Currently Rwanda counts more than 8,000 domain names. Out of this number, only 4,000 domains are registered as .rw while the rest are on .com, .org, and .net, among others.
According to Grace Ingabire, Acting CEO of Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) Rwanda’s recorded Internet growth will be undoubtedly insignificant if the country lags behind in terms of .RW country domains because the more the country increases the number of .RW domain, the better it is for the country’s digital economy.
“For every Rwandan website registered outside, it’s a loss to our digital economy. If all Rwandan businesses register .RW, our digital presence as a country also increases which is an added advantage to our efforts to promote our Rwandan identity online,” she said.
In a bid to increase Rwanda’s digital footprint most especially on the Internet, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation in partnership with RICTA on Wednesday, August 7 2019, launched a campaign to increase awareness and adoption of .RW as the preferred country level domain.
When she launched the three-month campaign dubbed “Nahisemo.RW’, loosely translated as I Chose Rwanda, the Minister of ICT and Innovation Mrs Paula Ingabire said there is a need for Rwandan enterprises, businesses and institutions to adopt the usage of .RW (Akadomo RW) as their domain of choice, if the country is to increase its digital footprint.
“As we launch the ‘Nahisemo Campaign’, we are aiming at increasing Rwanda’s digital profile by rallying Rwandan businesses and organizations with web presence to take up .RW country level domain,” She said.
She added that the uptake of .RW domain is a good fit into Rwanda’s vision of transitioning the country into becoming a digital economy which will see the creation of a new market place, consolidated into a single digital market for the region and also for the continent.
“There is a notion that other domains are better than our country’s domain. Having a .RW identity promotes localisation of our businesses. We encourage Rwandan businesses with global footprint to localise their domain names and also have that pride that they are a Rwandan brand.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry is also calling upon businesses and organizations working in Rwanda to use .RW domain because it affirms to collective commitment to promote the consumption of locally home-grown solutions.
According to the Minister of ICT, the ‘Nahisemo .RW’ campaign is timely because it also ties in with the national e-commerce strategy which encourages Rwandan business owners to adapt to solutions like online product listings, having a web presence and also change of mindset from having physical addresses to digital shops.