Our Mission and Purpose

Introduction: Toward a fertile .GH environment

Ghana is a country of about 30 million people. Its  68% Internet usage, is very high for a country of its size. The number of  domain names currently registered in 2023 is relatively low for our population . This means that Ghana’s Internet users have not been able to fully experience the unique power and extent of the effectiveness of having a thriving  and vibrant .GH domain name space . This document outlines how  the Ghana Domain Name Registry(GDNR), when delegated as the administrator of the .GH domain, as stipulated by Ghana Law, will create a fertile Ghana Domain Name System(DNS) environment. Thus, enabling the seeds of innovation and  DNS advancement to easily grow, for the development of a thriving, vibrant, local Internet ecosystem

The GDNR is established in the Law

The Electronic Transactions Act(ETA), which establishes the GDNR as the only entity to administer the .GH domain name space, outlines how the .GH domain should be managed . It describes the GDNR, its functions, board composition and management from section 63. Per the  Act, we are  established as a not-for-profit entity, enabling  us  to operate with public interest and the development of the namespace as a priority  before profit. The functions include registry and registrar licensing and accreditation, dispute resolution and growth and development of the .GH domain.

The Government Supports GDNR

The Ghana government supports the GDNR. As recommended in the Internet Coordination Policy (ICP) -1  it is essential that in the delegation and management of any ccTLD.

The GDNR abides by  the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) principles, as set out in the Principles for Delegation and Administration of ccTLDs. We will manage the Registry in the interest of the public and taking into consideration public policy and relevant laws. The support of the Government is seen in the past, current and future funding. Government agencies are also available to second staff and engineers if need be. The GDNR is currently supported by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) and the National Communications Authority.

We also plan to partner with government agencies such as the Registrar General to combine registration of businesses with domain names.

“The desires of the government of a country with regard to delegation of a ccTLD are taken very seriously.”

The Community supports the GDNR

The Local Internet Community has committed its support to the GDNR. The GDNR has engaged the community through several Local Internet Community meetings. The LIC understands the vision and mission of the GDNR to grow and develop the DNS space in Ghana and supports this progress. Over the past 3 years, the GDNR has had many engagements and consultations with the LIC and continues to understand their needs. We are at the same time assured of the community’s support in managing the .GH domain.

We have a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors

The GDNR is governed by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors, drawn from a variety of backgrounds. One representative from public universities, one representative from private universities, one representative from the security Ministry i.e. Ministry of Interior, one from the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association(GISPA), one from the scientific community. The rest come from various stakeholder groups of the industry as prescribed by the establishing law(ETA). This board composition ensures that the community is represented on the GDNR at the governance level.

We are a Not-For-Profit

Being a non-profit organization means that our focus is primarily on developing the Internet space before profit. This allows us to aim for community related ecosystem development activities and allows for fund sourcing from development agencies to grow the Ghana DNS space.

The GDNR’s Vision for a thriving Ghana DNS

Technological Excellence

GDNR technology is world-class. It is established at the National Data Center of Ghana’s National Information Technology Agency (NITA). Together with industry-standard backups and business continuity systems and highly trained staff. The GDNR maintains alliances with local and international engineers and consultants to ensure high performance and reliability coupled with state-of-the-art Business Continuity practices

Engagement with the Local Internet Community

Through several annual events and meetings, the GDNR has engaged  the local community.

The GDNR collaborated with ISOC to host the Ghana IGF and Youth IGF. 

On 27 October 2022 we run ever DNS Forum in Ghana. This was followed by our DNS training for various companies in August 2023 and the second DNS forum in 2023.

We have organized many Local Internet Community(LIC) meetings and will continue to engage the community to grow the space in Ghana.

Separating Registrars from the Registry (3-R)

We will use the 3-R model, which is in line with international best practice, to operate the .GH registry. In this model, there is complete separation between the registry and the registrar, thus eliminating any conflict of interest. This is where Ghana wants to get to. The GDNR is the only organization in the country mandated to accredit registrars. When the GDNR is delegated to manage the .GH ccTLD, Ghana will move to a 3-R model. GDNR will work with Registrars to grow the space.

Capacity Building

  • DNS Capacity Building

The GDNR has organized the Ghana DNS forum and training workshop to train participants on the key knowledge and skill of DNS and security. The workshop training was to build the capacity of Network Operators, Data Center Managers, IT Officers and Internet Service Providers in DNS management and operation. Ghana DNS forum .

  • Universal Acceptance

We will implement Universal Acceptance (UA) and Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) compliance to enable all domain names used by devices connected to the Internet to be accessible by all regardless of script, language, or character length. The GDNR has organized the UA day to spread awareness and encourage its adoption.

  • Marketing Training

The GDNR will hold several training events for individuals and companies, training them on how to leverage Search Engine Optimization and Location Based Search techniques to enhance their ability to get the best out of their .GH domain names.

Funding the community: Lessons from CIRA

We will learn from examples shown by sister registries such as Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) and provide funds, wherever viable, to support  the growth of the Internet in Ghana. By this model, as the space thrives and grows, part of the revenue made will be allocated to community-based projects to support Internet growth in the country for the members within the community

Lowering of the price of domain names

Subject to approval by the multi-stakeholder board, the GDNR will lower the price of the .GH names. In setting the exact price, collaboration will be done with the Local Internet Community. Since the GDNR is a not-for-profit entity, the focus will be on inclusivity and penetration. Consultation with the community indicates that current pricing is not conducive.

Community involvement in Policy

The GDNR will work closely with the community  to set the policy of the registry. A Policy Input Portal, is being developed, which will allow  stakeholders to share their thoughts and voice opinions on the way that the Registry will be managed and administered.

A smoother registration process

The GDNR aims to make the registration process a smooth one. This will involve automating as much of the process as possible, leveraging the mobile money networks within the country to allow for online payment for a more efficient process. This will lead to a seamless, frictionless interaction between the registrant, registrar and eventually the registry.

Extensive Marketing

The GDNR will market the .GH domain extensively nationally. We will at the same time work with accredited local and international registrars to market in their preferred regions to create an atmosphere of collaboration, innovation, and growth in the .GH domain name space. This marketing will also be accentuated by consistently updating our website with the latest numbers of domain names registered.

Transparency and accountability

It is important for the GDNR that the community knows about the number of domains sold and renewed and the flow of revenue. In this regard, in line with common practices of most registries, the GDNR will publish annual reports sharing this information. In exercising our accountability, during the regular Local Internet Community meetings, the GDNR will provide updates and collect feedback to keep improving on the services to the community.


In Conclusion: A better Internet together

The GDNR is an organization established by Law, supported by Government, run by, supported by, and in full engagement with the Internet community. We operate as a non-profit, with public interest and the development of the Ghana Domain Name ecosystem at the core of our ethos. We look forward to working with our community to build a thriving, vibrant, multi-stakeholder DNS  environment where, as a people, we can grow a better Internet in Ghana together.