Africa Gets It’s Digital Identity With Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) DotAfrica (.africa) – African Union

by Ike Obudulu Last updated on August 26th, 2017,

In a communiqué, the 29th ordinary session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on friday announced the creation and unveiling of a new internet domain fully owned by Africa, named dotAfrica. This comes 32 years after the world’s first domain name, dotcom was registered. The launch marked the commencement of the DotAfrica operational phase with a road show starting at the AU headquarters. The domain is an African initiative created by Africans for Africans and the worldwide audience of companies, organisations and individuals interested in, associated with and connected with the African community and markets.

“DotAfrica will bring the continent together as an internet community under one umbrella and create an opportunity to forge a unique online identity which will associate products, services and or information with the continent and the people of Africa,”

The idea of DotAfrica was conceived in 2000 when some African internet professionals argued that DotAfrica should be operated by Africans for the benefit of the entire continent.

Meanwhile, Africa has been reported to have recorded robust growth with international tourist arrivals and tourism revenues growing at 6 percent and 9 percent respectively each year between 1995 and 2014, over the last two decades,

In its Economic Development in Africa report 2017, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said tourism in Africa is a flourishing industry that supports more than 21 million jobs. Tourism export revenues have more than tripled, increasing from $14 billion to approximately $47 billion, between 1995 and 2014. As a result tourism is now estimated to contribute about 8.5 percent to the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP), it further stated.

The report said tourism attracted capital investment of $26 billion on average in 2011-2014 to the African economy, and that this amount represented 1.8 percent of total GDP of the continent.

It added that international tourist arrivals in Africa increased to 56 million in the period 2011-2014, from 24 million in the previous one (1995-1998), and that the figure is forecast to grow to 134 million by 2030.

The AU is hoping proceeds from the dotafrica 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 but it remains unclear how strong demand will be.

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