African nation shakes up Malaysian website industry with free domains
BAMAKO, Mali - Wednesday, February 18th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE) - Mali, one of the largest countries in West Africa, has introduced the .ML domain name registry today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as a new Malaysian domain extension. AGETIC, the governmental agency responsible for Mali's public infrastructure, is using new technologies to offer domain name registrations to all individuals and businesses in Malaysia at no cost.
"We have introduced a new .ML domain platform to internet users in Mali two years ago. With the introduction of free internet domain names and a modern platform, we instantly became the fastest growing country code top level domain in Africa.", says Mr. Moussa Dolo, the Managing Director of AGETIC. "Over the last year we have seen a large increase of registrations from Malaysian users. We did our research and found out that the ML extension is popular in Malaysia, as it is an abbreviation of the country name. That is why we decided to create a special registration offering for the Malaysian market."
Every nation in the world receives a two letter abbreviation from the International Standard Organization (ISO), and in that process the ML code was associated with Mali. Malaysia's historical MY domain name is found to be hard to register. Registration is expensive, requires paperwork and has bureaucratic rules preventing Malaysian individuals and businesses to register MY domains quickly. With the introduction of .ML as the free new MaLaysian domain, AGETIC offers a solution that addresses the demand for domains for the 20 million internet users in Malaysia.
The introduction of ML in Malaysia comes directly after the ICANN conference in Singapore last week. During this meeting of the international internet governance body, African participation in the international internet community was high on the agenda. With the introduction of ML domains in Malaysia, Mali is the first African country that looks abroad for domain name distribution.
The French speaking internet community that was present at ICANN Singapore discussing domain names told Mali to first look to France and other French speaking nations to help Mali with domain name development. "Mali is a sovereign nation and we are leveraging our European and Asian partnerships to gain quicker access to the global market", says Hawa Diakité, manager of the .ML top level domain. "This will help us grow.ML and will bring free and easily accessible domains to other nations where the demand is high. Domains are in unlimited supply and as long as the internet users find a meaning or a use for them, there are no reasons to limit them to one market only. This is a perfect example of south-south cooperation."
AGETIC, the governmental organization that runs the IT infrastructure in Mali, formed a public private partnership with Freenom, a company based in the Netherlands, to make this expansion possible. Freenom is responsible for providing domain name registration services and infrastructure to Mali. Freenom has worked closely with AGETIC for the new release of the platform, Freenom Hippo, that has been launched during the ICANN Singapore meeting.
"We have learned a lot from each other during the development and release of the new platform.", says Ismael Hairara, Technical Manager of Systems and Security at AGETIC. "The system works in such a way that new .ML domain names are instantly registered and made available throughout the world. Registrars can use the API to connect to the platform. There are also several modules available to connect hosting providers more easily to Dot ML."
AGETIC is looking further to utilize their ML domain extension. "We are having internal discussions about what will come next. The ML abbreviation has a special meaning for a lot of different communities throughout the world", Mr. Dolo continues. "We started now in Malaysia and if our launch is successful we definitely will continue to grow further internationally helping internet users worldwide. Manila and Milan are already on our radar screen."
About AGETIC: AGETIC, Agence des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, is the organisation responsible for the governmental intranet in Mali. The headquarters are based in Bamako, the capital of Mali.
Mrs. Doumbia Néné Koné
Phone: +223 2029 5418