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AFRINIC-27 conference seeks local Internet hosting in Africa


Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss.

• NiRA claims registration of over 100, 000 .ng domain names
• NCC seeks enabling environment for IPv6 deployment in Nigeria

Experts and participants at the African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) organized conference have called for improved local hosting of Internet traffic. This, they claimed would help to support Internet development in Africa and boost the economy.
Gathered in Lagos at the meeting dubbed AFRINIC-27, with the theme: “Taking the African Internet to the Next Level through Policy, Collaboration and Education”, hosted by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) in Lagos, participants stressed the need for more collaboration among African countries to boost the Internet economy.
According to them, with right policy and efficient infrastructure in place traffic meant for Africa need not travel to either Europe of America before coming back to Africa.

Opening the conference, Chief Executive Officer of AFRINIC, Alan Barret, said that since inception, they have allocated more than 100 million IPv4 addresses and over 9000 IPv6/32 prefixes in Africa with around 42 per cent of over 1500 members receiving an IPv6 prefix.
“This year at end of October, we have allocated 7.2 million IPv4 addresses, 95/32 IPv6 prefixes and 127 ASNs with 122 new members joining us.
“Besides our main role, which is to distribute Internet Number Resources in Africa, we contribute to ensuring that our processes remain transparent and secure at all times.
“We have in place tools with which we are able to communicate our number resources distribution activities as well as ensuring that this distribution is secure.
Barret also referred to the ‘WHOIS database, RPKI and DNSSEC’ as tools and technologies that the community has used to keep the cyber space secure and transparent. 
“We keep monitoring this to ensure we are up to date with the latest technological developments and in line with policies as proposed and ratified,” he stated.
In his welcome address, the President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Folayan, said the Association has reiterated its passion to deepen DNS industry in Africa.
In lieu of this, he said NiRA Academy was set up as an entity charged with the mandate of developing knowledge and bridging the knowledge gap that exists within the DNS industry.At the conference, Folayan declared that Nigeria has registered over 100,000 active domain names, thereby making NiRA, the second largest registry in Africa.
“We believe that training and capacity building is an investment in the future of our continent and we encourage all to collaborate and partner with NiRA Academy in developing our community and the Internet Ecosystem at large.
“This is to the extent that NiRA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Training and certification with Afrinic to achieve our aim of deepening our knowledge and understanding of the Internet”, the NiRA President said.
In his Special Remark, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, AFRINIC has contributed a lot in providing platforms for Internet development in Africa, from about 4.5 million in 2002 to over 388 million users in 2017.
Danbatta said the growth of the Internet Industry in Africa comes with the challenge of sustaining its development to ensure that the industry maintains global relevance and contends with challenges of low penetration.
To stimulate this growth and harness the opportunities of technological advancement, the NCC EVC noted that massive investment in Internet infrastructures is needed, particularly broadband, which will enable job creation, economic growth, and global competitiveness. “This can be achieved through sustainable policies and collaborative efforts.”
Danbatta revealed that there has been amazing progress in the development of IXPs in Africa “but still much to be done to improve national and cross-border interconnection within the region, also further consolidate data, and enable Africa to collaborate more on data management within the region, as well as develop its data and privacy framework to enable the region even further collaborate globally to address the new digital era.

“To support emerging technologies, we need to create an enabling environment for IPv6 deployment. We need to engage more in the area of Internet Governance and other similar initiatives from national to sub-regional to regional and global to contribute and share best practices that can help to grow the Internet,” Danbatta stated.
According to him, the Internet facility has thrown up so many challenges, including cyber crime, among others.To curb this menace, Danbatta revealed that NCC is partnering with relevant agencies to provide proactive measures in mitigating cybercrime. “The Commission is setting up a Sectorial Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) center that will collaborate with the ngCERT (domicile in the office of the NSA), in tackling issues that relate to the telecommunications industry in the fight against cybercrime.
“On the international level, Nigeria through NCC, is partnering with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to set up Africa Regional Cybersecurity Center (RCC) in Abuja. The center will be used for Africa Regional Cybersecurity information sharing (cyber-attacks, threats, malwares and viruses etc) and also to train countries within the Africa sub-region on Cybersecurity related issues.” 

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AFRINIC-27Umar Danbatta
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