The .africa (dotAfrica) gTLD offers a unique opportunity to individuals, governments, companies and others to associate their products, services and information with the continent and people of Africa. As major brands like Absa register, use and promote .africa (dotAfrica) domain names, the effect on commerce, education, health and other sectors will no doubt be profound as Africans use their new domain to unite the continent's internet community.
Banking giant Absa launched its new digital identity www.absa.africa last week, as part of its strategy to redefine its brand by aligning itself and connecting with all things African. Absa’s rebranding campaign is to be welcomed and should act as a catalyst for all Africans determined to build a new continent powered by pride and digital innovation.
That’s the word from Registry Africa, the administrator of the .africa (dotAfrica) geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) endorsed by the African Union Commission (AUC) and individual African States.
“It’s a brave new world out there, with Africans embracing their pan-African identities, challenging traditional business norms and seeking to develop and implement revolutionary ways in which to compete within the digital space.
“Absa’s belief in and alignment to the narrative of Africa as the Bright Continent through the selection of a .africa (dotAfrica) domain name as its primary web presence will no doubt boost progressive mindsets to rethink existing business, technology and branding strategies. But for now, the .africa (dotAfrica) domain name administrator is thrilled to see the domain name in action,” says Lucky Masilela, Registry Africa CEO.
In the months leading up to the launch of its Africa-centric digital identity Absa adopted an inclusive consultative process which went beyond simply consulting with over 130 000 employees, clients, customers and partners.
“Registry Africa, as the contracted custodian of the .africa (dotAfrica) domain name, was excited to be included in this process, especially for being given the opportunity to present its .africa (dotAfrica) vision to Absa several months ago. Absa’s rebranding supports our view that the .africa (dotAfrica) gTLD represents the online hopes and dreams of an entire continent,” explained Masilela.
The .africa (dotAfrica) domain name has brought together 54 African countries under a single, continent-wide domain name that stays true to the vision of the outstanding African leaders who, through the Oliver Tambo and Abuja Declarations respectively, recognised that ICT-based initiatives would be central to Africa's future socio-economic wellbeing.
Masilela added that Absa has clearly recognised the importance of laying credible digital foundations in pursuit of its mission to reclaim its African identity.
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Absa‘s confidence in the .africa (dotAfrica) gTLD will spur other enterprise-class brands to invest in their own .africa digital identifier. This should result in the further growth and development of African Registrars and Resellers (RasRs), as well as the various African country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), with all the associated web-related content and skills development.
Absa’s rebrand sees the bank coining the term “Africanacity”, described as the distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done: “A new dawn, a new Absa. This new dawn comes with the extraordinary opportunity to redefine the bank as a truly African brand, unified and united with one goal, which is to bring possibility to life. We have a brand new purpose; a new brave, passionate attitude, ready to take on all opportunities Africa affords all of us,” the bank stated in its brand communication.
“There’s a sense of renewal in the air and well-regarded brands like Absa are to be commended for leading this charge into a promising African future,” said Masilela.
He urged other leading brands to not only register their own .africa (dotAfrica) domain names but to actively start using them. “By registering and using .africa (dotAfrica) domain names, brands receive both legal protection and marketing benefits, which include amongst others associating the brand’s products, services and information to the African continent,” concluded Masilela.
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