Domain name sales containing ‘Africa’ reflect interest
Is the volume and selling price of domain names containing African terms is a harbinger of what’s to come in terms of Africa’s e-commerce industry? Perhaps not, but the interest in the continent’s value, albeit intangible in domain form, is at least promising. Of course, many domain transactions are simply that – domainers selling to one another in hopes of eventually making a profit. Many of these domains will never host functional web content, but at the same time, a small percentage will be used to promote online business relating to Africa.
On Sedo, the most popular domain broker, there are thousands of African-themed domains for sale. In many cases, sellers are hoping to fetch five-figure sums. Domains such as africannews.com, northafrica.com, and africaportal.com are all listed at high reserve prices. Hundreds of additional domains are listed in the thousand dollar price range. Interestingly enough, most of these domains will never sell; that is, buyer and seller will never agree upon their value. The disconnect? Western domainers incorrectly value the market for African e-business portals.
Of the 11 transactions containing ‘Africa’ in the past 13 months:
- 2 are under construction (iSouthAfrica and VolunteerinAfrica)
- 3 are parked
- 1 is not found
- 2 are a single page and seem to serve no real purpose
- 2 provide news aggregation
- 1 is a soccer blog
Additionally, GhanaJob.com sold for $9,000 in December 2010; the domain remains parked. What’s interesting, however, is the amount of activity in the South African (co.za) ccTLD market. No fewer than 26 domains have been bought and sold in the past year. In fact, AutoInsurance.co.za recently sold for US $36,500 and Property.co.za grossed US $56,000 in September 2010. Other ccTLDs such as .cm and .ug have seen a couple of sales.