It was a successful meeting. After almost two weeks, lots of trainings, meetings, roundtables, plenaries … and many interactive sessions, the curtain finally came down on Africa Internet Summit 2013.
Attended by over 400 people from more than 31 Africa and other countries and with over 4,000 online visitors, Lusaka went beyond expectation, particularly because this was the first time there were parallel sessions and numerous organisations presenting issues beyond the technical arena.
As is often the norm, the next host, Djibouti made their presentation, encouraging delegates to travel to the country next year. Before the AIS 2014, the next big meeting, AFRINIC 19, will be held in Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire. 211
One more day to the end of the Africa Internet Summit 2013.
After almost two weeks of trainings, workshops, round tables and plenary discussions, the meeting ends on Friday with the Annual General Members' Meeting (AGMM) during which various issues relating to the operations of AFRINIC will be discussed. The AFRINIC Board elections will also be conducted for the Northern, Western and Non-Regional/Geographical seats. The candidates standing for the Northern Region seat are: Hago Dafalla (Sudan), Haitham Z. El Nakhal (Egypt), Guellouz Ridha (Tunisia), Khaled Koubaa (Tunisia), and Mamine Mohamed L (Mauritania). Dr Alioune B. Traore from Mali and Nigerian Sunday Folayan will contest the Western Region seat. Aminata Garba (Niger) and Andrew Alston (South Africa) will contest Non-Regional/Geographical seat.
Unlike previous meetings, AIS '13 will close at lunchtime before the AGMM starts in the afternoon. The elections will be conducted during the AGMM. Voter registration for the election starts at 8am and goes on until 1pm.
Alan Barrett has won the 2013 Network Information & Infrastructure (NII) Service Award. Mr Barrett who comes from South Africa won the award for his commitment to capacity building and Internet development in Africa. He has been involved in capacity building through both AfNOG and AFRINIC for many years and has been a key player in the African Internet community.
Tuesday was AfNOG's day. Well, there were other sessions but the focus was AfNOG as they sought to demonstrate the important role technical issues play in networking and connections. And of course the impact that has had on Internet access and use.
With presenters coming from different parts of the world, this was an interesting day offering ideas on networking, peering, cloud computing, capacity building, and many other issues. It was also an opportunity for network engineers and operators and others to meet to share operational best practices, experiences, knowledge and skills.
Even the African Secret Working Group had an opportunity to share their 2013 report. But they swore the delegates to secrecy, and thus none of the issues they shared make it to this Brief.
The Africa Internet Summit 2013 officially kicked off Monday with many speakers challenging Africans to utilise the Internet efficiently and effectively for development. Officially opening AIS '13, Zambia's Minister for Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga said Africa should use appropriate and adequate technology to enhance social and economic development. He noted that enhanced utilisation of the Internet has had multiplier effects on social and economic development in many countries in Africa. However, he decried the low penetration rates in many African countries which he said have had perilous consequences on Africa's position at the global level.
After a week of trainings, it's time to take things to another level. The meeting proper starts with a menu of interesting and exciting sessions on offer. This will be the day when the meeting is officially open. Scheduled for 2pm, the official opening will be done by the Minister for Transport, Works, Supply and Communications. Dr Nii Quaynor, the AfNOG Convenor, will give the keynote.
But first things first. The first-comers sessions kicks off in the morning. The session introduces delegates to the Internet ecosystem and the various organisations, the Af* (pronounced A F stars) explaining to delegates their place in the African (and indeed global) Internet ecosystem, what their roles are and what efforts and resources they have invested in promoting connectivity and use in Africa.
It has been going on for a whole week now but the enthusiasm for the training is not ebbing. After a week of intense AfNOG training, it was the turn of AFRINIC to join the class with the IPv6 Strategy & Planning (or IPv6 for Managers as is popularly known) and Internet Number Resources Management courses.
The courses are part of the popular capacity building programme that AFRINIC has initiated as it seeks to offer the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and efficiently manage Internet number resources. "The knowledge we share here will definitely have a multiplier effect. We must harness the potential and through training we can achieve a lot," says Badru Ntege, the AFRINIC Board chair who is also part of the AfNOG team. Speaking at the Top Floor where the training has been taking place, Mr Ntege said the course addresses current and emerging needs and gaps. "This is a platform for sharing and engaging with each other and it has been successful although there is still a lot to be done."