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Pre-2016 Press Releases 8 September 2011

Internet Society congratulates AfNOG for 10 years’ dedication to African Internet development

One of the driving forces of African Internet development reaches a significant milestone this week. In 2000, the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG) held its first meeting in Cape Town. Now, as leading members of the African Internet community gather for AfNOG 10 in Cairo, the Internet Society is pleased to publicly congratulate AfNOG and all who worked tirelessly for its success over this past decade.

With pioneering leadership and a dedicated, passionate community, AfNOG epitomises the Internet development model of collaboration, co-operation, and experience sharing.

Writing on behalf of the Internet Society, Lynn St. Amour (President and CEO) has praised AfNOG as “a strong voice for advancing African Internet interests as well as the interests of users in Africa”.

In common with other regional operator groups, AfNOG is a forum for the exchange of technical information. It promotes discussion of implementation issues that require community cooperation, and it helps coordinate the efforts of network service providers to ensure stability of service to end users. It has also been instrumental in training a generation of African Internet engineers.

“AfNOG’s work to advance capacity building and Internet technical education across the continent has been exceptional,” said Ms St.Amour. “Well over 800 engineers having received training through its community-driven tutorials and hands-on workshops.”

AfNOG and the Internet Society have long enjoyed a close relationship. Several of ISOC’s INET meetings have been held in conjunction with AfNOG, including this week’s INET Cairo meeting, which focussed on the importance of the next Internet Governance meeting, also to be held in Egypt, in November. ISOC is also a long-standing contributor to the AfNOG fellowship programme, which provides financial assistance for African engineers to participate in AfNOG’s annual meetings and training sessions.

AfNOG emerged from the dynamism of the African Internet community, and for the past decade has been vital in fostering that spirit. Despite the resource and infrastructure challenges faced in the region, almost a quarter of all ISOC Chapters are in Africa, many of which are active participants in AfNOG.

As part of the ongoing partnership between ISOC and AfNOG, the two organisations, in collaboration with the Network Start-up Resource Center, launched this week the “Taking AfNOG Home” project. The project aims to spread the benefits of the AfNOG training curriculum more widely by working with local African technical communities to conduct workshops in country throughout the year. ISOC’s Congo-Brazzaville and Ghana Chapters will host the first two local AfNOG workshops in June and July respectively.

For all the success and hard work to date, much still remains to be done to deliver the social and economic benefits of the Internet to all of Africa.

“As AfNOG embarks on its next 10 years,” said Ms. St.Amour, “it will be important to ensure that your values are passed to future generations of participants and leadership. I am confident that the spirit of community and service so many of you have worked so hard to foster will provide AfNOG a strong foundation for the years ahead. And ISOC, as always, stands ready to work with you.”

The full text of Ms. St.Amour’s message to AfNOG is available online.

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