ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kheweul and Freenom today announce a joint venture to provide free websites with a free domain name to all Africans. Under the new FREENAMES brand, every African internet user will be able to obtain a free website with a free domain, using a phone, tablet or computer. The venture partners believe that providing a free web presence with a free domain will increase the number of African websites significantly and will give African local content quality an enormous boost. This increase in online communication will connect communities and businesses throughout Africa and will create a foundation for further e-development.
All free websites will be available with an African free domain. Free domains are very popular on the continent. Countries like Gabon (.GA), Mali (.ML) and Central African Republic (.CF) have already jumped on the bandwagon and made their domain extension available to everyone for free, both in their respective countries and abroad.
The free revolution of the last decade has enabled billions of people to go online and express themselves. Free search, email and social networking have dramatically changed the digital landscape. Free SIM cards have created an new model for the entire telecommunication sector and transformed the ICT landscape in Africa. Now, free websites and free domains will enable Africans to increase their web presence and make the continent a truly indispensable part of the global digital economy.
With a smart phone or computer, users can register a domain name, create or choose a web site design and change their free website to adopt it to their wishes. For this, Freenames will use an innovative website builder that works with smart phones, tablets and PCs. This will allow even novice users to obtain an online presence.
"Providing a basic free hosting package with an African free domain makes good business sense", says Mouhamet Diop, Managing Director of Kheweul. "We want to empower all Africans to take an active role online, not only as consumer, but also as content creator and as online business entrepreneur".
Freenames will encourage all its users to build their free online presence further with additional services, such as script programming, SSL certificates and e-commerce solutions. The income derived from these extra services will pay for the users that continue to use the basic services for free. Freenames expects to convert 1 to 2 percent of its user base into users requiring paid services.
"The African top level domains are very popular outside Africa already", says Joost Zuurbier, CEO of Freenom. "We firmly believe that more and more users from the African community will start to use African domains if a free hosting package would be offered."
Freenom has teamed up with three African Top Level Domain Registries, but expects that many more African countries will follow. Thanks to a new innovative business model free domains generate exposure and revenue for the partner countries, making a real impact locally and abroad.
The Freenames services will be launched during the next ICANN meeting on March 24th 2014 in Singapore. To prepare for the launch and to have a local presence in Africa Freenom has opened an office in Dakar, Senegal.
Kheweul.com SA is an ICANN accredited registrar based in Senegal. Kheweul offers hosting solutions with a variety of packages, script programming, SSL certificates and e-commerce solutions. Kheweul offers its services throughout Africa. Kheweul has been awarded with the Africa Domain Name Industry Award 2013 by AFTLD, the Internet Society, the DNS community and ICANN.
Freenom is a Registry Operator for top level domains. With a secure and stable DNS AnyCast Cloud, fast Registration System, and unique business model built around free domain names Freenom provides a complete solution for all top level domains. Freenom operates more than 20 million active domain names and is the largest Registry Operator after .COM. Freenom, previously known as Freedom Registry, is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but has satellite offices in Palo Alto (U.S.A.) and Dakar (Senegal).
Freenames is a joint venture between Kheweul and Freenom and empowers African individuals and businesses to get an online presence with a free domain name. From March 2014 onwards an innovative website builder will be available on www.freenames.com, allowing everyone with a smart phone, tablet or PC to create a free online presence.