.KE Country-Code-Top-Level Domain Auctions Open, Ni.Ke Sprints to Ksh.1 Million


KeNic, Kenya Network Information Centre, the body mandated to manage the administration of Kenya’s country code top-level domain (TLD) announced back in June that they would be introducing their second TLD, which is .ke bringing to life the possibility of domains such as ni.ke, mi.ke and bi.ke to life.

Registration for these domains started on 22 July, where the organization started with the Sunrise period that was a phase where companies with registered trademarks either locally or internationally to book a domain name that coincides with their trademark. This phase closed on 22 October and a month later the next phase, which is currently open, started on 22 November and runs until 22 December.

This second phase is known as the Landrush period and it is basically an auction open to the public. What happens in this phase is that KeNic will auction out a few domain names that they term as premium and the public would bid to get to own said domains. At the moment, KeNic has a total of 913 domains in the auction with the highest bid being Ksh.1,000,004.00 for ni.ke followed by Ksh.20,754 for mi.ke and Ksh.10,004 for bi.ke

To participate in the auction, all you have to do is:

  • Head over to auction.kenic.or.ke
  • Select Premium .KE Domains
  • You can sort the list to your preference or you can such for the domain you want to bid for
  • Once you identify your preferred domain, tap on it
  • You will be redirected to a page for you to place your bid. The lowest bid you can place is Ksh.9,000 and there is no maximum bid.

Please keep in mind that you can only place a bid once you create an account on KeNic’s portal. After the auction is closed, the highest bidder will receive a notification from KeNic notifying them of their win and they will be sent an invoice as well after which they will pay for the domain through their preferred KeNic approved Domain Registrars. All .ke domains will be available to the owners sometime after mid-January in 2018.

Running concurrently with the Landrush period is the Grandfathered period. This is an opportunity for those who already own a .co.ke domain to register for a .ke domain of the same name. Please note that the applications for this phase will be made through the registrars and shall be accompanied by Business name certificates to show proof of ownership.