Africa: Less Than 1 Million Country Domain Sites, says new survey

Internet

A country domain is an Internet 'top level' code assigned to a country, for example .za (South Africa), .uk (United Kingdom), .de (Germany), .fr (France) and .zw (Zimbabwe). ZADNA is the Department of Communications-funded agency in charge of managing SA's internet .za space.

The .ZADNA report also found that most South African businesses and people (83%) prefer to use .za ahead of .com (15%). However, more than half of Africa's one million country domain websites registrations are in South Africa, according to the survey, which means 535,711.za domains are registered, 16,000 (3%of all South African sites) of which are .org.za websites.

"These 535,711 are what we call active websites because we do delete a couple of websites each month due to non-renewal," Mpisane said. There are roughly 90,000 (17%) websites  registered in South Africa under the .com domain.

Mpisane said: "The research results are very important as they provide answers to most of the questions we and our stakeholders had about improving the .za space. These answers clarify what interventions .ZADNA or its stakeholders need to make to improve our Internet space."

Registering one .za website costs about R50, and a .com website costs roughly US$7.
"When someone registers a country domain (.za) website, the money stays in SA, while a .com website registration fee leaves the country," Mpisane said, pleading with South Africans to register country domain websites to support the .za space.

Furthermore, most businesses interviewed (58%) prefer registering their products and brand names across multiple domain names to counter the ever-increasing instances of trademark abuse, Mpisane revealed.

Internet name-tampering ('squatting') has become a new trend and a lucrative business in the current Internet space, where the number of registered websites worldwide now stands at 192 million, 85 million of which are .com websites. Mpisane advised businesses to check time and time again with their ISPs if their domain name has been tampered with.