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Zimbabwe domain registration: You pay 5 times more if you are not a resident

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zispa-logoOne of the best things to happen in the local internet ecosystem last year was name.co.zw. They solved a painful problem, in a very simple, standard way. Domain registration done online exists already in every country with self respecting techies, but it didn’t in Zimbabwe, hence the gratitude.

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So anyway, for the first time, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora keen to build internet startups targeting Zimbabwe can have domain registration online and get it in minutes (or few hours at worst). It’s still possible, but a recent price development has probably dampened the excitement a bit for that folk. It now costs more, way more, to register a domain for a non-resident than it does for a person in Zimbabwe.

If you are a non-resident, you pay $35 and this has pushed registrars like name.co.zw to charge to $49.99 for people buying domains from outside the country. In comparison, name.co.zw charge resident Zimbos only $9.99. The $9.99 is based on a flat $30 that registrars pay to ZISPA monthly for all domains registered regardless of number. ZISPA by the way is the organisation charged with the maintenance of the ‘.co.zw’ namespace.

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Why those outside the country are charged more, we have no idea. We asked ZISPA chairman Troy Prinsloo, and he wouldn’t say. He did say however that the $35 fee to non-residents has always been case, i.e. it’s no new development. We’re guessing implementation of the rule just wasn’t as tight.

Name.co.zw founder and CEO, Rushmore Mushambi told us recently:

When we registered as ZISPA members, our understanding was that we will pay the fixed monthly fee of $30 and register as many domains as we can irregardless of whether our clients are Zimbabwean or foreign.
This appeared to be the case at first as we managed to register a few domains for foreign clients (these were either Zimbabweans abroad or non-Zimbabweans with businesses here).
The problem surfaced when one of our repeat foreign clients tried to register 60 domains at once. This client had already registered 20 domains previously, without a problem. Jim, the ZISPA admin, thought this was unusually high and decided to consult with his board first. ZISPA then decided to charge us $35 for every domain registered by foreigners; the same amount they charge if foreigners try to register with them directly.

As a result, we are now charging $49.99 for foreigners and $9.99 for Zimbabweans

In comparison other African countries, South Africa and Kenya for example, either charge the same regardless where you are registering from or actually charge less (by taking out local tax component). Granted, there are probably a lot of countries too that charge non-residents more. We just can’t think of a reason for this? Just a way to make more money?

What’s your opinion? Should ZISPA charge non-residents more?


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11 thoughts on “Zimbabwe domain registration: You pay 5 times more if you are not a resident

      1. No, it’s not. Although it’s true that you might still find it used in this or that publication… incorrectly.

        1. irregardless
          · adj. & adv. informal regardless.
          – ORIGIN C20: prob. a blend of irrespective and regardless.

          From oxford Dict

          1. Although it’s true that the American Heritage Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, and the Oxford English Dictionary all list the word irregardless, they also note that it’s considered nonstandard. Listing a word as nonstandard is a way that dictionaries concede that a word is in common use, but isn’t really a proper word. Standard language is defined as the language spoken by educated native speakers (1), but comprehensive dictionaries also include nonstandard words, dialect, colloquialisms, and jargon–words like ain’t, conversate, and irregardless. It seems pretty common for people to look up a word in a dictionary, and if it’s there, they think it’s fine to use that word every circumstance. It’s the “Look, it’s a word!” phenomenon. But you have to look a little further to see what kind of word it is, and if it’s nonstandard in some way, then use it with caution. You’ll sound uneducated if you go around saying things like I ain’t gonna conversate with him irregardless of the consequence – See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/irregardless-versus-regardless#sthash.aESJdkJb.dpuf

  1. my guess is that zispa’s know your customer is harder to complete for international registrant’s so more paperwork, means more cost

    thats purely guessing and speculation though – it could be a way of enforcing locality of the domain and encouraging its use for ZW content specifically – rather than just corporations (which have the money to spend anyway) just buying there names to prevent domain squatting etc

    its definitely bizzare though – 98% of domain TLD’s i’m aware of the price is the same regardless of your location/residency, they should just charge $15 per domain no matter what

    to be honest they (zispa) need to fully automate there registration system so theres no physical (well email submission) paperwork to have to update name servers/registration etc

    1. Domain squatting is evil.

      There’s no justifiable excuse for one entity to own 60 domains. It is obviously speculative and would mean someone with a legitimate use for any particular domain would have to pay through their nose to have it.

      Everyone else in the more advanced spaces absolutely hates squatting and speculation. We dont have to accept it.

      We should protect our domain space from speculators. Name.co.zw is merely concerned with the money they stand to make/lose… not the ethical mishap of enabling hoarding of domain names.

      If I had it my way, I would be harsher in terms of proof of actual usage and would charge them 100times more.

      But am a mere mortal.

      1. who said that buying 60+ domains for a single entity is squatting? suggesting that such an entity doesnt have a justifiable reason to buy that many domains is speculative at best – we just dont know

        google buy up hundreds alone, for there different brands, eg youtube, blogger etc and also for the common typos – eg gooogle.com or gogle.com

        your right about names.co.zw not worrying about ethical standpoint – why should they, its obvious that zispa who theoretically regulates them isnt bothered by it too much.

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