Rwanda is going to be among the few countries in the world that will be offering free registration for an Internet Domain name to her citizens, The New Times has established. According to Dr. Raphael Mmasi, the Director of National Computing Centre in the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA), the Country Code Top Level Domain (CCTLD) is still managed by an individual, Fredrick Gregory, based in Belgium.

Mmasi however, disclosed that the UNDP in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) would assist the country to manage its internet resources. He further said that RITA is in its advanced stages of the re-delegation process of (.rw) domain name.

"The United Nations Development Programme's support enabled RITA to acquire the necessary equipment for managing .rw registry," Dr. Mmasi told The New Times on phone. He added that the package would among other accessories include Servers and Routers.

The domain name servers that are now running under Linux Platform (Fedora Core 5.0) have already been set up and running at RITA premises Kacyiru, he added.

Mmasi also said that in a bid to manage the new domain, RITA sent two network specialists, Issa Nkusi and Claude Hakizimana, for a two week intensive training programme at Kenya Information Centre (KENIC) in May last year in order to acquire technical skills required for managing the .rw registry.

He said the new domain name registry has been designed and configured with two uplinks connection through two different local Internet Service Providers.

To date, there are also secondary name servers in Butare town and outside Rwanda for a backup system in case of fast disaster recovery.

Dr Mmasi also disclosed that currently the registry system, mail system and website for registry are under development at RITA.

Governmental institutions will have a sub domain of, while individuals will have will stand for network infrastructure and providers and will stand for association

"Through .rw, the management of the Country Code Top Level Domain will play an important role in politics and governance, by enhancing a government's ability to provide internet security for its citizens, free and fast domain name registration, protect its borders and more efficiently, handle civil emergencies and national disasters," Dr Mmasi said.

The New Times