A roadshow to officially launch the new .africa (dotAfrica) geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) kicked off at the 29th African Union (AU) Summit held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week.
During the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU, the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, kickstarted the Africa-wide .africa awareness campaign.
This awareness campaign symbolises the importance of Africa finally having achieved a single platform for a united digital identity, and how this will allow the continent to both uplift itself and contribute to the global digital economy.
Speaking during the roadshow launch, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, commissioner for infrastructure and energy at the AUC, states that the monumental milestone will go down in history as an example of Africans from all walks of life working together to achieve a common goal and purpose.
Ini addition, .africa represented to the AU Member States an opportunity for the continent to forge a unique online identity which would associate products, services and information with the continent and people of Africa.
During the launch of the roadshow, the .africa flag was officially handed over to the .africa team in the Nelson Mandela Plenary Hall. The chairman of the AU, Alpha Condè, handed over the .africa flag to the Chairperson of the AUC, Moussa Faki Mahamat who in turn handed it over to the .africa team, represented by Lucky Masilela, CEO of the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR).
This long-awaited gesture signifies the beginning of the continental awareness campaign and victory walk. It also signifies an end to the unwarranted delay in the delegation of .africa and the denial of the African people the right to their own digital identifier. Africa has finally prevailed.
With the flag, the .africa team will travel to AU member states for six months promoting the use of the domain name, culminating in the flag summiting Mount Kilimanjaro and eventually returning back to the AU in January 2018.
“We are extremely grateful to the AUC for its unwavering support throughout this long journey that began as far back as the OR Tambo and Abuja Declarations where it was resolved to use ICT to ensure the development of Africa. It is now time to create the next chapter in the .africa story as the general public begins applying for their chosen .africa domains this very week,” says Masilela.
“The .africa gTLD intends to promote African businesses, people and culture on the internet and will allow Africa to actively contribute to the digital economy. It is also a source of funding for the development of ICT projects on the continent,” says Dr Abou-Zeid.