28 April, 2018
Swaziland's King Mswati III has officially renamed his country to the Kingdom of eSwatini during the nation's Golden Jubilee independence celebrations. Will its country code Top Level Domain change too?
Swaziland/eSwatini is a sovereign land-locked state in Southern Africa,bordered by Mozambique and South Africa.
eSwatini is not a new name, but one the country was previously known by. The King reportedly decided on the name change to prevent confusion - apparently, his country is often confused with Switzerland.
Changing the name of a country is no small undertaking, and in the modern age is made more complex. One of the challenges would be changing its domain name, which some news outlets are reporting will happen.
The extension .sz is assigned to Swaziland/eSwatini. While .sz doesn't really match up with eSwatini, it wouldn't be the only country where this happens (comparing the country name in English, anyway). For example, .ch* is the ccTLD for Switzerland. Perhaps the Swiss might like to have .sz instead as it's a better fit; but no doubt there would be an outcry from the many .ch domain registrants, who would far outnumber those with .sz registrations.
As to when such a change could happen for .sz, it's not clear - however, trying to access the Swaziland/eSwatini government's website showed it to be out of action at the time of writing - but that is probably unrelated. If a ccTLD change were to occur, it would be a long process and would perhaps set a precedent, as no other examples of this happening spring to mind.
As for choices, some of what would perhaps be the best matches are already taken (e.g. .es, which is assigned to Spain). There are around 250 ccTLD's assigned and given all are two letters, there are 676 possible combinations. However, only 26 start with the letter "e" - and 8 of those are taken by other countries.
Thankfully, there's no word of Australia's Prime Minister considering changing the name of this country. There's quite enough going on with Australian domain names these days as is.
*Trivia : Switzerland's official name in English is 'Swiss Confederation' - which translates to Confoederatio Helvetica in latin (abbrev. CH).
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