ICANN Releases the 2023 Africa Domain Name Industry Study.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is happy to announce the publication of the 2023 Africa Domain Name Industry Study. This report, commissioned by ICANN and conducted by PowerSoft Africa, in collaboration with the Coalition for Digital Africa, provides a comprehensive analysis of the Domain Name System (DNS) landscape across the continent. It marks significant advancements since the initial 2016 study and aims to inform future growth and development in the region.

The study explores the rapid growth and evolution of the DNS sector in Africa, providing a crucial snapshot of infrastructure development, digital divide issues, and domain name registration growth. As of November 2023, the continent has seen a significant increase to over 4.33 million domains registered under African country code top-level domains, with an additional 1.4 million generic top-level domain registrations from African entities.

Key findings highlight major infrastructure advancements, with more than 1.1 million kilometers of terrestrial and submarine fiber cables now spanning the continent, enhancing cross-border communication and Internet access. However, despite these strides, high Internet access costs continue to pose a significant barrier, with the average African spending about 4 percent of their monthly income on just 1 GB of data – twice the global affordability target.

The study also introduces a Trial Observatory to continuously monitor the status and growth of the DNS industry in Africa. This tool is designed to gather comprehensive data on DNS registrations and infrastructure development. It aims to provide evidence-based insights that help inform policy decisions, enhance stakeholder collaboration across governments, businesses, and civil society, and develop strategies for sustainable sector growth.

ICANN, through various initiatives under the Coalition for Digital Africa, continues to support the enhancement of the digital landscape in Africa. The study’s outcomes are aimed at fostering an environment that supports digital inclusivity and robust growth of the DNS industry. The recommendations focus on strengthening regional Internet infrastructure, enhancing Internet service demand through the protection of online rights, simplifying the domain registration and payment processes, and promoting local content in African languages.

We invite all stakeholders, including policymakers, industry leaders, civil society, and digital innovators, to engage with the findings of this comprehensive study to further drive digital advancement across the continent. This research not only offers a detailed look at the current state but also serves as a call to action to leverage opportunities, highlight the region’s digital growth potential, and address the challenges within Africa’s digital ecosystem.

For more details, read the full report. ICANN’s Africa Stakeholder Engagement team will present the study at ICANN80 during the Africa Space session on Wednesday, 12 June, at 13:30–15:00 UTC.

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