Info! Please note that this translation has been provided at best effort, for your convenience. The English page remains the official version.
Inclusion and diversity in the African Internet Ecosystem



community 02Playing motherland to over 50 economies, Africa is rich and diverse in its many cultures, colours, beliefs and tongues that shape the uniqueness of each country while retaining a sense of similarity that can be unmistakably identified as African. The beat of our music, our delectable cuisines, and of course the gusto in African fashion, the list is as long and as vibrant as the river Nile itself.

The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) works towards achieving its vision of “A secure and accessible Internet for sustainable digital growth in Africa”. This has been done through facilitating open, all-inclusive arenas where people from different origins and different backgrounds come together in technical workshops, policy discussions as well as public meetings and mailing lists.

It is without a doubt that the Internet is increasingly becoming the backbone that brings Africa closer in all spheres of life. Creating a space that fosters sharing, collaborating and co-creation so that individuals can find their peers and come together regardless of religion, gender, creed, culture and geographical distances to form a “community”.

Despite all the technological advances that Africa has seen over recent years, there are still a large number of Africans who have no access to this transformational technology, resulting in what is commonly known as a digital divide. However, the digital divide reflects not only access to technology but also diversity in building and developing the Internet. Tech spaces that started as “old boys clubs” that were and in some cases still are “male-dominated” are now seeing more and more programs aimed at getting female contributors.

During AFRINIC meetings, the place of inclusion and diversity is created through a number of programs such as fellowships programs, that aid fellows financially to attend the open free of charge meetings AFRINIC holds bi-annually. Newcomers at an AFRINIC event are taken through a newcomers induction session that helps walk them through the different aspects of the meeting and the policy process all in an effort to inject new blood into our community allowing for the growth and movement to continue for generations to come.



AFRINIC realises that not everyone can travel to these meetings due to the high cost of travel around the continent, another obstacle to inclusion and technical development in Africa. In an effort to ensure that none of the African stakeholders is left behind, AFRINIC introduced online workshops and training courses that Africans can join and participate in from the comfort of their own offices or homes. We have a number of courses in the AFRINIC Academy that are free and in English and French.

Diversity and more women inclusion and empowerment have also been goals AFRINIC has been striving to achieve for years. AFRINIC has over the years supported the women in the ICT programme like the AfChix programme, which is a network of women in Technology who consider gender diversity in the Computer Science & ICT industry very critical for increased creativity and innovative performance of the industry.

English is the official business language in AFRINIC, however, supporting a single language for the whole African continent is a hurdle for many of the AFRINIC members. As such, AFRINIC is taking measures to ensure the inclusivity of our rich diversity of languages in Africa. AFRINIC has instituted its content localisation programme to have information available in several languages on The AFRINIC Website. At the moment, AFRINIC has started supporting Arabic and French the website with more languages lined up. You can read more on our Blog.

AFRINIC has also been working with a few of the Network Operator Groups it sponsors in the region to help localise the technical content and material in the local languages. Working with NOGs such as the Sudan Network Operator Group (SdNOG) and Angola Network Operators Group (AONOG) has resulted in some fruitful translation collaborations.

fellowship 02It is key that AFRINIC while bridging all of these efforts and collaboration initiatives, ensure that all the volunteers and participants feel safe and respect the diverse perspectives and core values of the others. It is not uncommon that cultural and communications slips occur regularly when dealing with a diverse group. In real life, such slips or faux pas emotional intelligence usually kicks and usually verbal and non-verbal cues help guide the participants in such interactions. However, in a completely virtual setting, these non-verbal cues disappear making it harder to read the intent behind the words communicated. Even some of the most honest and sincere feedback could be taken as assault or harassment if not dealt with in a manner that makes the recipient feel comfortable.

It is therefore important to create open, equitable, fair and productive platforms where community members feel respected irrespective of their differences. AFRINIC firmly discourages disrespect, personal attacks and harassment. This is why the AFRINIC Community has formalised its code of conduct and netiquette documents for the mailing list and its members. This is to level the playing field and ensure discussions are relevant, inclusive and also to discourage bullying.

