AFRINIC

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General Information
Stakeholder Group: Technical
Type: Regional Internet Registry
Issue Areas: IP Numbers
Country: Mauritius
Region: Africa
Founded: 2000-2004
Headquarters: 11th Floor Raffles Tower
Cybercity
Ebene, Mauritius
Website: http://www.afrinic.net
Contact
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@afrinic
People
Alan P. Barrett, CEO

Sunday Folayan, Board Chair
Haitham Z. El Nakhal, Vice Chair

The African Network Information Center (AFRINIC) is the Regional Internet Registry of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Overview

All the information concerning African registered resources and domain names can be found within the AFRINIC Whois database; all this information and the AFRINIC database is available to the public for transparency purposes, but it is under copyright.[1]

The Creation of AFRINIC

The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is a non-governmental and not-for-profit membership based organization. Its main role is to serve as the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the African region. AFRINIC was recognized by ICANN as a functioning regional registry and information center in 2004. Before the creation of AFRINIC, all IP Addresses were managed by APNIC, ARIN, and RIPE NCC.[2]

AFRINIC's mission is: "To serve the African Community by providing professional and efficient management of Internet number technology usage and development, and promoting Internet self-governance." [3]

Membership is open to any individual or organization that qualifies [4]. Its policy development process is open to anybody without any specific requirements [5]. AFRINIC holds open Public Policy Meetings [6] twice a year throughout its service region. One of these meetings usually takes place alongside the Africa Internet Summit (AIS) [7], an event which AFRINIC co-hosts together with several other African Internet governance organizations (the Af*) [8].

ICANN, IANA and AFRINIC

ICANN recognized the provisions of AFRINIC in 2004, and the registry began operating in April, 2005, when it received the first allocation of numbering resources, IP Addresses and Autonomous System Numbers (ANSs) for Africa. Its accreditation made it the world's 5th RIR, joining ARIN, APNIC, RIPE NCC, and LACNIC. [9] IANA, through an agreement with ICANN, allocates blocks of number resources to all five RIRs, which enables effective communication between networks and Internet traffic all around the world.

IANA has allocated the following IPv4 blocks to AfriNIC: 41/8, 102/8, 105/8 and 197/8;[10] and the following IPv6 blocks: 2001:4200::/23, 2C00:0000::/12.[11]

The 102/8 block which was allocated by IANA on February 3rd of 2011 is the last IPv4 block that will ever be allocated to the registry.[12]

ICANN Reaches out to Africa

Fadi Chehadé, expanding on previous CEO Rod Beckstrom's work, made reaching out to the international world a major priority, which notably entailed requiring new staff hires to speak 2 languages and personal and staff tours to promote ICANN and its New gTLD Program. It seemed through the way he talked about the current level of outreach and engagement and the lack of results that he believed that previous efforts were not substantial enough. He noted in his first speech to an ICANN audience, at ICANN 44 in Prague before he took up the CEO position, that he had already met with the African and Latin American delegations and that they were "yearning" to be reached out, which would be a top priority.[13]

In October, 2012, AFRINIC and ICANN signed an agreement to facilitate the deployment of anycast instances of L Root DNS server, operated by ICANN, in the African region. ICANN, as the operator of the L-Root Server, will work cooperatively with AFRINIC to identify candidate sites within the region of Africa that meet the criteria for the hosting of anycast instances of the L-Root server operated by ICANN. Part of AFRINIC's mission aims to increase the number of DNS root servers instances in the African region as well as its own DNS Anycast platform where AFRINIC hosts its own DNS services but also make it available at no cost for ccTLDs in the region.[14]

At ICANN 45 in Toronto, a 3 year plan, entitled "ICANN's New Approach to Africa", was unveiled and presented to the community for comment. The plan was created through a working group convened at the previous ICANN meeting, which involved input from much of the African delegation, AFRINIC, and other important contacts knowledgeable about the region.[15]

Developments

AFRNIC established its procedures for allocating IPv6 address space in a 2004 document.[16]

AFRINIC has also implemented an IPv6 "test lab" which can be used freely by AFRINIC members who wish to gain first-hand experience or test their IPv6 deployments.[17]

AFRINIC collaborates with AfNOG in setting dates and places for their annual meetings in order to facilitate convenient meetings for their joint members.[18]

Partnership with UniForum SA

In June, 2012, it was announced that UniForum SA and AFRINIC began a partnership to support training and policy discussions within Africa's tech community. AFRNIC provides training [19] on topics such as cybersecurity, IPv4 exhaustion, IPv6 deployment, Internet Protocol and mobility, policy and IP address allocation, and Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). UniForum SA will sponsor four AfriNIC meetings, where public and private sector officials can discuss Internet growth and accessibility policy issues, and the deployment of technologies such as cybersecurity and IPv6, as they affect the African continent.[20]

References