Following a failure to launch in 2014, Africa now has the unique web address .africa — that’s almost five years after the African Union submitted the domain name to the governing body that establishes generic top-level domains.
The .africa domain is expected to be available July 1, AFP reported, but the level of demand is uncertain.
Africans have been applying for years to register their preferred .africa domain names on a reserve list, on the understanding they would have first rights to it, according to AfricaInOneSpace. An earlier launch, planned for March 1, 2014, came and went.
Outgoing African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma again invited Africans this week to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months. Doing so will allow the continent’s people and businesses to better reach the world, she said.
“With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
The African Union put out a request for proposals from African registry operators, according to AfricaInOneSpace. ZA Central Registry, a Johannesburg-based nonprofit, was selected by the A.U. as the continent’s official bidding registry operator. The A.U. Commission and individual African governments, agencies, and organizations endorsed it.
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