KeNIC CEO Abdalla Omari Answers Your Questions About Second Level .ke Domain

Abdalla Omari KeNIC CEO
Abdalla Omari KeNIC CEO

Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) recently announced that they will finally offer the .ke second level domains. That’s something many of us have been waiting for a while and wondering why it wasn’t already in use. What stopped it from being available. What does it mean for KeNIC to roll them out. These and many questions have come up as responses to that announcement, and we thought that this needed someone to answer all the questions that popped up.

After all this is our country level domain extension, something we hold with pride. We are lucky to have got the CEO himself, Abdalla Omari to answer these questions. Below is a bit about him and what he does.

Abdalla Omari is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC). He has over 15 years in Management, Leadership, finance and accounting. Abdalla Joined KeNIC in the September, 2014. When he joined KeNIC, the number of domains were around 37,000. Currently, KeNIC has an average of about 68,000 domains, which is an increase of 84% within 1 ½ years of his tenure.

He is a member of the Governance Committee of Africa Network Information Centre, AfriNIC (this is the regional Internet registry, RIR, for Africa). AfriNIC has its headquarters in Ebene City, Mauritius. Abdalla is also one of the 3 Africa representatives to the ccNSO (Country Code Name Supporting Organization) Executive Committee, known as Council Members.

The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) is a body within the ICANN structure created for and by ccTLD Managers. It is responsible for developing and recommending global policies to the ICANN Board for a limited set of issues relating to ccTLDs, such as the introduction of Internationalized Domain Name ccTLDs (IDN ccTLDs).

Abdalla also sits on the Board of African Top Level Domains Limited, AfTLD. This organization was incorporated as a Mauritius non-profit corporation. AFTLD acts as a focal point for Africa’s Country Code Top Level Domains Managers and Sponsoring Organizations.

Let’s get right to it. Ask your questions!


    • the Top Level Domain is the Dot KE. e.g .ke, .uk, .ug.

      A second level domain is the domain after the .ke. e.g

      KeNIC CEO

      • I also have this question because KeNIC doesn’t seem to follow the universal standards and thus become confusing.
        (dot ke) is a top level domain (TLD) . Just like
        (dot co dot ke) is the second level domain (SLD) .
        Difference between dot ke and dot com is that dot ke is a ccTLD

        The new dot ke domain was advertised as an SLD which caused confusion.

        If i got it wrong and the new dot ke is an SLD by some new standard, then could you pls offer and example of a ccTLD?

        • Now I think I can understand enough to explain this.

          .ke is the top level domain [kenic] in is a second level domain, and [kenic] in becomes a third level domain.

          It’s in the placement order from the top level domain which in this case is .ke

        • The top level of is .com, the top level for is .ke. This means that what comes next is the second level i.e and after that third level This is a universal standard used , if you check on .uk(nominet) their top level is .uk, an example of their second level is and they have their third level an example is This standard is the same, the difference is that ccTLDs and gTLDs operate differently.

  1. I have a question around domain pricing – doesn’t it make more sense to go for volume rather than trying to sell the value of the domain? They’ve become fairly commoditized, so in many cases, the pricing decision users have is primarily price. The nuance of the relevance of the .ke domain name is lost to the user. There was a significant uptake of KE domains after pricing was reduced, but it seems the lessons from that have been forgotten.

    • The pricing reduction action came after consultation with the registrars. The registrars were given a target to attain so that the massive price cuts could be sustained by KeNIC.
      Unfortunately, the uptake targets agreed were not met by the registrars by a big gap. This has seriously affected the income flow of KeNIC. We decided to increase the renewal amount which is still the lowest within the region for ccTLDs

      Abdalla CEO , KeNIC

      • It’s not a one year affair, it’s a longer term affair, what’s happened is that there’s no price consistency with KE domains, so guys are afraid to buy a domain at x and the renewal price goes up by y.

  2. A .ke (second level) domain is a great thing for Kenya. I’m however worried about the domain prices though. Why so much?

    • KeNIC did a research on the pricing of the 2nd level domain. The prices which have been rolled out are as per the research results. A

      By the way, the thinking with most registrars is that we have underpriced the second level domain

  3. Also, it would be great to see govt take a lead in the uptake of these domains. Are you in any negotiations with the govt regarding the same?

    • Yes, we are in talks with various government agencies on the same. So far, they are in full support of the programme.

