South Africa has the leading domain name market in Africa, surpassing 1.2 million registrations of names ending in .za, across all the second level domains (SLDs).
This is according to ZA Central Registry (ZACR), the register and administrator of SA’s presence on the Web.
SA’s Internet namespace, which includes co.za, web.za, net.za and org.za, has reached a milestone in a country of 57 million people, compared to counterparts which may have a higher population, says ZACR.
By way of comparison, Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people, has notched up 128,078 registrations within its .ng country code domain name.
But the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, (NiRA} described its current level registration as encouraging. It said the monthly rate of growth of the domain name registrations is encouraging. In August 2018, there were 5,161 newly registered domain names as against the 4,274 registrations done at the same time in 2017.
Altogether, there were 105,508 active domain names at the third level and another 20,306 active domain names at the second level, making a total of 125,814 active domains altogether.
However, the October report gave the current active domain name figure to be 128,078, an indication that there is a steady growth in domain name registration in Nigeria.
Several factors have been attributed to be responsible for the low figure of domain name registrations.
The NiRA President, Mr. Sunday Folayan had several forum drew attention to the absence of infrastructure to ensure broadband penetration to all nooks and crannies of the country.
Besides, the lack of knowledge of website impact, which he said NIRA has been championing, there is also the price for internet access.
Inadequate knowledge about the internet is another challenge and, according to Uduma, not many Nigerians are aware of the business benefits associated with the .ng domain name
“SA’s SLDs, with its impressive 1.2 million total registrations, has cemented .ZA’s standing as one of the world’s most popular namespaces and successfully capped ZACR’s third decade serving the South African and global Internet consumer,” says ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela.
The ZACR is the central registry responsible for the technical wellbeing of SA’s presence on the Web. As the government-appointed industry regulator, the company says it has created a local Domain Name System industry that is the envy of much of the world.
It has also registered three SA cities’ geographic top level domains: .joburg, .capetown and .durban.
Masilela attributes the success of co.za to the globally-proven “Triple R” model adopted in 2010, which is based on the separation of functions and responsibilities by the regulator, registry operator and registrar.
“Our current model is the reason SA boasts the highest number of Africa’s domain name registrations, coupled with our intention to keep the domain costs as low as possible on the continent.”
The highly-effective central registry model championed by the late communications minister, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, has emerged as a local centre of excellence of which all South Africans can be proud, notes Masilela.
More than 500 local registrars are responsible for registering domains on behalf of individual Internet users as well as organisations around the world.
“Every leading local brand has to register a co.za domain name or risk losing valuable IP and cyber real estate to competitors, speculators or worse.”
Last year, ZACR was awarded the rights to administer the entire African continent’s presence on the Web in the form of .africa.
According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the total annual value of the African domain name market is $52 million.