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Top 10 African Domain Name Systems Ranked

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Africa’s Domain Name Systems Ranked

In what can simply be described as the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book, Domain Name System (DNS) exists to maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. In other words, DNS is the Internet’s system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses.

But why is a DNS needed?

Well, its is quite clear really, without DNS, you would have to type a series of four numbers and dots into your browser to retrieve the website because although domain names are easy for people to remember, computers or machines, access websites based on IP addresses.

How does it work?

We all search the web every day using domain names as the gateway to the website of your choice, but do you know what is really happening once you have typed in the name and hit search? Once you have typed in a web address, e.g.,, your Internet Service Provider views the DNS associated with the domain name, translates it into a machine-friendly IP address (for example is the IP for and directs your Internet connection to the correct website.

How is it regulated?

The information from all the domain name servers across the Internet is gathered together and housed at the Central Registry. Host companies and Internet Service Providers interact with the Central Registry on a regular schedule to get updated DNS information.

But who is responsible for this regulation? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation. ICANN performs the actual technical maintenance work of the central Internet address pools and DNS root zone registries pursuant to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function contract.

With all this in mind, ICANN recently released a report called Africa Domain Name System Market Study Report. The report aimed to break down the DNS market in Africa. As a part of the report, ICANN ranked the DNS of all 54 African countries using a ranking system across 8 different categories:

  • Number of domains registered under the ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level-Domain)
  • Number of gTLD (Generic Top-Level-Domain) domains identified as having an African Registrant
  • Number of webpages indexed by Google
  • Price of registration
  • Number of Registrars
  • Number of locally hosted websites
  • Figure of Merit (FoM) derived from the presence of one or more functioning IXPs (Internet Exchange Point)
  • Internet usage as a percentage of the population

Here are the top 10 African Domain Name Systems Ranked:

10) Uganda:

This landlocked East African country is rated as the 10th overall DNS in Africa. This rating was secured by Uganda’s performance over the 8 categories of this ranking:

  • ccTLD Domains: 33
  • gTLD Domains: 47
  • Webpages: 50
  • Price: 41
  • Local Hosting: 40
  • Registrars: 27
  • IXPs – FoM: 49
  • Internet Penetration: 41
  • Total: 328

9) Egypt:

Situated in the North of Africa, Egypt is ranked as the 9th best DNS in Africa.  Egypt scored the following across the 8 ranking categories to secure their ranking:

  • ccTLD Domains: 38
  • gTLD Domains: 52
  • Webpages: 49
  • Price: 14
  • Local Hosting: 51
  • Registrars: 33
  • IXPs – FoM: 42
  • Internet Penetration: 42
  • Total: 330

8) Morocco: 

Morocco is a North African country bordering the Atlantic and Mediterranean sea’s and is ranked 8th overall on this list. Here is how Morocco scored across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 48
  • gTLD Domains: 50
  • Webpages: 49
  • Price: 39
  • Local Hosting: 52
  • Registrars: 41
  • IXPs – FoM: 0
  • Internet Penetration: 53
  • Total: 332

7) Algeria: 

Algeria is a North African country which is ranked as Africa’s 7th best DNS. Algeria secured this rating with following scores across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 32
  • gTLD Domains: 44
  • Webpages: 43
  • Price: 44
  • Local Hosting: 45
  • Registrars: 39
  • IXPs – FoM: 48
  • Internet Penetration: 38
  • Total: 333

6) Mauritius:

Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island nation, situated on the coastline of East Africa. The small country is ranked 6th overall on this list as it scored the following points across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 38
  • gTLD Domains: 41
  • Webpages: 47
  • Price: 26
  • Local Hosting: 43
  • Registrars IXPs – FoM: 52
  • Internet Penetration: 52
  • Total: 340

5) Tunisia:

Another North African country makes the list, with Tunisia rated as Africa’s fifth best DNS. The country got this rating with good scores across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 45
  • gTLD Domains: 46
  • Webpages: 38
  • Price: 54
  • Local Hosting: 50
  • Registrars: 36
  • IXPs – FoM: 39
  • Internet Penetration: 47
  • Total: 355

4) Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe is a landlocked situated in Southern Africa. The country is ranked fourth overall in this list of top African DNS and achieved that rating with the following scores across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 44
  • gTLD Domains: 40
  • Webpages: 53
  • Price: 37
  • Local Hosting: 49
  • Registrars: 43
  • IXPs – FoM: 44
  • Internet Penetration: 46
  • Total: 356

3) Nigeria: 

West African country, Nigeria, is ranked as the third overall country in this list. Africa’s most populated country is rated so highly due to the following performance across the 8 categories:

  • Total Domains: 46
  • Afilias Domains: 53
  • Webpages: 50
  • Price: 38
  • Local Hosting: 34
  • Registrars: 47
  • IXPs – FoM: 50
  • Internet Penetration: 49
  • Total: 367

2) Kenya:

Situated in East Africa, Kenya has the second best DNS on the continent. The country achieved this rating with the following stats across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 47
  • gTLD Domains: 51
  • Webpages: 53
  • Price: 52
  • Local Hosting: 53
  • Registrars: 53
  • IXPs – FoM: 52
  • Internet Penetration: 54
  • Total: 415

1)South Africa:

Located at the Southern tip of the continent, South Africa is the African country with the best DNS. The country achieved this rating with dominant scores across the 8 categories:

  • ccTLD Domains: 54
  • gTLD Domains: 54
  • Webpages: 54
  • Price: 53
  • Local Hosting: 54
  • Registrars: 54
  • IXPs – FoM: 54
  • Internet Penetration: 48
  • Total: 425

If one thing is evident from this list is that the African DNS system is growing at an astronomical rate and will have to continue to do so to keep up with the growing rate of mobile internet users.

By Dean Workman

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