After years of struggle, Africa finally has its own unique web address .africa. The .africa gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) was finally established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) after lobbying by the African Union (AU) in a campaign that was spearheaded by ZA Central Registry (ZACR), a South African company. According to ZACR, the .africa domains could cost as little as $18. According to ZACR, the general public should be able to start applying for their .africa domains as from the 4th of July 2017.
The internet currently has more that 300million registered domains with the .com domain being the most dominant. African countries currently have country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) extensions for their respective countries like .zw for Zimbabwe, .za for South Africa and .ng for Nigeria. The new Africa-wide .africa TLD will facilitate continent-wide sites just like the .eu domains in Europe.
With Africa’s digital scene growing in leaps and bounds, developments like the addition of the new TLD are very much welcome. The .africa gTLD comes after a five-year legal battle that prevented ICANN from delegating the rights to administer Africa’s new home on the web to Registry Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of ZACR.