Mali has become the first African nation to give its domains for free. Presenting at the ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, the Point ML Registry opened up its website to allow registrants worldwide to register a free .ML domain name. Point ML – the Mali domain name – is operated by the Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC) as a generic, unrestricted, clean and global TLD focusing on individuals and businesses in- and outside Mali.
Free domain names are offered to all internet users in both Mali and other countries. Registrants in Mali got a headstart last week, on Thursday, when the Minister of Post and New Technologies registered the first free .ML domain name in front of a large audience and with big applause in Bamako. There are no restrictions to registrations of free domains and anyone can claim their own .ML domain. Free .ML domains work exactly like any other domain name extension and can be renewed indefinitely at no charge.
The general availability of free domain name registrations was preceded by a Sunrise and Landrush period which aimed to protect trademark holders worldwide by offering them a priority registration system. Many large corporations from all over the world took the opportunity to register their trademarks in the .ML extension and the pre-launch was deemed a real success for the Registry.
“Providing free domain names to our own community and to internet users worldwide is a great opportunity for Mali. We are proud to be the first African nation to give domain names for free.”, says Hawa Diakité, Chef du Service de Gestion du .ML at AGETIC. “We believe that providing free domain names to our internet population will greatly improve the usage and the knowledge of the IT industry in our country.”
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