Rwanda has made a record of having fully automated the process of registration for its country domain name (dotRw) – becoming the sixth country in Africa to do so.
Effective this year, Rwandans seeking registration of the .RW – the country’s domain, will no longer spend money to go to the local dealers to get a domain name, but do it on their smart devices and pay for the service using credit cards and mobile money.
“Today all .RW domain resellers are fully automated meaning that you can use any of the reseller’s platforms to register or renew your domain name from any device of your choice (mobile phone, laptop etc,” said Grace Ingabire, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA).
The achievement was preceded by a 2019 training workshop for 20 of 27 dot RW accredited resellers.
The training was conducted with the assistance from Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AFTLD) – an association of country code Top Level Domain registry (ccTLD) managers in Africa.
Other countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria and Tanzania have managed to automate their domain name services.
Ingabire said that having the .RW country’s top-level domain being automated, improves service processes, connect to customers 24/7 and eases clients’ lives.
“This is something that we have pushed to happen in a year, while other countries take them more years to achieve,” Ingabire said.
RICTA is a non-profit organization that manages the .RW – the country’s top-level domain and gives accreditation to resellers to sell the domain names on their behalf.
The automation of RW services will benefit some of the resellers in many ways, according to Megabit Ltd, one of the RW resellers.
“It has eased our work since the clients do everything for themselves, we have gained more clients and this has increased the value of my business,” said Didier Serge Dushime, an Rw reseller at Megabit Ltd.
Automation of RW services is joining other existing online services like Irembo – an e-platform that provides government services.
“Yes, it’s true I was able to register my .RW domain online (stesgroup.rw) and I can even make changes without looking for my reseller as I now have full ownership,” said Kevin Kabera, the Director of STES Group – a local Seed Technology Engineering and Science company.
The AFTLD Secretariat officials said that they will continue partnering with RICTA and its stakeholders to ensure the internet community in Rwanda leverages on its country code top-level domain registry.
“We believe this process will result in rapid growth of the dot RW ccTLD Registry as has been the case in other countries that have embraced full automation,” said Barrack Otieno, AFTLD General Manager in a statement sent to KTPress.
After winning a court case to retain authority over the country code Top Level Domain name, Rwanda started a campaign in 2019, to push for its uptake and subsequent phasing out of local businesses that use the dotcom domain name.
Statistics show that since 2012, when Rwanda managed to regain the ownership of the dot RW domain from a Swiss company (NIC Congo – Interpoint) that owned the name for decades, Rwandans owning the dot Rw domains moved from 1169 domain names to over 4,390 on top of about 4,000 generic top level domains in the country as of 2019.