With the COVID-19 pandemic driving online presence, more Rwandan businesses and brands are adopting .RW as their domain of choice, following efforts in recent years to encourage more people to warm up to RW as the preferred country level domain for Rwanda.
Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) this week launched the second phase of “Zamuka na AkadomoRW” campaign, which is aimed at creating awareness on the benefits of .RW for local enterprises or individual brands.
The campaign, which was launched at the beginning of the year, is supported by the Ministry of ICT & Innovation, the Private Sector Foundation (PSF) and other partners as part of efforts of the Government of Rwanda to ramp up the digital economy.
The drive which comes with two exciting packages seeks to encourage business entities, organizations and individuals in Rwanda to acquire the.RW domain name as a way of protecting and securing their brands.
RICTA, which registers and manages the .RW country code top level domain and the Rwanda Internet Exchange point, renewed the campaign dubbed “Zamuka na AkadomoRW”, which was launched in February this year, after it emerged that more and more people were interested in the .RW domain, to give their businesses identity and more visibility.
The second phase of the “Zamuka na AkadomoRW” brand protection campaign is targeting businesses, organizations and individuals with personal websites using other generic domains such as .com, .org to name a few.
Acquiring and protecting their .RW domain names will not only elevate their brands but also identify themselves with RW, which is synonymous with Rwanda, as a country.
Grace Ingabire, the CEO of RICTA said that the campaign was extended after it emerged that more people, businesses, brands and organisations were realizing the benefits of having .RW as a domain of their choice and to protect their brands from possible imitations.
“A domain name or your identity on the Internet is one of the company’s most valuable assets. You should make sure you protect it to ensure that you don’t lose it due to oversight, deception or illegal activity,”
“It’s very similar to how any asset you own is registered under a governing authority or register. Think about your car or your house; you would’ve registered it under a governing authority which records ownership, its start date, and duration,” Ingabire said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent and disrupting business and socio-economic activities, “Zamuka na AkadomoRW” provides a solution to businesses and brands which, more than ever, need to reinforce their digital presence to remain relevant.
The campaign comes after businesses and brands which adopted the .RW domain revealed an upsurge of traffic in terms of sales and website visits after switching to RW, thereby increasing their digital footprint and sales.
Over 500 people, including businesses, corporate entities, individuals and organisations acquired their website using .RW domain in the previous campaign.
Stella Tushabe, Rwanda’s leading female saxophonist, says she saw her brand grow when she moved from stellatush.com to stellatush.rw.
“I had wanted to have a .RW domain for a long time and I was so excited when RICTA reached out and offered me a fully sponsored website. It is an honour for my business to be affiliated to my home country and I believe that Rwandans can now relate more to my work, thanks to this domain.”- She says.
What is new?
Under the second phase of the campaign, RICTA and partners are offering new subscribers an opportunity to book .RW domains with two newly introduced packages that will not only protect their brands but also add value to them and reinforce identity.
Subscribers of the Brand protection will have the first six months fully sponsored and will only be billed after the initial six months elapse.
The first package (Brand Protection Package) includes a free domain, with a similar web address on RW (Free Redirection) at only Rwf 12,000 and Rwf 6000 respectively after the initial six months.
The offer targets businesses or brands that are on other domains such as .com, .net, .biz, .org, .net,. tv,. store and many others.
The second offer which is the Brand Signature Package includes ten (10) free email address and will be available for Rwf 25, 000 after the initial six months.
“We believe with these two offers, businesses, brands, individuals and organisations will have the opportunity to protect their brands, avoid scenarios where online identities are imitated or stolen and this also makes it easy for customer to find them easily online,” noted Willy Liambi, the Chief Executive Officer of Programage Ltd, one of the RICTA partners.
“Having your unique email and web domain gives your business or brand more credibility and visibility online and on search engines, and it also makes you stand out from the crowd. We encourage businesses to sign up for these discounted packages,” Liambi added.
Why Brand Protection?
As they say, your organization’s domain name is not just your identity but it also protects you from your competition and hackers, making it an important asset for your business or organisation.
Online brand protection is essential because it safeguards the integrity of your brand and protects you from cyber-squatting or domain squatting, according to Davis Mugira, the CEO of Spiderbit Ltd, a partner of RICTA.
“Cyber-squatting or domain squatting is a practice of registering a domain name that resembles a well-known organization or person without their authorization and this a growing problem of online brand abuse,”
Mugira adds that ignoring brand protection has far-reaching implications such using a domain name with ill intent to profit from a company’s brand and other threats that involve holding your business a hostage.
“My recommendation is to secure all of the common business domain names for your brand name, if possible,” he adds.
The campaign runs till the end of the year.