Africa's Internet Domain

Africa’s Internet Domain– 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 outgoing AU chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the launch will help “bring the continent together as an internet community”.

“With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity,”

.africa will help enable internet businesses engage the continent with relevant goods, services and information. It 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.

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,” 

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

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

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

32 years after the world’s first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent.

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

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 says 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.

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Report also says that AU plans to fund the affairs and running of the commission with proceeds from the domain registrations.

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.

.africa is to Africa what the .eu domain is for Europe.

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.

.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