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RIPE NCC and AfriNIC Contribute to the Launch of Arab Internet Governance Forum

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New initiative demonstrates ongoing cooperation between region’s governments and technical community

When the Arab Internet Governance Forum (AIGF) holds its first ever meeting in Kuwait City in October 2012, it will do so with the strong support and expert input of the region’s technical community, especially AfriNIC and the RIPE NCC, the two Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that provide services to the area.

The AIGF was formally established at a multistakeholder open consultation meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon in February 2012. Sponsored by the RIPE NCC and the Kuwait Information Technology Society, this open consultation featured stakeholders from governments, private sector, civil society and regional organisations in the Arab World.

The proposal to form the AIGF received consensus support from the government representatives as well as other stakeholders. Following the consensus received during the open consultation, the Arab Telecommunication and Information Council of Ministers (ATICM) of the League of Arab States gave approval for the AIGF to begin its important work. Efforts to establish the AIGF have been greatly supported by the League of Arab States (LAS), the United Nation Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia (ESCWA), the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Republic of Egypt National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority and the Government of Lebanon.

“With the launch of the AIGF we are witnessing a further evolution in the relationship between the technical community and governments,” notes RIPE NCC Director of External Relations Paul Rendek. “This comes at a crucial time for the Arab region when the need to discuss Internet governance in a regional context has become more important than ever. I am delighted that the RIPE NCC has been able to support the development of the AIGF. We have worked hard to foster cooperation between local technical community and bodies like ESCWA and LAS. The launch of the AIGF paves the way for us to build even stronger relationships with governments and national regulatory authorities in the region”.

As well as providing a forum to discuss those aspects of Internet governance most relevant to operators, governments and other stakeholders in the region, the AIGF also serves to channel those concerns into broader Internet discussions, particularly the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which takes place in November this year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“By discussing regional issues at the AIGF, Internet stakeholders in the Arab States will be better positioned to contribute to and take advantage of an event like the 2012 IGF in Baku, ” comments AfriNIC CEO Adiel A. Akplogan. “I welcome the development of this regional forum which will enable all stakeholders to further cooperate to address issues specific to the region”.

The AIGF represents a further development following on from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that took place between 2003-2005, and the subsequent evolution of the IGF over the past six years. This has been a result of the continued regional coordination and cooperation between governments, private sector, civil society, academia and the technical community.

“Capacity building is one of the most significant issues in ICT for the governments in the Middle East,” says Mr. Rendek, “and this depends on developing relationships between all stakeholders in the region. The RIPE NCC has been focusing efforts on such capacity building initiatives through the IPv6 Roadshow training events and the Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG), which holds its tenth meeting in May, while AfriNIC has been instrumental in establishing the African Network Operators’ Group (AfNOG). The launch of the AIGF is a further example of what effective cooperation between governments and the private sector can achieve in this area.”

The multistakeholder nature of the AIGF is highlighted by the formation of a Multistakeholder Advisory Group to develop the event’s program and direct the work of the AIGF generally. The AIGF Secretariat recently issued an invitation for experts from all stakeholder groups to apply for membership of the MAG. An application form is available at:

http://www.igfarab.org/

The First Meeting of the Arab Internet Governance Forum (AIGF) will take place in Kuwait City, Kuwait, in October 2012.

 

Notes to Editors

About the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are independent, not-for-profit membership organisations that support the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination. There are five RIRs in the world today. Currently, the Internet Assigned Numbers Association (IANA) allocates blocks of IP addresses and ASNs, known collectively as Internet number resources, to the RIRs, who then distribute them to their members within their own specific service regions. RIR members include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications organisations, large corporations, governments, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders, including end users.

The RIR model of open, transparent participation has proven successful at responding to the rapidly changing Internet environment. Each RIR holds one to two open meetings per year, as well as facilitating online discussion by the community, to allow the open exchange of ideas from the technical community, the business sector, civil society, and government regulators.

The countries in the League of Arab States are split between two RIR service regions, and are served by AfriNIC and the RIPE NCC.

About AfriNIC

AfriNIC has been set up to serve the African community by providing professional and efficient management of Internet Number Resources, supporting Internet technology usage and development, and promoting a participative and multi-stakeholder approach to Internet self governance. AfriNIC is a non-government, not-for-profit, membership based organization, based in Mauritius.  Trainings and capacity building are a central part of AfriNIC’s activities and our objective is to build competence within our region in IPv6 implementation and associated technologies required to use our resources effectively and to increase awareness within the service region on

www.afrinic.net

About the RIPE NCC

Founded in 1992, the RIPE NCC is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that supports the infrastructure of the Internet. The most prominent activity of the RIPE NCC is to act as a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) providing global Internet resources and related services to a current membership base of more than 8,000 members in over 75 countries. These members consist mainly of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunication organisations and large corporations located in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia.

The RIPE NCC performs a range of critical functions including the allocation of Internet number resources, the storage and maintenance of this registration data and the provision of an open, publicly accessible database where this data can be accessed.

The RIPE NCC also provides a range of technical and coordination services for the Internet community including the operation of K-root (one of the 13 root name servers).

www.ripe.net

About The Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG)

The Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG) is the regional forum offering network engineers and other technical staff the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, and identify areas for regional cooperation.

www.menog.net

About The African Network Operators Group (AfNOG)

The Africa Network Operators Group is a forum for the exchange of technical information, and aims to promote discussion of implementation issues that require community cooperation through coordination and cooperation among network service providers to ensure the stability of service to end users.

The goal of AfNOG is to share experience of technical challenges in setting up, building and running IP networks on the African continent.

www.afnog.org

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Alex Bishop

Racepoint Group UK

Tel: +44(0)208 8811 2474

Email: ripencc _at_ racepointgroup _dot_ com