplication.
5.4.9 If registration is approved, a Representative account will be created on the RNL Portal, and the Representative will be notified via email to the email address provided in the registration process. The notification will include credentials (Username and Password) for the RNL Portal. A Representative must use the provided information to access the RNL Portal and reserve names.
5.4.10 Declined registrations will be notified via email to the email address provided in the registration process. The notification will include the reason for failure.
5.5.1 Representatives may change their contact details via the RNL Portal.
5.6.1 Should a Governmental Authority wish to replace its Representative for any reason, it must notify and provide the Moderator with the necessary information; the Moderator will update the Representative account accordingly.
5.7.1 In the event that the Moderator has identified a critical discrepancy with a Representative account, the Moderator reserves the right to suspend such account until further notice. The Representative will be unable to access the RNL Portal.
5.7.2 Critical discrepancies include, but are not limited to:
5.7.3 If a Governmental Authority wishes to delete its corresponding Representative account, it must notify the Moderator who will mark the account as pending deletion. The account will be deleted after the deletion period described in the Guide has lapsed.
5.7.4 If a Representative account is deleted, all pending Applications will be withdrawn and all corresponding Reserved Names will be removed from the RNL.
5.7.5 Approved Representative accounts will not expire.
5.8.1 The Guide will set out the information relating to Representatives that will be made available for public lookup. This may include personal information.
6.1.1 Governmental Authorities can apply to enter names into the Government Reserved Name List if names fall into one or more of the categories described below, and Governmental Authorities intend to make use of the names.
6.1.2 This policy is not intended for the reservation of trade marks or premium commercial names, and Governmental Authorities should wait for the Sunrise or Landrush Phases of the dotAfrica TLD should they wish to register such names.
184.108.40.206 This category will contain names of recognised geographic areas and features that are of substantial significance to Governmental Authorities, including variants and common expressions for these names.
220.127.116.11 Examples include the names of:
18.104.22.168 In applying for reservation of a geographic name, the Representative must explain the importance and significance of the name to the Governmental Authority concerned.
22.214.171.124 This category will contain religious, cultural or linguistic names that are of substantial significance and uniquely linked to Governmental Authorities, including variants and common expressions for these names.
126.96.36.199 Examples include names of:
188.8.131.52 In applying for reservation of religious, cultural or linguistic names, the Representative must explain the importance and significance of the name to the Governmental Authority concerned.
184.108.40.206 This category will contain names that are of substantial economic or public interest significance and uniquely linked to Governmental Authorities, including variants and common expressions for these names.
220.127.116.11 In applying for reservation of economic and public interest names, the Representative must explain the importance and significance of the name to the Governmental Authority concerned.
18.104.22.168 In order to establish significant economic importance the Representative must show that:
6.2.1 A name will be considered an offensive name if the name itself would inherently have the effect of advocating prejudice or hate on the basis of race, ethnicity, political association, gender, sexuality, religion, conscience, or culture; or have the effect of inciting violence or the causing of harm to any person or class of persons, whether on any of the aforementioned grounds or otherwise.
6.2.2 If the application is successful, the Administrator must indefinitely list the name in the RNL and ensure that it is blocked from registration by any party.
6.3.1 Governmental Authorities may apply to enter names in the RNL during the Pre-Sunrise phase.
6.3.2 Applications will be processed and allocated in accordance with the graph and following steps below.
22.214.171.124 Only Representatives can make Applications and must do so via the RNL Portal.
126.96.36.199 Applications must be submitted before the deadline made public by the Administrator, except for Applications for offensive names, which can be submitted at any time in respect of names that have not been registered as Domain Names. If an offensive name has already been registered as a Domain Name, a complaint can be made under the dotAfrica Dispute Resolution Policy.
188.8.131.52 The application must set out at least the following:
184.108.40.206 Representatives can withdraw Applications at any time before the corresponding names are listed in the RNL.
220.127.116.11 The Administrator will limit the number of Reserved Names that each Representative can list in the RNL, which limit may be varied at the discretion of the Administrator, and Representatives should accordingly choose their proposed names carefully. The default limit will be 100 Applications for government reserved names, and 20 Applications for offensive names.
18.104.22.168 Representatives may submit Applications for IDN names. As the dotAfrica TLD will not initially support IDN names, these Applications will not be moderated, the names will not be entered in the RNL and will not count towards any reservation limit; rather the Applications will be held in abeyance until such time as the dotAfrica TLD supports IDN names. The Applications will then be moderated in good time before the commencement of such IDN name support.
22.214.171.124 The Moderator may request a Representative to submit further particulars and / or documentary evidence in support of an Application. Any such further submission must be submitted within a period set out by the Moderator in the request, which period must be within the limits described in the Guide. Submission will be by electronic format through the RNL Portal, but the Moderator may request submission by other formats as he/she deems necessary. If the Representative fails to make the further submission within the time period stipulated in the request, the Application will lapse.
126.96.36.199 The Moderator will consider the Application and approve it if:
188.8.131.52 If more than one Application has been made for the same name by different Representatives, the Moderator must notify the Representatives of the duplication and request that they resolve the matter between them. If the Representatives are unable to reach an agreement by the Launch date, the Moderator must refer the dispute to the Review Panel for resolution, and the disputed name will be entered into the RNL with the Administrator as the Beneficiary, pending the decision of the Review Panel.
184.108.40.206 The Representative will be informed of the outcome of the Application via the RNL Portal.
220.127.116.11 All Applications will be moderated by the Launch date.
18.104.22.168 If the Application is successful, the name will be entered in the RNL as a Reserved Name.
22.214.171.124 A Reserved Name will have a default Reservation Period of 12 months after the Launch date, but the Moderator may in exceptional circumstances, based on the motivation provided, set the Reservation Period for a period of up to three years.
