As recently announced by outgoing AU Chairperson recently, Africa now has its own ‘digital identity’, in the form of a .africa domain name. This is exciting news as this is a step in the right direction to encourage budding and existing African entrepreneurs to put our domain on the world stage.
Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent’s people and businesses to better reach the world.
Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates of internet penetration in the world, according to the World Bank, with only about 22% of people online compared to the global average of 44%. The AU has vowed to increase broadband internet penetration by 10% by next year as part of its “Agenda 2063” development proposal.
As Africa’s largest economy, SA dominates African presence online, holding 1.1-million of the 2-million website registrations on the continent. Total domain registration figures are expected to rise sharply as a result of the launch of the .africa domain name.
High fees are an obstacle to many people who want to register a website, it is however good to know that .africa addresses will be available at a cut-rate price of just $18.
The AU is hoping proceeds from the domain registrations will help cover some of its administrative costs and fund the AU commission. The domain is due to be available to the public in July.
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