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Nigeria Ranks Second As Africa Domain Name Registrations Hit 4.33million

In the latest study commissioned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in collaboration with PowerSoft Africa, Nigeria moved to second place in the Africa Domain Name Industry.

Similarly, the African country-code Top-level Domains report shows 4.33 million registrations as of November 2023 and an additional 1.4 million generic top-level domain registrations from African entities.

Covering 54 countries in Africa, the ICANN report released by the Coalition for Digital Africa at ICANN80 in Kigali, Rwanda, shows that high Internet access costs continue to limit widespread usage, with the average African spending about 4% of their monthly income on 1GB of data – twice the global affordability target.

Also, the projected average annual overall growth in the number of domain names across the continent is 12.4%, suggesting significant opportunities for local providers in individual countries.

On infrastructure, the report indicates Over 1.1 million kilometres of terrestrial and submarine fibre cables interconnect the continent, enhancing cross-border communications and internet access, and a significant concentration of web content and domain hosting remains within only a few countries, underscoring the need for more localized Internet service.

For Nigeria, the report shows that “as with South Africa and Kenya, Nigeria has multiple undersea cables. The ccTLD is well run as there are now six IXPs and multiple Data Centres.

“Nigeria’s biggest advantage is its huge population and large economy. Nigeria has the highest number of Internet users on the continent. Coming in just after Kenya on the number of ccTLD domains but ahead on gTLD domains, Nigeria also has a high score from its six IXPs.

Speaking at the report’s unveiling, Sally Costerton, ICANN’s Interim President & CEO, said that the report sheds light on the growth, challenges, and opportunities within the Domain Name System (DNS) across Africa.

Bosun Tijani, Kashifu Inuwa and Adesola Akinsanya

“Building on the initial study conducted in 2016, this study provides critical insights into how the landscape has evolved and where it is headed.

The study is an integral part of ICANN’s commitment to support the growth and development of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure, in a highly dynamic region.

It was also created in response to a request from the African community within the context of the implementation of the ICANN Africa Regional Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025”.

She said that the recommendations focus on key areas such as infrastructure development, regulatory adjustments, and capacity building, which are crucial for harnessing the full potential of the DNS industry in Africa.

According to a recent NiRA report, the .ng domain name, Nigeria’s Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD), has crossed 215,000 registrations.

Commenting on the report, Mr Adesola Akinsanya, President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), expressed delight in Nigeria’s domain name growth trajectory.
According to him, the report is a reflection of NiRA and other stakeholders’ efforts, particularly, the registrars, towards deepening the country’s DNS industry.

In his words, “The study that was done regarding the DNS industry in Africa and I am privy to the first edition in which Nigeria was not even in the top three. Today, we are number two in Africa. It shows that the efforts of NiRA, both past and present EBoD and the secretariat staff, alongside the registrars, our efforts are making an impact.

“The study also shows the commitment of the registry to making sure that the best practices in the DNS industry are followed.

“Secondly, this is a continental rating; we are not the ones praising ourselves. The message we (NiRA) have for the DNS community in Nigeria is that we do not have any other country. So .NG is our collective passport in the digital space. From businesses, web developer communities, registrars, businesses and individuals adopting.NG, we salute your efforts. We can do more because we are not the first yet. There are lots of grounds to cover. So, let’s push for more adoption of the.NG while we tackle all necessary challenges on the way”, Akinsanya said.

Murtala Abdullahi, the CEO of Smartweb Nigeria Limited, one of the NiRA registrars, said the report shows increased acceptability of the.NG brand.

He added that the country is privileged to have a huge population with a lot of individuals and businesses showing interest in the.NG domain name.

“Two years back, we had people adopting more of .com.ng, but today they are converting to. NG. We register more of the .ng than even the .com.

“So, people are now beginning to understand the value of the .ng in terms of the optimization, SEO and other things.

“Another factor is the exchange rate. So, it helps to boost the adoption of .ng, because in terms of price competitiveness, .com is around N20,000 while .ng is below N15,000.

On his part, Sir Remmy Nweke, the Lead Consulting Strategist, at DigitalSENSE Africa Media, and a leading voice in .NG advocacies said he was glad that efforts of both NiRA BOT and the EBoD are paying off, stressing the need for more vanguards for the.NG adoption in the country.

He said, “I’m excited in the sense that despite that, we’re not there yet, we’re making steady progress. So, it is a way of encouragement that the study came out positively for us. And I’m sure we will continue to collaborate to make sure that whatever is being done is on a progressive line to make sure that even if it is next year, or in the next few years that we’re going to conduct this exercise again, there must be improvements on our internet adoption, local hosting and other variables.

“In general, .ng is our brand. So, every Nigerian is expected to buy into this dream. Get at least one domain for yourself. And then when you use it, always make time to share the stories of how you are using it. If you have issues, please report back to us (NiRA) so that it will be resolved”.

According to the report, Google indexes a total of 44.3 million web pages under the .NG domain, significantly up from 16 million, in the year under review.

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