In situations where community members prefer to place an anonymous report in confidence, AFRINIC has retained the services of a third-party whistleblowing platform hosted by an independent provider, EthicsPoint. The information provided is totally confidential and anonymous.



AFRINIC is also conducting a cleanup exercise on our mailing lists to safeguard the Community members from personal attacks. In order to benefit from the potential strength, we need to collectively create a welcoming and all-inclusive environment that engages in constructive dialogues where people exercise their right to freely and openly express their thoughts and critics while respecting their colleagues and their right not to be publicly attacked or insulted.

Our journey towards embracing all of the diversity this continent has to offer is still long. We rely on the efforts of the AFRINIC Community to guide us on more ways to be more inclusive. We, therefore, call for more ideas on how we do more to ensure our community is involved.


Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your thoughts and keep the dialogue going.






 This blog has been written by: 

bhana blog susan blog






Supporting language diversity through an inclusive approach within the AFRINIC Service Region


af lok1AFRINIC has a diverse membership and community. Even though English is our official language, we have at heart to support the rich diversity and inclusivity of our regional languages instead of being restricted to specific languages only. Along those lines, we have instituted our content localisation programme that aims to have information in several African languages on our website. We have started supporting Arabic and French on our main website ( with more languages coming up.


Importance of online content localisation 

The digital language divide is very pertinent in our region. Unesco argues that speakers of non-dominant languages need to be able to express themselves online in culturally meaningful ways, and urges governments to develop comprehensive language-related policies that support and facilitate online linguistic diversity and multilingualism. However, translation technologies offer one solution to bridging online language divides. We invite you to read this story that highlights how content localisation is helping businesses in our region grow.


Context story

Supporting language diversity through an inclusive approach within the AFRINIC Service Region
Akinyi is a young agri-entrepreneur from Nairobi who grew up in a family of farmers and planters from a nearby village. Her clients enjoy the freshness of her products and the values she provides, such as offline or online orders, e-payment and real-time delivery tracking services.

Akinyi did not use English as her first language for all the offline operations. Instead, she provided her best interpersonal communication skills using the local languages. That was not just convenient for her customers but also for her suppliers and other business partners who prefer to communicate in the same wording. She has never gone through a formal education system. Due to which her written and spoken English is not as good as one would expect from her successful enterprise. However, her ability to get online and be able to use the online system was crucial for her business.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Akinyi started operating as an essential service provider. Still, she had to close all her physical outlets and rely solely on the online services for 95% of her operations with the customers and partners.

The pandemic had already slashed more than half of Akinyi’s clients and to top it the online services were also not picking up. Several of her stock of agri-products were reaching the end of shelf time. Despite stress from all sides, Akinyi and her team continued to operate patiently.

Hence Akinyi’s team decided to adapt and localise all their online services. That was done while evaluating her strategies for how to stay relevant and still provide efficiency and incredible values to her customers. The initiative led to a native-first multilingual interface along with several other optimisations.

Over time, Akinyi’s effort paid much, and she gradually noticed the online services picking up in terms of orders and payments. While going through the services analytics, she could see how her systems were performing in the native languages compared to English only interface.


As the regional Internet registry for the African region, AFRINIC has taken several steps to reduce the digital divide and promote inclusiveness in our region. Some of the existing initiatives include:

Core services & Infrastructure Programmes Research Programmes Community Engagement
Capacity Building and Training Programmes


AFRINIC multi-lingual option selectorIf you are interested in learning further about our experiences in terms of the technology use, challenges and learning curves with this project, watch out for the upcoming parts where we shall see how AFRINIC’s content localisation programme will enable our membership and community to participate actively in developing and consuming online content in their local languages. 

  • Part 1 - Supporting language diversity within our community through an inclusive approach - Why it is important
  • Part 2 - Supporting language diversity within our community through an inclusive approach - How did we do it
  • Part 3 - Supporting language diversity within our community through an inclusive approach - What was done and what’s next (webinar)





About the author


Duksh Koonjoobeeharry is the Web Team Lead at AFRINIC, responsible for the management of our websites portfolio.

