TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY PIERRE DONADIEU People participate in the 48-hour
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY PIERRE DONADIEU People participate in the 48-hour "hackathon" event, in which seven teams compete to develop innovative applications to facilitate access to information in Africa, at the Ecole Superieure Africaine des Technologies et des Communications in Abidjan on April 18, 2015. In Ivory Coast, only 200,000 out of 23 million inhabitants have an internet subscription, according to the government. The goal of the "hackathon" is "to identify and support projects that will allow better access to information in African countries", a co-organizer of the event said. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union.

AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa “got [its] own digital identity”.

The AU says the .africa domain name will “bring the continent together as an internet community”.

Addresses can now reflect a company’s interest in the whole of Africa.

For example, a mobile phone company could create to show its Africa-wide presence, or a travel company could set up

Icann, the body that establishes these addresses known as generic Top-Level Domains, approved the move, after lobbying by the AU.

The campaign was spearheaded by a South African company ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which will now be responsible for registering .africa names.

ZACR’s boss Lucky Masilela said that .africa addresses could cost as little as $18 (roughly 65,000 UGX), AFP news agency quotes him as saying, and registration will start in July.

Other domain names recently created by Icann, include .fun, .phone and .hair.

source: BBC News