The 2016 IGF took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 6 – 9 December. AFRINIC staff and several FIRE Africa grantees made the trip to participate in this important global Internet governance event. We've put together an overview of the week's highlight's below:
Seed Alliance Award Ceremony
The FIRE Africa Award winners received their trophies during the Seed Alliance Award ceremony which took place on 6th December, alongside the winners from the other Seed Alliance sister programmes, LACNIC's FRIDA and APNIC's ISIF Asia.
Chosen from nearly 60 applications, the 2016 FIRE Africa Award winners received a US$3,000 cash prize and a travel grant to attend the 2016 IGF to showcase their projects on the global stage, meet winners from other regions and network with other like-minded individuals and tech entrepreneurs.
Alan Barrett, AFRINIC CEO, gave the opening speech and thanked the Seed Alliance sponsors, IDRC and the Internet Society, as well as former sponsor Sida who played a key part in setting up the strong foundations on which the Seed Alliance programme is based. Dr. Raúl Echeberría, Vice President Global Engagement - Internet Society, Paul Wilson, Director General - APNIC, Phet Sayo, Senior Programme Officer - IDRC, and Oscar Robles, CEO - LACNIC, also delivered speeches.
Caleb Ndaka, Kids Comp Camp, Kenya, receives his award from Dr. Raúl Echeberría, Vice President Global Engagement - Internet Society
"This is a chance for us to go beyond what we have achieved. It's a clear chance for us to go for the dream that we have always dreamt of seeing in our community." - Caleb Ndaka, Kids Comp Camp, Kenya.
''The 2016 IGF is not only exciting for me, but it has been a platform for learning new ideas and challenging my status quo and comfort zones. I am re-energised and ready to make a purposeful difference in the world. I am the one the World has been waiting for!'' - Didas Mzirai, 21st Century Digital Farmer, Mucho Mango, Kenya.
"When I got the email confirmation for my invitation I said 'What?! But it was true!'" - Tonny Okwonga, BOSCO Uganda, Uganda, Kenya.
‘’Success inspires success and AFRINIC inspires us to do more.’’ - Alieu Sowe, All Girls Tech Camp by Give1ProjectGambia, The Gambia.
Tim Human Tobetsa and WiFi TV Extension Project, South Africa, receives his award.
"It is so inspiring to meet and spend time with great people doing great things around Africa and the world. We are very grateful to be recognised for our work on the world stage and have left with many more ideas to improve and expand!’’ - Tim Human, Tobetsa and WiFi TV Extension Project, South Africa.
The Seed Alliance partners, Award winners and Vinton Cerf.
The two Internet Society Access Provision Grant Winners from BOSCO Uganda who are Expanding BOSCO Uganda Internet Network Access to the Rural Remote Communities in Northern Uganda, and The 21st Century Digital Farmer from Kenya also attended the 2016 IGF. The aim was to help them get mentorship and exposure from the many Internet experts who were at the IGF.
Videos for each of the winning projects from the three Seed Alliance regions, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa were then shown. All the Award winners form Seed Alliance also had a photo session with the CEOs of the three RIRs, representatives from IDRC and the Internet Society, and Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
The 2016 Seed Alliance winners were:
AgriNeTT by the University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago)
Restoring Connectivity: Movable and Deployable Resource ICT Unit (MDRU) by CVISNET Foundation (The Philippines);
Towards A Fairer Electoral System: 1 Person, 1 Vote, 1 Value by Tindak (Malaysia);
All Girls Tech Camp by Give1ProjectGambia (The Gambia);
Prenatal care for communities and remote ultrasound imaging, by DocmeUP, Ghana
Kids Comp Camp, Kenya
Tobetsa and WiFi TV Extension Project (South Africa)
You can watch the entire Seed Alliance Award ceremony here.
A workshop on "Cybersecurity - Initiatives in and by the Global South’’ was held on Tuesday 6 December and addressed cybersecurity initiatives in the global South from the perspectives of capacity building, collaboration, and information sharing. The session highlighted the importance of regional collaboration in fighting cybercrime as well as some interesting statistics from the Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in Africa.
Seed Alliance Funding recipients the Tonga CERT, the National Academic Network of Advanced Technology (Colombia) and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brasil) also participated, sharing information on how their projects are helping with building a safer cyberspace in the Latin America and Caribbean region | Watch the video here.
The session on "The Network of Networked Things: Finding the Internet in IoT" was held on 6 December and discussed the security, privacy and interoperability surrounding the IoT. Some participants called for more coordination between the different standards organisations that are working on the elements of the IoT. Regarding security, some of the discussion focused on the possibility of setting requirements for devices that allow them to connect to the Internet | Watch the video here.
The session "BPF IPv6 - Understanding the commercial and economic incentives behind a successful IPv6 deployment" took place on 7 December and highlighted the conclusions of this year's Best Practice IPv6 document that focused on the economic and commercial incentives to adopt IPv6. The session also highlighted the progress made on IPv6 deployment worldwide. Afifa Hariz from Tunisia participated remotely in the session and shared her experience of IPv6 deployment at the university ISET Charguia in Tunisia | Watch the video here.
A Seed Alliance workshop took place on Friday 9 December and looked at challenges faced by innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries. The challenges addressed capital, capacity building, and scaling up issues for projects. The session also explored ways for bridging these challenges and sought to identify the opportunities available to the entrepreneurs | Watch the video here.
The SEED Alliance and the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) each had a booth providing IGF attendees with valuable information on the RIR system and the work of the Seed Alliance and the three regional programmes - FIRE Africa, FRIDA and ISIF Asia.
- The Fund for Internet Research and Education (FIRE Africa) is AFRINIC's flagship grants and awards programme. It's designed to encourage and support the development of solutions to the region's unique information and communication needs by supporting projects and initiatives that emphasize the role of the Internet in social and economical development for the benefit of Africa. The programme plays a key role in AFRINIC's commitment to supporting the development of the Internet and Internet infrastructure and improving technical capacity building throughout Africa.
- The Seed Alliance is a collaborative partnership between the FIRE Africa, FRIDA and ISIF Asia Grants and Awards programs and the Alliance’s various partners and sponsors. Together, these programs support innovation on Internet development across the global south. Since The Seed Alliance started in 2012, the program partners have supported 151 projects from around 60 economies with over US$ 2.5 Million of funding allocated in Grants and Awards throughout Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, helping to strengthen and promote the Information Society within these regions.