05/01/2018 12:06 SAST | Updated 05/01/2018 12:06 SAST

'Overwhelming Demand' For New DotAfrica (.africa) Domain

Developers say the new domain will usher in a new era of pan-African tech entrepreneurs.

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Internet developers can't keep up with the demand for the brand-new DotAfrica (.africa) domain -- called "the people's domain" -- which launched to the public this week.

The new domain, technically referred to as a Geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD), works like a .com, or a .co.za, and was developed by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) delegation of the rights to administer .africa to Registry Africa.

It was developed "for the people and continent of Africa," the .africa team explain on their website.

"This recently launched gTLD represents the online hopes and dreams of an entire continent. The effect on commerce, education, health and other sectors will be profoundly positive, as Africans use their new domain to unite our internet community," they said.

The launch of the new domain began this week in South Africa, where The .africa team began a roadshow that will culminate at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia at the Heads of States Summit on January 28 and 29.

The team is due to embark on a two-week trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania later in January.

"This unprecedented journey across the continent celebrates .africa as an example of Africans working together to achieve a common goal of one domain name for the entire continent," they say.