Second Level Domain Launch in Kenya

The Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) shall launch the Second Level Domain (SLD) in Kenya on 23rd July, 2017.

According to the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) Kenya comes second after South Africa in the most successful African countries for registration of web addresses. Kenya is however the first to introduce the SLD.

The registration process for SLD will be rolled out in the following phases: –

  1. Sunrise Period

During this period, the Registry shall offer a timeframe of approximately ninety (90) days within which Trade mark holders (whose trade marks have been registered under the Trade Marks Act (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya), and existing domain name holders may pre-register the same name or a name similar to their trade marks or domain name(s) in order to avoid cybersquatting. This phase shall starts from 23rd July 2017 to 22nd October 2017.

Applications for Domain Name Registrations received during this period shall be evaluated during the subsequent Cooling-off period and Domain Names will then be allocated to eligible Applicants.

Applications made during the Sunrise period will prevail over those made during the Landrush period.

  1. Landrush Period

This is the period during which domain names are available for registration to a closed group of entities that do not own trade marks in the name they wish to register.

The Registry shall offer a timeframe of approximately thirty (30) days for this phase starting on 23rd October 2017 to 22nd November 2017.

In the event that multiple applications for an identical Domain Name are received during this phase the selection criteria described below applies;

  • At the end of the Landrush period, applied-for Second Level Domain Names with a single eligible Applicant will be allocated to such Applicant.
  • Domain Names with more than one eligible Applicant will proceed to an auction conducted by the Registry between the competing Applicants and awarded to the highest bidder. However, there is no obligation to participate in an auction and where such happens, the Domain Name will be allocated to the remaining or prevailing applicant.

Further, where no eligible applications for a Domain Name have been received during the first phase (Sunrise period) and multiple eligible applications were received during the second phase (Landrush period), the Applicant or Applicants with a trade mark registered under Trade Marks Act (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya shall prevail.

  1. Cooling-Off period

This is the phase where the Registry assesses whether applications meet the eligibility criterion.

Where an application had not fulfilled the criterion and had not been rejected at an earlier stage it shall be rejected at this phase.

  1. General availability

This phase shall be approximately one hundred and fifty (150) days after the launch of SLDs. Domains shall be availed on the Applicant’s on a first come first served basis.

Further, KeNIC has an Alternate Domain Dispute Resolution Policy that is designed to help the Registrars and Registrants settle disputes regarding any .KE Domains.

Information or details on the process of dispute resolution can be found in the link provided below;

The KeNIC Board approved the following recommended retail prices to apply in Second Level Domain registration phases: –

  1. Sunrise KES 10,000 (approximately US$ 100),
  2. Landrush KES 9,000 (approximately US$ 90),
  3. General Availability KES 8,000 (approximately US$ 80).

Please contact us at should you require further information.

Authors: Patricia Muthoni

                 Lorna Mbatia