Alan Barrett wins the 2013 NII Award
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.
Barrett becomes the fifth winner of the Award. The award was presented to Mr Barrett by the conveyor of AfNOG Dr. Nii Quaynor at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel during a gala dinner organised to celebrate the achievement of the Africa Internet Summit 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia. The gala dinner was attended by tens of the AIS 2013 delegates who had an opportunity to enjoy Zambian cuisine and entertainment provided by one of the country's biggest acts Mampi.
The NI&I Service Award was set up to reward individuals and/or organisations providing Internet working services and Infrastructure in Africa.
The NII Young Professional Award went to Patrick Okui of Uganda. Mr Okui has been involved in capacity building particularly through AfNOG and has contributed enormously to ensuring the organisation's trainings are conducted successfully.
Mapping the future of the Internet
Despite its technical nature, IPv6 sessions continue to draw huge crowds. And this did not disappoint. The half-day discussion looked at the state of IPv6 around the world, its characteristics, availability and use.
Although most of the discussions were technical, the interest generated by the issues discussed demonstrated the need to understand how IPv6 will impact access and use of the Internet as IPv4 exhausts. The ongoing deployment of IPv6 around the world, and adoption by major vendors means this was a hot issue. For example, Madhvi Gokool of AFRINIC mentioned the rising request for IPv6 addresses alongside IPv4 as an indicator of its importance in the future of the Internet.
This may in fact contribute to the success of the Internet and Internet exchange points as local content becomes important in a globalised world. As part of the IXP discussions, the issue of cable connections and infrastructure was dealt with. Of particular interest were issues and challenges affecting infrastructural development across Africa.
Policy development and its effects on AFRINIC
The AIS has become a critical forum where policies informing the operations and future of AFRINIC are discussed. As AFRINIC operations are informed by the policies in place, the PDP is critical to the future of the organisation.
The session started with an introduction to the policy development process during which participants were taken through the process critical to the formulation and implementation of the policies that govern the operations of AFRINIC.
There are currently several policies under discussion. This will continue to be discussed on Thursday morning. The following policies are being discussed during the AIS 2013.
- Remove requirement to announce entire v6 block as single aggregate (AFPUB-2013-V6-001-DRAFT01 )
- IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment (AFPUB-2013-V4-002-DRAFT-01 )
- Academic IPv4 Allocation (AFPUB-2013-GEN-001-DRAFT-02 )
- Inter RIR IPv4 Address Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01 )
- AFRINIC Whois Database Clean-up (AFPUB-2012-GEN-001-DRAFT-02)
- Anycast Assignments in the AFRINIC region (AFPUB-2012-V4-001-DRAFT-01)
- No Reverse Unless Assigned (AFPUB-2012-DNS-001-DRAFT-02 )
Securing Africa in an era of increased social media access and use
Social media has gained currency in many parts of the world. Social media, and particularly mobile telephony, have become an important feature of modern Africa.
Discussing the effects of social media in Africa, panellists discussed how social media had transformed the African economic, social and political landscape. Of particular interest was how communities were using social media and modern technology. Similarly, the issue of enhancing connectivity via TV white spaces was interesting to numerous delegates keen on utilising new channels to enhance Internet penetration in Africa. In a continent still low on penetration, TV white spaces have become the new frontier for the advancement of Internet development and access.
While mobile and social media technologies impact socio-economic and political landscapes around the world, various issues related to their use have arisen. Security is perhaps of the one of the most critical ones with experts at the AfricaCERT discussions indicating how Africa has become vulnerable to cyber attacks. To help find solutions to such attacks, the AfricaCERT suggested that a task force need to be formed to help advance online security. Accordingly, a twelve-member group will be formed to find ways of bulwarking Africa's defence against cyber attacks.