The chief executive of Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA), Grace Ingabire says that there are currently 6,500 organisations using the .rw domain in Rwanda including government institutions and private companies but expressed concerns that the uptake is still low She highlighted they want over 5000 firms who still use DotCom, DotOrg and other domain names to migrate to .rw Speaking during the stakeholders meeting on Thursday, February 23, Ingabire, said that by using .rw, businesses and organizations can give a localised touch to their online presence and protect their brand from being lost in the vastness of generic domain names such as DotCom or DotOrg. In today's digital age, protecting online identity and brand is crucial for businesses and institutions. In fact, RICTA urges Rwandan-based firms to adopt the .rw domain name to protect their online identity and enhance Rwanda's digital footprint. ALSO READ: Rwanda’s top web domain handed over “Many people still believe that .rw is limited to Rwanda, leading them to choose generic domain names that are not able to give the localised touch to their business and organizations, especially when the services they offer are targeting the Rwandan and Global market,” she said. “It is our intention to provide the exposure required to enable all businesses and other entities operating in Rwanda to secure, protect, and use their .rw.” Ingabire noted that RICTA aims to raise awareness and dispel any misconceptions surrounding the brand's security and global reach, encouraging more businesses and institutions to adopt the brand. ALSO READ: More companies adopt .rw domain She added that international companies who are registered in Rwanda are also required to protect their brand with .rw even when they don't want to use it to make sure that nobody else takes it. James Karamuzi who represented the Ministry of ICT pointed out that some people haven't realised that .rw is secure and has a global reach. He noted that they don't even understand that using the brand reflects trust and professionalism to those who approach them, adding that by using it, they also contribute to the development of the country. “When we have more than 60,000 Rwandans promoting their activities on DotCom, DotOrg, Gmail, or other sites, we lose money because it is sent abroad. By using .rw, the money stays inside the country,” he said. Karamuzi also urged companies and organizations to use .rw as it is a Made in Rwanda product that helps them to protect their online identity. Ivan Kimenyi who uses the brand testifies that it guarantees maximum security of their data and helps their company in exposing their activities quicker in Rwanda compared to other domain names. Kimenyi also shared an incident where their .rw domain had been taken by someone else and that securing it required them to pay over USD 10 million because they could use it to spoil their name through phishing. ALSO READ: Let’s prevent phishing at any cost He said that they later made domain redirection where both .rw and DotCom work on their website. Kimenyi urges other businesses to protect their brands before the same incident happens to them. Currently, acquiring the .rw brand from RICTA costs Rwf 12,000.