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ICANN Releases its Final Report on Africa DNS Market Study

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to announce the release of its Final Report on Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Market Study. This study serves as part of ICANN's outreach efforts to support and improve the regional DNS industry. The report is the first of its kind in the region, which includes 54 countries. It was commissioned to:

  • Highlight the strengths and weaknesses in the DNS sector in Africa,
  • Develop recommendations on how to advance the industry to better exploit the opportunities available and to address identified challenges,
  • Explore options for establishing an observatory to continuously monitor the growth, development and emerging needs of the DNS market in Africa.

The findings of the report, which will guide the next steps for capacity-building in Africa, lead to significant conclusions and recommendations highlighted below:

  • There are, as of May 2017, some 5.1 million domain names associated with Africa. The total annual value of the African Domain Name market is some $52 million.
  • Many countries could usefully remove or reduce barriers to growth of the Internet industry generally and the Domain Name market in particular.
  • There is considerable potential for growth in the Domain Name market in Africa for the foreseeable future.

On 27 June, from 15:15-16:45 at Pavillon S8, ICANN will hold a public presentation to discuss the report during ICANN's 59th Public Meeting (ICANN59), in Johannesburg. ICANN59 is also the 2nd Policy Forum, the 1st one being in Helsinki last year.

You can view and download the report here [PDF, 5.02 MB].

For more details on ICANN59, please visit:

The full schedule of ICANN59 events and meetings, where you can join remotely, is available at


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. For more information, please visit:

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."