Africa Gets It’s Own .Africa Domain Extension
Individuals and businesses can now use the “dot Africa” (.africa) top level domain extension for their websites as an alternative to the dominant “dot com” (.com) domain extensions. The African Union (AU) hopes that the official launch of this unique .africa web address will create a new identity for the continent on the Internet.
According to AU commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the introduction of .africa is the start of a special era when the continent “got [its] own digital identity”Africa”. This optimism was shared by the AU who says that the .africa domain name will “bring the continent together as an internet community”.
Indeed, web addresses will now be able to reflect an organisation’s interest in the African continent for example “BBC.africa” could become the new official web address for the British Broadcasting Corporation in Africa.
ICANN, the international organisation that approves generic Top-Level Domains, approved the move, following lobbying efforts by the AU. The campaign was led by a South African company ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which will now be responsible for registering .africa names.
According to the head of what is now the biggest ccTLD in Africa, Lucky Masilela, .africa addresses could cost as little as $18 (£15), although similar TLDs have been known to cost more in the past.
AFP news agency quotes Mr Masilela as saying that .africa registration could be expected to begin in July 2017.