.africa domains to open door to online expansion
INTERNETBy BiztechAfrica - July 31, 2012, 12:44 p.m.
By Mohamed El Bashir, Steercom Member, UniForum / ZACR bid for .africa
When it comes to finding quality information that is both timely and relevant, the internet is the undisputed champion. Whether you want to fix a broken window or understand how mankind made it to the moon, the first port of call is a search engine and no longer your local library.
Unfortunately, ease of access to a wealth of information also means clutter and the ability to easily access a tremendous amount of useless information. With so much data being added to the web, even as I write this, it becomes crucial for the information-seeker to know where to access appropriate information.
The imminent entrance onto the information superhighway of the new .africa generic top level domain (gTLD), as pioneered by UniForum ZACR, will go a long way towards streamlining the search for information relevant to Africa. Hopefully, sometime during the first quarter of next year ICANN will announce the successful bidder for .africa and web surfers will henceforth be able to access Africa-related information speedily and accurately.
This means if your business is targeting Africa, or indeed if you are an African business, you really need to start thinking about your .africa presence on the web.
How could .africa domains contribute to Africa’s online content expansion?
The continent of Africa boasts a sizeable propportion of the world's population and yet connectively and other challenges have meant that the number of African-registered domains remains relatively miniscule. It is a basic fact of life that numbers count and that it order to influence events, one needs the required muscle in the form of impressive numbers.
The launch of .africa represents a golden opportunity for Africa to exponentially increase its presence on the web, and by extention, its influence in the world. In one fell swoop, we could radically improve Africa's fortunes in both the real and the tangible world.
While millions of Internet users are looking for oversubscribed .com or .net domains, a .africa domain will be fairly easy to register and obtain. A .africa domain also enables a deeper interaction between your target audience and Africa by enabling the establishment of dedicated websites for your African customers.
Besides being easy to register, Africa's own domain will make the web more favourable to local Internet users by making it easy for Africa’s Internet users to access relevant content related to their continent. It is not hard to imagine a music.africa or a mobile.africa web portal in the future.
With more ways of creating unique domain names being introduced daily, it is easy for one to ask why a .africa domain name will be better compared to the current .com domains.
The first reason is that it will be easier to get the .africa domain name you want with millions of available domain names options to choose from. Greater and more relevant choice means more opportunities for African businesses or businesses targeting Africa.
It will also be much easier to get noticed in search engines with a .africa domain. Your site will get even more recognition when someone looks up information related to Africa in specific search engines or directories. Moreover, this can be quite useful for those who wish to benefit from online advertisement programms like google’s AdSense program.
Above all, a .africa domain ensures that security issues will no longer be something you need to constantly worry about. With all these reasons driving more people towards having their own .africa domain names in the near future, it is easy to see why the Internet is opening more doors. Let us work together to ensure we tap this unique opportunity the African continent.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Africa: UN launches 2014 online courses on Finance, Trade, and Intellectual PropertyThe United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has just launched the 2014 edition of the online training courses in financial management, international trade and intellectual property. Read More
AfDB officially unveils Africa Information Highway platformAfrica’s first “one-stop” data centre, the Africa Information Highway, was officially launched this week in Pretoria, South Africa, by the African Development Bank. Read More
Internet Solutions joins Alliance for Affordable InternetIS has become one of the first African network operators to join the Alliance for Affordable Internet. Read More
First African Blogger Awards now open for entriesEnter the continent’s very first awards programme that measures online and social influencers’ reach and influence. Read More
AfDB’s Africa Information Highway in roadshowThe Africa Information Highway Roadshow kicks off in Pretoria, South Africa, this week, to showcase what AfDB describes as the continent’s first “one-stop centre” for development data. Read More
Africa Child Online Protection Summit set for Uganda in AprilThe Africa Child Online Protection Summit will be held from 21 - 23 April at the Speke Resort in Muyonyo, Kampala. Read More
Cape Verde joins the African Virtual University as Member StateThe Republic of Cape Verde has signed the African Virtual University (AVU) Charter to become the 19th Member State. Read More
Fifteen counties targeted in AccessKenya network expansionAccessKenya says more counties have come on stream as the company rolls out its network expansion plan. Read More
New CEO at ZACRThe ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has a new CEO with a vision to accelerate transformation within the South African DNS (Domain Name System) industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.