  4. First, it’s good we have this higher level domain and there are all sorts of applications for it –,, etc

    However, there are some prerequisites that should be satisfactorily answered before one even considers buying another domain from a Kenyan registrar. As we have the CEO not a ‘representative of KeNIC’ this time, kindly read the following article:

    Then do answer the following questions, preferably in an official capacity – RE: On the record
    1. Kindly offer proof that you did not do the following (either through logs, a walkthrough, etc)
    Kindly note that we did not take the domain down at all.The domain is still active (

    2. Kindly outline what you mean by procedures. Which are they?
    We value our clients confidentiality and will not pull down a domain without following procedure. #WeDintDelete

    3. The representative further added that the website portrayed the President in a negative context, which is why it was taken down.
    KeNIC answers to a world governing body and isn’t tied to any government or regime so why would this be a reason? If tech giants like facebook and google have to buy domains and not bully people into taking them down why should domain owners be at the mercy of any government? No national security issue or criminal act – terrorism, child porn, black market drug store – was involved, just an online record of a matter that is public knowledge.

    Does this mean that if i hurt someone’s feelings KeNIC will take down my (or my clients) domains?

    4. The domains are said to be sold on a first come first serve basis, but how can that be proven to the public? If the process goes live at midnight then 10 seconds later i see half of the high level domains are unavailable –,,, etc – yet the average processing time on a KeNIC registrar like is 25 seconds to search, verify and secure a domain, how does KeNIC ensure that there is no pre-booking or pre-selling before the official window opens to the public?

    5. Why are the .ke domains said to be more expensive yet one of your aims as CEO is to increase domain registration within Kenya?

    6. Why was your najivuniakuwake campaign lacking in actual educational content – like your youtube channel? There are more people than you realize who don’t know where to get a domain let alone how to buy and configure one and kenic should have such video tutorials available on its site or youtube, instead of a video of people saying vile wanajivunia.

    • We did not take down the domain.

      This domain attracted a lot of traffic when it was reported on NTV. We advised the registrant to check with his hosting organization for any challenges at that time because on our side it had not breached any actionable regulations to warrant action.
      Another issue which is worth to note is we have an Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy(ADRP) in place for any issues which warrant redress, Those ones who have engaged with KeNIC before on disputes know that, when they are on the right, KeNIC has issued rulings to uphold those rights even when its against the Government.

  5. How does this play for:
    1. International companies/trademark owners like Nike/IBM/
    2. Owners of domains who would want to secure the new extension
    3. Is the price going to be in the current range?

    • (1) The trade marks covered are the ones registered in Kenya under the Trade Mark ACT (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya
      (2) Priority is Given to trade mark owners during Sunrise as per the above quoted ACT
      (3) The recommended Retail Prices for Second Level Dot KE are,
      – Sunrise KES: 10,000
      – Land-Rush KES: 9,000
      – General Availabilty KES: 8,000

      But remember, the prices may differ from registrar to registrar. So shop for the cheapest

    • Please refer to the circular below which was sent to all registrars. It will answer most of your questions,

      Dear Registrars,

      Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) will be rolling out the Second Level domain (SLD) from 23rd July, 2017. Registrars are requested to familiarize themselves with the dynamics around The Second Level Domain between now and the roll out date.

      The registration process for Second Level Domain will be rolled out in the following phases: –

      1. Sunrise Period
      2. Land rush Period
      3. Cooling period
      4. General availability

      Sunrise period

      The Registry will offer an approximately Ninety (90) days sunrise period for Trademark holders whose trademarks have been registered under the Trade Marks ACT (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya, to register Domain Names similar to their trademarks.

      Applications for Domain Name Registrations received during the Sunrise period will be evaluated during the subsequent Cooling-off period and Domain Names will then be allocated to eligible Applicants based on the criteria contained in the Second Level Dot KE Domain (SLD) Policy. This Policy can be accessed from KeNIC’s website.

      Land-rush Period.

      The Registry will offer approximately Thirty (30) days Land Rush period
      In the event that multiple applications for an identical Domain Name are received during the Land-rush Period, the selection criteria described below applies.
      At the end of the Land-rush Period, applied-for SLD 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.

      Cooling-Off period

      The Registry will offer an approximately Thirty (30) days Cooling-off period immediately after the Sunrise and Land-rush Periods.
      The Registry will assess whether the applications meet the eligibility criteria for the respective phases. Applications not fulfilling the criteria and were not rejected at an earlier stage will be rejected.