Duksh is the Web Team Lead at AFRINIC, responsible for the management of our websites portfolio. He has been experimenting with large scale content localisation and automation techniques since 2014 and the IGF Best Practice Forum on Creating an Enabling Environment for the Development of Local Content has recognised such an initiative as an important step for capacity building and promoting content localisation in the region.




Launch of the IPv6 Foundations Course in French


v6 basics1AFRINIC is pleased to announce the launch of the e-learning course "IPv6 Foundations (French Version)".

Through this course, you will build a solid foundation in IPv6 networking principles, and by the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Explain why the deployment of IPv6 is essential for the growth of the Internet
  • Identify the different types of IPv6 addresses and their use cases
  • Describe how EUI-64, semantically opaque and pseudo-random interface identifiers are generated
  • List the differences between IPv6 and IPv4 at the packet level
  • Explain the use of IPv6 extension headers
  • Identify the IPv6 equivalents for each IPv4 feature you use in your network.


This course is now open for registration at




A Comprehensive audit of the AFRINIC WHOIS Database

blog afrinic whois2 body2

"AFRINIC has taken actions and kept its stakeholders informed about the situation. Infrastructural improvements on its database have been implemented and the operational business rules and procedures have been reviewed, including but not limited to a review of infrastructural user access."



AFRINIC undertook an audit of all IPv4 number resources, which consisted of verifying the rightful custodianship of those resources. The audit verified the processes adopted for the allocation of IPv4 number resources which covered both legacy and non-legacy resources that fall under AFRINIC’s service region.

AFRINIC has taken actions and kept its stakeholders informed about the situation, brought about infrastructural improvements on its database, reviewed its operational business rules and procedures, including but not limited to a review of infrastructural user access.

Finally, the report provided some recommendations which will assist AFRINIC in ensuring an accurate WHOIS Database.


Read the report.



What Happened

The misappropriation of IP number resources in AFRINIC’s WHOIS Database was brought into light around mid-2019. Following an internal investigation, a former employee was found to have misappropriated IP number resources forming part of AFRINIC’s pool of resources. This matter was reported to the Mauritian Central Criminal Investigation Division, and an enquiry is presently on-going.


What we found

The audit reveals that 2,371,584 IPv4 addresses were misappropriated from AFRINIC’s pool of resources and attributed to organisations without justification.

A total of 1,060,864 IPv4 resources have been reclaimed, i.e deregistered from the AFRINIC WHOIS Database and are presently in ‘quarantine’ for a period of 12 months. Following the ‘quarantine’ period, the resources may be added to AFRINIC’s pool of resources available for new allocations.

A total of 1,310,720 IPv4 resources, related to two distinct organisations, are yet to be reclaimed due to ongoing due diligence.

With regard to misappropriation of IPv4 legacy space, 1,799,168 IPv4 addresses, deemed to be legacy address space appeared to have been compromised, and actions have been taken to contact the source-holders:

  1. 394,496 legacy IPv4 addresses have subsequently been consolidated at the request of the holding company of the organisations to which the resources were registered;
  2. Unsubstantiated changes to 467,968 legacy IPv4 addresses have been reversed;
  3. 936,704 legacy IPv4 addresses are currently under dispute and pending determination of rightful custodianship.


What is being done to keep this from happening again?

Following the findings of the audit, AFRINIC took several remedial actions such as reinforcing internal and external processes and adding multiple layers of verification to our IP allocation and database update processes. Here is what has been done so far by AFRINIC.

