The Africa Internet Summit (AIS) is an annual event that brings together network and system engineers from across Africa to learn new skills, which they take back to their work places to improve the Internet experience or connectivity for their local users and their community. The AIS event is in two parts: the first week comprises of technical workshops around different topics like Internet Services and Routing and the second week consists of conference meetings and plenaries discussing issues important to Africa’s tech environment.
A lot of the content at the technical workshop week covers services, standards or best practices defined in documents produced by the IETF.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the standards setting body of the Internet. In a bid to increase awareness on the work and importance of the IETF, ISOC’s Africa Regional Bureau has run a number of activities in Africa over the years including yearly update forums or talks at the Africa Internet Summit.
Participation, awareness and interest in the IETF is increasing in Africa and this year, the Internet Society and AFRINIC are collaborating on a hackathon to demonstrate how much of the work at the IETF is done: through rough consensus and running code.
The Hackathon is titled “Hackathon @AIS” and is the first event of its kind at AIS. The purpose of this hackathon is to gather able engineers from Africa to work on challenges based on IETF work and show them how work at the IETF is produced. In this pilot event, participants have been drawn from Kenya’s tech community, West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), the UbuntuNET Alliance, and the Kenya Education Network Trust (KENET) to take part in the two day activity.
Expert facilitators will lead the two day event which will involve the participants working on solutions or implementations based on published standards or Internet Drafts being discussed at the IETF. The participants are from 12 different countries and following the event, they will be encouraged to run similar activities in their countries to further increase awareness and participation of engineers to the work of the IETF as well as join some of the IETF’s Working Groups that interest them.
The hackathon is also being documented to be shared with others who would wish to conduct similar activities here: https://hackathon.internetsummitafrica.org.
The event takes places on the 27th and 28th of May 2017.