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Brace yourselves! .KE is here — Launch of the second level domain in Kenya

4 August 2017
– 3 Minute Read


In a notification to the public dated 19 July 2017, the Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC) announced the launch of the .KE second level domain (SLD) effective 23 July 2017. KENIC is the entity charged with the management and the administration of the ‘.KE’ country code top-level domain.

The .KE domain is a premium and competitive domain name that will give you and/ or your business a unique and catchy outlook that can be conveniently used alongside the third level domain. It is a shorter Kenyan focused web domain for businesses and individuals. It brings the Kenyan domain space in line with the more familiar international format of other shorter country codes like’ .UK’ and ‘.FR’.

Currently, domain extensions available are on the third level such as “”. With the introduction of the SLD, your brand now will have the ability to register “”.

Following the recent wave of domain hijacking, online intellectual property theft and cyber-squatting, you are encouraged to protect your brand’s online presence through securing of the second level domain name.

Advantages of the .KE domain are:

  • It puts the emphasis firmly on your brand which can help you reach a wider audience and increase sales;
  • It brings all the same benefits of trust, reliability and credibility as the, and other members of the Kenyan domain family;
  • .KE is easier to remember and firmly states that you are based in Kenya which is good for your audience and target market; and
  • being shorter, the .KE domain lends itself well to social media channels such as Twitter, where every character counts.

The launch of the SLD shall be rolled out in phases as outlined below:





Sunrise Period

23 July, 2017 to 22 October, 2017 (90 day period)

  • Owners of trade marks registered in Kenya
  • Institutions (universities, colleges and schools) will be allowed to submit their applications during the sunrise period accompanied with a copy of their certificate from The Ministry of Education / TVETA.


23 October, 2017 to 22 November, 2017

  • All those interested in premium domains.
  • Domain names with more than one applicant and premium domains to be auctioned to the highest bidder.


30 days after 22 November 2017

  • all applications are assessed

General availability

After conclusion of the cooling of period

  • available to anyone to register on a first-come, first-served basis


Please note that in spite of the introduction of the SLD, the third level domains will still be available for registration. We advise you to take note of this and promptly make the necessary arrangements to secure your second level domains.

For further assistance please contact John Syekei, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property practice, or your relationship partner at Bowmans Kenya.