126.96.36.199 Offensive names and names of countries will always be reserved indefinitely.
6.4.1 Objections to decisions of the Moderator and disputes between Representatives that the moderator is unable to resolve will be referred to a Review Panel established by the AUC.
6.4.2 The Review Panel must establish rules and procedures for the submission and hearing of disputes that are consistent with the principles of natural justice.
6.4.3 Any Governmental Authority may refer an objection to the Review Panel subject to the rules and procedures described above.
6.4.4 The Review Panel must give written reasons for its decisions. The Administrator will comply with decisions of the Review Panel and amend the content of the RNL accordingly.
6.5.1 Representatives may request updates to Reserved Name records through the functionality provided in the RNL Portal. Only the Beneficiary can be changed in this way.
6.5.2 Changes must be made on the instruction of Governmental Authorities and carried out in good faith and in the interests of Beneficiaries, as the Beneficiary will be the first registrant and will assume control of the Domain Name upon Redemption.
6.5.3 The Beneficiary will be notified of the pending update and the pending update period as set out in the Guide. The update will be automatically effected after the pending update period expires.
6.5.4 The Representative may withdraw the pending update within the pending update period.
6.5.5 The Beneficiary and the Representative will be notified of the update or its withdrawal.
6.6.1 During the initial Reservation Period, if a Reserved Name has not yet been Redeemed, the Representative may request that the Reservation Period be extended. The request must be made by the Representative through the RNL Portal, and can only be granted if the Reservation Period has not yet expired.
6.6.2 The Reservation Period may only be extended once, for a period of 12 months, after which the Reserved Name will expire if not Redeemed.
6.7.1 Reserved Names will be deleted from the RNL under two circumstances: where the Reservation Period has expired, and in the case of a voluntary deletion.
188.8.131.52 If the Reservation Period of a Reserved Name expires, the Reserved Name will automatically enter the deletion process described below.
184.108.40.206 It is the responsibility of the Representative to ensure that the Beneficiary is aware of the expiration.
220.127.116.11 If a Beneficiary does not wish to Redeem a Reserved Name and the Representative does not wish to substitute another Beneficiary for that Reserved Name, then the Representative may delete the Reserved Name from the RNL.
18.104.22.168 The Representative must use the RNL Portal to request deletion of a Reserved Name and must submit written consent from the Beneficiary for such deletion. Upon such request, the Reserved Name will enter the deletion process described below.
22.214.171.124 The initiation of the deletion process will have the following consequences:
6.8.1 Beneficiaries must Redeem Reserved Names during the Reservation Period. The Administrator may suspend Redemptions for a period immediately preceding the expiry of the Reservation Period as set out in the Guide.
6.8.2 Reserved Names can only be Redeemed via an Accredited Registrar via the RNL Portal using a secure method described in the Guide.
6.8.3 Successful Redemption of a Reserved Name will result in the name being marked as “redeemed” in the RNL, and the Beneficiary of the Reserved Name will be listed as the first registrant of the Domain Name.
6.8.4 After Redemption the standard registry policies and procedures will apply to the Domain Name.
6.9.1 The Administrator is obliged by its Registry Agreement with ICANN to reserve certain names from registration or allocate them to itself, and will also reserve names for internal administrative purposes. These names will not be available for reservation in the RNL and include:
7.1 A lookup facility for the Reserve Name List will be made publicly available, subject to such protections for personal and confidential information as are required by applicable law.
7.2 The following will be available using the facility:
7.3 The dotAfrica registry’s Whois facility will also reference RNL data.
10.1 To the extent allowed under mandatory law, the Administrator will only be liable where the Administrator’s gross negligence or wilful misconduct is proven. In no event will the Administrator be held liable for any indirect, consequential or incidental damages or loss of profits, whether contractual, based on tort (including negligence) or otherwise arising, resulting from or related to reservation of a name in the RNL, registration or the use thereof or to the use of its software or website, even if it has been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages, including but not limited to decisions taken by the Administrator to reserve or not to reserve or to register or not to register a name.
10.2 To the extent allowed under mandatory law, the Administrator’s liability for damages will in any case be limited to an amount equal to the application fee paid to the Administrator (that is, the fees collected from the sponsoring registrar by the Administrator for the submission of the application for registration of the corresponding Domain Name, not including any other fees paid by the registrant for the acquisition of the domain, such as fees paid to the sponsoring registrar or auction fees) in the context of submitting the application for registration of the Reserved Name concerned as a Domain Name.
10.3 The Representative will hold the Administrator harmless from claims filed or disputes initiated by third parties, and will indemnify and compensate the Administrator for any costs or expenses incurred or damages for which it may be held liable as a result of third parties taking action against it on the grounds that the reservation of a name in the RNL, application for or the registration or use of a name as a Domain Name by the Beneficiary infringes the rights of a third party.
10.4 For the purposes of this article, the term “Administrator” also refers to its members and subcontractors, including the verification agents, and each of their respective directors, agents and employees.
11.1 The Administrator may modify this Government Reserved Name Policy from time to time, which modifications will take effect at the time they are announced on the RNL Portal and dotAfrica website.
11.2 The Administrator may issue interpretive guidelines on the RNL Portal or to Representatives regarding the provisions of this policy. The content of such guidelines will be for interpretive purposes only and will not constitute policy.
This functionality will be made available soon. Government Representatives must register first and domains must be accepted into the RNL to display data here. Please check back soon!