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Uncategorized By Jessica Colaço / May 14, 2012

The First African Internet Standards Forum

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Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Post by Paul Muchene of the iHub Networks Team

The phenomenal success of the Internet as today’s chief communication medium and platform for collaborative sharing and interaction has not been an accident.

There exists core values that have underpinned the Internet’s rise and exponential growth. One of these values is openness. The Internet was and still is designed with an open architecture in mind, this architecture in buttressed by open standards.

Since it’s inception in 1986, the  Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has fostered the development of Internet protocol specifications and has produced a number of high quality drafts  and documentation. Internet drafts that have gained traction are codified into a document known as a Request For Comments (RFCs). In IETF lingo, RFCs are the de-facto technical laws by which the Internet requires to function and to function well. Services like E-mail, DNS, IPv4, IPv6… have been extensively defined in numerous RFCs.

Membership to the IETF is open to all. Corporates, academics, government and individual Internet enthusiasts are free to participate in the IETF through joining a working group mailing list. Each working group focuses on eight key specific problem areas such as routing with the intended aim of crafting standards and recommendations.

On 12th May 2012, The first African Internet Standards forum was streamed live from Serekunda in Gambia with remote participation from the iHub. Participants tackled the issue of low African participation in the IETF and what mechanisms can be placed to encourage graduate students, engineers and tech devotees to engage. A panoply of presenters included Michuki Mwangi of the Internet Society( ISOC), Joe Abley of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Joe Jaeggli of game maker Zynga. They addressed numerous questions from local and remote participants especially questions regarding involvement in the IETF. The forum lasted for over four hours and thirty minutes and was both lively and illuminating.

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at: www.jessicacolaco.wordpress.com


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  • The First African Internet Standards Forum | InnovationAfrica at 18:13:39PM Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    [...] Go to Source /* Tagged with: ietf • internet • standard  If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! [...]

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