Only 1% of gTLD domains are registered by Africans, says ICANN study

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has published its final Report on Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Market Study. In the field of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), the study shows that there is a low demand for domain names in Africa (lower than in other regions), with only approximately 1% of gTLD domains being registered by Africans (1.4 million domain names in total, most of them being .com domains). The identified reasons for this low demand include high access costs, the lack of infrastructure, and the fact that African Internet access is primarily via mobile devices. When it comes to country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), there were 2.9 million ccTLD domain names registered in November 2016, and 51 functioning ccTLD registries across the continent. There are only 11 ICANN accredited registrars in Africa. The study also includes several recommendations aimed at advancing the DNS industry in Africa; these cover areas such as availability of infrastructure, digital awareness among individuals and communities, and enabling policies and regulations.