      Eligible applications will be evaluated and prioritized according to the following principles before Domain Names are allocated:
      • Sunrise applications prevail over Land-rush applications.
      • Land-rush applications with multiple eligible applications are resolved by means of an auction. There is no obligation to participate in an auction. The Domain Name will be allocated to the remaining or prevailing Applicant.
      Where no eligible applications for a Domain Name have been received during the Sunrise Period and multiple eligible applications were received during the Land-rush Period, the Applicant or Applicants with a trade mark registered under Trade Marks ACT (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya shall prevail.

      General availability period

      Approximately One Hundred and Fifty (150) days after the launch of SLDs, Domains shall be available on a first come first served basis.

      Any dispute with regard to a domain name shall be referred to mediation under the ADRP. The regulating document for the above explained process is The Second Level Dot KE Policy document. (Please find it on

      1. Sunrise Period Starts from 23rd July 2017 for three (3) months till 22nd October 2017

      2. Land-rush period starts one (1) month after Sunrise period that is on: – 23rd October 2017 to 22nd November 2017

      3. General Availability starts after Cooling period that is one hundred and fifty (150) days after the launch of Second Level Domain

      Your account managers will be visiting you for further discussion. Thank you for your continued support.

      Yours Faithfully,
      For: KENIC

      Abdalla Omari

  6. What has stopped KENIC from working with the company registrar’s office at Huduma points to market and/or ensure a dot.KE domain name is mandatory on registration? (20 marks)

    • Tanzania did something like this. They require all companies operating within its borders to have a domain

    • This is dictatorial. Localized domains give the impression of a localized business so it’s not in the best interests of everyone to have their business read yet they wish to operate Globally.

      Some markets like Tanzania are averse to Kenyan businesses and would be hesitant to do business with them – learnt this from experience.

    • Making dot KE domain mandatory for all companies will require legislation from the Government. However, we are in partnership with Huduma Kenya on the same to enable registration of dot KE domains from all outlets in Kenya.
      Tendering by Huduma Kenya to select the service provider is already in progress.

  7. Out of curiosity, are there any geopolitics and external influences (besides market influences) that meddle with the day to day affairs of registry bodies, their decisions, powers and jurisdictions?
    I’m asking because I’m curious as whether the dynamics of world politics are leak into organisations that “run” the Internet and whether you have autonomy and/or are free from global government influences.

    • There are no geopolitical or external entities that influence the KE Registry.
      We are only guided by regulations that are required of all ccTLDs globally by regulators such as ICANN.

    • We as a registry can only deal with second levels, 3rd levels…

      TLD’s Top Level Domains are a preserve of ICANN thorough the usually applications of gTLD’s

        • KeNIC is releasing a SECOND TOP LEVEL DOMAIN. Not a TOP LEVEL DOMAIN.

          The difference is on the word SECOND level.

          • Then I’m a bit confused. Will I be able to register my or will it be Or is the meaning of TLD lost to me?

  8. What is the relationship between KeNIC, domain registrars and other global registry bodies, what is the extent of your jurisdiction? Are you fully or partially autonomous and what type of decisions or policies are require consultations/approvals from other bodies?

    • KeNIC is a Not For Profit Multistake holder institution. In it run by a board which has 4 Directors and 3 Associate Directors.

      The 4 Directors are,

      (1) KENET. Representing the academia
      (2) DRAKE. Representing registrars
      (3) ICT Authority. Representing Government
      (4) TESPOK. Representing ISP

      The other 3 are taken from professional organisations.

      The apex descision making body at KeNIC is the board. No other directions are taken from else where

    • SEO favours the dot.KE second level domain ,however third level domains gives a guide on your area of operation i.e for a company or for a school.

  9. If a domain has been seized or shut down in other country for publishing content that the regulating jurisdiction deems illegal (such as torrent sites, illegal sharing of copyrighted material) and the particular website relaunches with a .ke domain, will it be shut down as well? If the answer is not an absolute yes or no, what factors come into play in such cases?

    • The domain having been seized or shut down is based on the laws in that specific county and also based on the ADRP process / rules that the ccTLD has. If the complainant wants the domain shut down based on certain infringements on copyrights they must register a complaint with KeNIC because it has a domain dispute resolution process and if this is not an option for them, they may go to court but KeNIC can only shut it down based on a Court Order from a Kenyan court. Mr. Omari can correct me where i am wrong

  10. I do not know if I am a little bit late to the party but I am a little bit concerned with something here? Mr. Abdalla do you know the numbers on your Kenic website never go through? Or at least the few times I tried calling them they either weren’t picked or they were off?

    Can we just do away with them if there’s no one to pick the calls? Also the pricing is a little bit worrying as a concerned “User” how do we expect the .ke domain to be have many users yet you’re even increasing the price of the

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