Mali has become the first African nation to offer free Internet domains, joining just a handful of nations across the world. The move to provide free domains has been explained as an effort to encourage the use and development of Mali’s IT industry, and to demonstrate the technological opportunities that the small landlocked African nation has to offer.
“We are proud to be the first African nation to give domain names for free” says Moussa Dolo, general manager of Mali’s AGETIC. “By providing free domain names to Internet users worldwide, we will put Mali back on the map. We wish to show the rest of the world the fantastic opportunities our country has to offer.”
Freedom Registry, who will maintain the .ML extension, explains the economic advantages of providing a free domain as follows: “In the past, countries needed to invest heavily in equipment to increase their Internet traffic, but now it all exists in the cloud – so it’s a service that we can provide for them at no charge in Mali. It’s a win-win situation where everyone in Mali will get their domain name for free, internationally people can register domains in Mali for free, and Mali doesn’t have to invest but can still get a lot of international business.”
The domains using the .ML extension will be available to users in both Mali and abroad from July 15th on a ‘first-come first-served basis’, and will operate identically to other extensions such as .com and .net. Renewal of the domain at a later date will also be free.
For more details on the free .ML launch and how to register, visit www.dot.ml.