Africa suffers 'web colonialism'

2009-10-29 14:17

kalahari.com

  • Awesome South Africa
    The best, greatest, craziest, biggest, and funniest - Awesome South Africa will intrigue you, make... Was R264.00 Now R245.00
    buy now
Johannesburg - African country domain names are not growing into a strong force because of a lack of government support that has resulted in a sort of "Internet Colonialism" being practised.

Vika Mpisane, General Manager of .za Domain Name Authority and Chairperson of African Top Level Domain, said on Thursday there are fewer than one million African country domain name registrations.

But this figure must be seen in the overall context because, Mpisane observes, many millions of registrations are on non-African domains, such as .com, and .net.
   
"Had African businesses registered under their countries' domains, then a far different picture would have emerged."

Mpisane says the main reason for African businesses registering outside African domains is the ongoing challenge of local ICT infrastructure in Africa.

Clear government support needed


For a country domain to work, it is not enough to have the local internet industry to support it, but one should have clear government support and investment as well. "It is because of the lack of government support that a substantial number of African domains are not growing," he said.

He notes that an embarrassing facet is that some African domains are not even operated by local entities. There is still the problem - one can call it "internet colonialism" - where a person in Europe, America or elsewhere runs the domain of an African country.

The irony is that these people do not even stay in that country, are not citizens and are not accountable to that country's government.

"More often than not the cause for this is that certain governments were not willing in the first place to invest in supporting their domains, which is sad because when a domain is operated outside that country, the country misses out on an opportunity to develop skills locally," said Mpisane.

'Digital divide'

   
"Not only that, but the money made out of domain name registrations goes to people outside that country. If this trend continues, then Africa might as well learn to accept the digital divide.

"Africa needs to build its local e-commerce and develop the much-needed ICT skills. If a government does not take a leadership role and mobilise local internet community, it might as well accept that it is, and will remain, an internet colony and its master is likely somebody outside its borders."  
   
He added that it was of utmost importance that each country in Africa has its domain operated locally. "Experience in locally operated domains such as .za has shown that the country domain is an important enabler in getting more businesses and individuals to have their own websites ending with their country's domain, and also to boost local e-commerce."

In South Africa, .za continues to grow steadily and the growth is largely because the administrators of .za domains, such as co.za, org.za and gov.za are local entities. They have a better control over prices and this allows them to offer affordable registration fees.
 
Read more on:    south africa  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Telesales (EE with a Disability)

Cape Town
Standing Tall: Recruitment And Advisory a division of Purple Cow Adventures
R8 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Customer Service Hosts

Parow
O'Brien Recruitment
R12 000 - R12 500 Per Month

Temporary Lab Assistant

Parow
Capital Outsourcing Group Bellville

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.