The MW top level domain

Recently, on the IT Malawi mailing list there has been some discussion about domain names in Malawi, and how organizations are using long and ugly .com domains instead of .mw addresses. Here are my thoughts:

The mw domain is totally underused. But there is a very
simple reason for this:


Registrant agrees to pay a registration fee of One Hundred United States
Dollars (US$100) as consideration for the registration of each new
domain name or Fifty United States Dollars (US$50) to renew an existing
registration. The payment must be made payable directly to "Malawi

The Malawi Sustainable Development Network Programme has a monopoly on selling mw domains, and they sell them at more than five times the market price for domain names. What makes this even more sad is the fact that SDNP is a United Nations funded program.

I have built a number of websites for Malawi based businesses, and
everyone has wanted a .mw domain but nobody is willing to pay $50 per
year for a .mw name when they can get a .com or .org for $8 from (but only if you have a credit card which Malawians do not).

Perhaps there is justification for these outrageous prices, if so I look forward to seeing some SDNP comments below. Otherwise, reduce the prices, or even better allow professional companies to resell the mw domain.

2 Response to The MW top level domain

  1. Mangaliso says:

    Wow u make some interesting observations here. But let me clear a few things

    1. Malawi SDNP really is does the administer the .mw as per an agreement with Macra. This is because in the absence of an ICT policy addressing this and the lack of capacity on the Malawian scene. So in the meantime we are the caretakers of the resource.

    2. Malawi SDNP really started of as a UNDP & Malawi Govt programme with an emphasise on sustainable ICT solutions. In the meantime SDNP doesnt get support which you are implying from UNDP it is self sustaining the income it generates from its operations. You may contact the following person

    Dr Paulos Nyirenda he will be more than willing to give give u a lowdown. paulos(at)

    3. And please understand that we have to pay ICANN its dues.

    4.Coming up with that price is to make sure Mw is sustainable.

    I would like to encourage u no matter what try to buy more domains from SDNP and with a larger userbase prices would definately go down.


  2. Mike says:

    Sustainability can be wasted if there is no competition to ensure efficiency for the organizaton trying to be sustainable.

    What are the ICANN dues?

    There are many organization is Malawi that want an MW domain, if it cost $20/year it would be reasonable and I would expect be sustainable due to increased volume.

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