There is an old Roman saying “Semper aliquid novi ex Africa!”, translated it means “from Africa always come something new”. From inception, Africa Day has meant something different to African people situated all over the world and this year is no different. This year the African Union has earmarked Africa Day as the day when discourse around “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth” will take place in a more concerted manner.

In the context of this celebration, and at a time where one can almost say without hesitation that the youth of today are innately tech savvy, there can be no greater ‘something new’ than the wonderful gift of a unique continental digital identifier than the dotAfrica (.africa) geographic top level domain, or new gTLD as it is commonly referred to, to drive the investment of youth agenda. On 11 February 2017, the right to manage and administer this new, pan-African home on the web was delegated to the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR) following five years of unnecessary legal obstacles.

Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR), says of this auspicious occasion:

“Many of us already know that it was collaboration by Africans in Africa as evidenced by the 2009 Oliver Tambo Declaration, followed by the Abuja Declaration, that gave impetus to the launch of Africa’s own home on the worldwide web. Finally, 54 countries in Africa are now united under a single, continent-wide domain name that stays true to the vision of the outstanding African leaders who recognised through the above two Declarations that ICT-based initiatives would be central to Africa’s future socio-economic wellbeing.

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of the African Union Commission (AUC), individual African States and the African public throughout the long journey to launch .africa. Always being able to count on the support of the vast majority of African governments sustained our cause and for that we are humbled and extremely grateful to our fellow Africans.

Let us remember/acknowledge our venerable elders and their original ICT vision as we sit on the cusp of a new African online future and more importantly, let us use this ‘new something’ called .africa to ensure that the journey to a bright African continent through digitization is never lost. The .africa Geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) is set to unite the continent in new ways and will enable e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish. The result will be Africa as you never imagined her before.

As valued partners, let us continue to realize these objectives through collaboration; innovation and investment in ICT based initiatives. From Africa to the world!”

ENDS.

 

About .Africa

dotAfrica (.africa) is the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) for the African continent. It is an opportunity to forge a unique online identity which will associate your products, services and/or information with the continent and people of Africa.
The Registry Operator for .africa is the ZA Central Registry Not-for-Profit (ZACR – NPC) trading as Registry Africa.

.africa is endorsed and supported by the African Union Commission (AUC), individual African governments, regional governmental agencies and organisations and  enjoys widespread support from the African community.

.africa will bring the continent together as an Internet community under one umbrella allowing e-commerce, technology and infrastructure to flourish. It is truly an African initiative established by Africans for Africa and the world.

Visit nic.africa for further details, or follow the conversation online using the hashtag #dotAfrica.

For press enquiries, please email Kate Els at media@wwc.co.za.