TLD or Top Level Domain is the last section of an internet domain name, located after the last dot. Examples: .com .co.ke .coffee or the new .africa
The number of websites created by and hosted in Africa still lacks behind other regions of the world. While internet penetration keeps reaching new heights every day, we often see things from a content consumer’s perspective and not really from a content creator’s point of view.
The following data indicates that Africa is not registering as many websites as it should, the numbers are pretty insignificant compared to the rest of the world.
However, they keep rising every year.
Lets dive into the numbers and try to understand African hosting and website.
This article is based on the 2016 African Domain Name System Market Study conducted by ICANN and published on the 6th of June 2017.
For only 500 MB of monthly data, not even enough to watch a music video per day, the Alliance for Affordable Internet a4ai.org estimates that the average African has to pay over 15% of his monthly income, compared with 1% by the average European.
As of May 2017 a total of just over 3.5 million domains were active under the African ccTLDs (Country Code Top Level Domains), however the number of African ccTLD domains has increased by 21% over the period of November ‘16 to May ‘17. There are about 1.4 million gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) registered by African entities, thats approximately 1% of all registered gTLD domains, the bulk of which approximately 1.2 million .COM domains.
Research indicates that high access costs, the lack of infrastructure and the fact that African Internet access is primarily via mobile devices results in a lower demand for domain names. In most African countries, respondents to the research cite high prices and a lack of infrastructure as the biggest barrier to the development of the DNS market.
Africa accounts for 2% of IPv4 and 1% of IPv6 addresses out of the total global usage. In Africa there are some 4.4 domains / 1000 population, whereas some commentators state that 100 – 300 domains / 1000 population is the norm in Europe. For the African Registrant Market, there are 5 million African ccTLD and gTLD domains.
Domain name registration by African entities takes place mainly in countries where the local hosting industry and web development sector has developed sufficiently to create demand for local domains, mostly in South Africa, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia and Morocco. The research also confirmed zero or low levels of local hosting in a significant majority of countries in the region: 41 countries hosted over 95% of their gTLD domains outside Africa.
Rankings by Freedom House and IIAG, indicate that there seems to be a relationship, between a country’s freedom ranking and the number of domains registered. According to this, citizens of “free” countries in Africa register some 22 times as many domains as citizens in countries ranked “not free”.