When i first came accross .rw domain, i was shocked by its cost. I also realized that it was hardly developed into second level domains un like other east african domains. Its until recently that i realized the reason behind.
East African country Rwanda looks set to become the last country in the world to gain control over its own web domain. Frederic Gregoire has held registration rights for Rwanda domains since 1995 under his Swiss-based company NIC Congo – Interpoint. He was offering the domain to rwandese for free and a fortune to others. Gregoire registered the domain name through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation charged with coordinating the internet’s domain names, in 1995 when registration was based on a first come, first served basis.
Its in 2005 when the Rwanda government approached ICANN and requested to be allowed to manage their domain. Initially, ICANN and Gregoire doubted the ability of Rwanda to manage the domain. This has lend to a struggle that has lasted 7 years. Its until late 2012 that ICANN and Gregoire have agreed to allow .rw to be managed by rwanda. The domain management and marketing will be handled by the new government arm Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (RICTA).
We presume that at least the cost of the domain will drastically drop. It should drop ten times from the current USD349 to around USD 34 at par with other east africans ccTLDs.