Djibouti, Djibouti City, June 2nd, 2014
AfREN held its 2014 meeting in Djibouti on 2 June 2014, as part of the Af* annual meetings and conferences, known as African Internet Summit, with the usual support of the Association of African Universities (AAU).
More than 40 participants attended the meeting, which featured updates from the three regional RENs covering the continent, namely ASREN (www.asrenorg.net), the UbuntuNet Alliance (www.ubuntunet.net) and WACREN (www.wacren.net).
The updates showed that despite challenges, NRENs as well as the regional RENs are making good progress. On community and international outreach, knowledge and experience sharing, it was acknowledged that the UbuntuNet Alliance and ASREN have now well established and well-attended annual conferences (UbuntuNet Connect and eAGE); WACREN also organized its first annual conference earlier this year in Lomé, Togo.
Technical presentations covered issues related to capacity building strategies for RENs with the presentation on the WACREN-UbuntuNet Alliance joint African Training Initiative (ATI), to addressing end user needs with the experience sharing from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria, to opportunities for setting up regional REN peering points on the continent presented by NSRC and to Africa’s involvement in the Global Network Architecture for research and education (GNA), presented by NorduNet.
The presentations triggered lively and interesting discussions, especially on regional REN peering and Africa’s involvement in the GNA initiative. On the latter, it was decided that ASREN, the UbuntuNet Alliance and WACREN will designate representatives who will participate in the periodic online meetings of the GNA technical groups.
This year’s AfREN meeting also witnessed the active participation of colleagues from Korea, namely from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), (C National University), Chungnam National University (CNU) and Seoul National University (SNU). Presentations were on APAN, the Asia-Pacific sister organization (done by its Chair), content-centric networking and Future Internet.
It was resolved that the Africa-Korea collaboration would be pursued and strengthened. AfREN Convener was asked to follow up on this with the Korean colleagues, with the objective of extending this initiative to an Africa-Asia collaboration.
The meeting also acknowledged the participation of ICANN’s Vice-President for Stakeholder Engagement, Africa; he called for more involvement of African academia and researchers in the Internet governance process.
At the closing of the meeting, AAU as well as AfNOG and AfriNIC were commended for their continued support. It was suggested and welcomed that AfREN should revert to its 2-day meeting, instead of one day only.
RENs were encouraged to put the annual AfREN meeting in their agenda and to make provision for sponsorship for their members, in order to ensure wide participation in this important event.