.africa Domain: Everything You Should Know About Africa’s New Digital Identity

Courtesy of the AU, Africa now has a new digital identity. Similar to the use of .com, .africa is the new internet domain for Africa.

The former  AU chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the launch will help bring the continent together as an internet community. According to her, with .africa,  Africa has finally got its digital identity.

According to an AU statement, the initiative will bring the continent together as an internet community under one umbrella, allowing e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish.

Several attempts have been made before now to expand the internet broadband in Africa.

While Zuckerberg failed in his quest to expand internet broadband in Africa in 2016, with the sudden explosion of the SpaceX rocket, AU has succeeded in making a larger space for Africans on the internet.

32 years after the world’s first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent, .africa is to be to Africa what the .eu domain is for Europe.

As stated in the AU’s Agenda 2063, the pan-African association intends to increase broadband internet penetration by 10 percent in 2018.

It is worthy to mention that the new domain name for Africa is not the first ever made available in Africa. Already, there have been individual domain names like .za(South Africa); .ao(Angola);.zw(Zimbabwe). .africa, however, comes with a much more unifying factor as a continental web address.

With about 1.1 million of the 2 million website registrations in Africa, South Africa leads in online engagements. It is hoped that the launch of the.Africa domain will help many more African nations embrace the internet for all the good reasons.

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Report confirms that the South African ZA Central Registry, will be in charge of the .africa registration.

Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry has no doubt that this will increase Africa’s presence online and will also be of immense good for most African businesses.

World bank statistics say there are about 22% of sub-Saharan Africans use the internet, making it the region with the lowest rates of internet penetration in the world. In terms of online presence, there is a global average of 44%.

Another interesting part of the .africa internet domain is that it has been drastically reduced to an insanely cheap price. Compared to the usual exorbitant $250 to register a website, .africa is just $18 away from anyone who wants to register within the continent.

.africa will help enable internet businesses to engage the continent with relevant goods, services and information.  Interestingly, this is not limited to people living in Africa alone but also for people outside the continent.

The idea of a new domain name for Africa will help to boldly place the continent in the internet map. With .africa, businesses and information generally can be specifically targeted for Africans at an affordable rate.

From July 2017, members of the general public were able to register .africa domain names, registrations were on a first come, first served basis.

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The AU said the commission will be funded and run with proceeds from the domain registrations.

According to a European body monitoring domain names, the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR), there are over 300 million domain names in use.

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.com leads with about 125.8 million registered domains. It is hoped that the new Africa’s internet domain will generate substantial demand from Africans.

Registering and activating a .africa domain name is easy, all you need to do is to get in touch with an ICANN Accredited Registrars by clicking here and get started.

Also See: This Is How Africa Can Feed The World By 2050 

You can also become an Accredited Registrar by following the following steps below.

  1. Create an account on the ZACR portal or log in if you already have an account
  2. Complete your account information, including ICANN Registrar Accreditation information.
  3. Accept the Registry-Registrar Agreement
  4. Request Legal Review by the ZACR legal team
  5. Begin technical accreditation for the .africa gTLD namespace
  6. Technical Accreditation for Launch (Sunrise & Landrush) – this is an optional step which will allow the Registrar to participate in the Launch phases.
  7. Request Live Credentials, if you have passed the Launch Accreditation – you will receive credentials to participate in Launch. If you have not passed Launch Accreditation, you will receive credentials for General Availability.
  8. If you are an ICANN Accredited Registrar but do not have Launch technical Accreditation, you will be able to participate in the landrush phase manually, by making use of the Web-RAR which is available on the ZACR Registrar Portal.
  9. Or simply visit registry.africa to begin the process.
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