  • We communicated regularly through email updates and blog articles to keep our stakeholders informed about the situation. All concerned organisations were informed to take appropriate measures to protect the custodianship of the resources they hold.
  • AFRINIC undertook a review of its current processes relating to its core function and made various improvements in the control mechanisms for the management of Internet number resources. These covered the adoption of a fraud and corruption policy, and the introduction of a whistleblowing mechanism and many more.
  • Our current business rules now provide better support to legacy resource holders such that proper verification for legacy resources holders will be conducted before any updates are made to the records on the AFRINIC WHOIS database.
  • Resource members have to meet new checks to comply with AFRINIC’s Internal business process and policies: only registered contacts are allowed to request for service support, verify domain names registration information, and cross-verify company registration information where those services are available.
  • AFRINIC has been reinforcing its internal capacity and has embarked on a training program for staff members in the registration services. This is ongoing to ensure that all team members are capable of diligently evaluating the requests and also able to identify any risks involved.
  • The WHOIS Database has been upgraded with authentication mechanisms with additional safety features. Staff authorised to perform changes to records on MyAfrinic and WHOIS databases authenticate such changes using their PGP key. Power maintainers only use PGP authentication. All Resource Holders have also been instructed to adopt secure password mechanisms.
  • Additional layers of control for systems privileges for the staff in the Registration Services department have been implemented.
  • AFRINIC has a mechanism in place that ensures all objects in its WHOIS Database are protected by a maintainer (auto-generated for person and role objects).
  • AFRINIC also regularly monitors inconsistencies in its databases through reports which are generated daily. Registration Services Team are informed when inconsistencies are detected between the resource file entries and the registry database.


How can we contribute to making things better

As a result of the audit that was carried out on the accuracy of the AFRINIC WHOIS Database, the following recommendations were made:

  • The report recommends that all Resource Members keep their contact information updated.
  • The report recommends that organisations ensure that their details appearing on AFRINIC’s WHOIS Database are kept up to date all times.
  • The report recommends that AFRINIC devote resources to ensure that Legacy Resource Holders’ requests are attended to within the service timelines.
  • The report recommends that the AFRINIC community critically assess how best the accuracy of the information pertaining to Legacy Resource Holders can be improved and considers whether unused legacy resources should be left idle while AFRINIC exhausts its remaining pool of IPv4 addresses.
  • The report also recommends that policies which may assist AFRINIC in ensuring at all times an accurate WHOIS Database are developed.


What’s Next

AFRINIC is committed to effectively execute the recommendations highlighted in the report. As the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa and the Indian Ocean region, AFRINIC relies on the support and inputs of its community to implement those recommendations and improve on the accuracy and security of the WHOIS Database.

As we move forward, AFRINIC will keep its community informed about any improvements it brings along on the WHOIS Database.



Report on AFRINIC’s WHOIS Database Accuracy

afrinic whois aduit img2AFRINIC undertook an audit of all IPv4 number resources, which consisted of verifying the rightful custodianship of those resources. The audit also verifies the processes adopted for the allocation of IPv4 number resources and includes both legacy and non-legacy resources that fall under AFRINIC’s service region.

The report also highlights the actions taken by AFRINIC, so far, to keep its stakeholders informed about the situation, infrastructural improvements regarding its database, a review of its operational business rules and procedures, including but not limited to a review of infrastructural user access.

Finally, the report provides some recommendations which may assist AFRINIC in ensuring an accurate WHOIS database.


- Click here to read the full report

- Click here to read a summary of the report




Deprecation of CRYPT and MD5

Authentication mechanisms for a safer WHOIS Database


AFRINIC is currently engaged in several undertakings in line with our commitment to improving the security and accuracy of the WHOIS Database, following the misappropriation of IP addresses in the WHOIS Database.

One of the security challenges inherent to the operation of the WHOIS Database has been the continued support for MD5 and CRYPT authentication mechanisms and password hashing algorithms.

In 2017, partial deprecation of CRYPT and MD5 authentication mechanisms was done. Consequently, a user could no longer create or update their maintainer(s) with a password hashed using these algorithms.

However, already existing passwords hashed by these algorithms could still be used to effect updates on database objects. Effective 12 December 2020, we shall fully deprecate support for CRYPT and MD5 authentication mechanisms. The passwords will no longer work on updating other objects, except to allow an update of the maintainer object with an acceptable authentication mechanism.

In the future, we are offering the possibility for users to work with any of the following recommended authentication mechanisms with their maintainers for WHOIS Database authentication:

  • PGP key
  • X-509 key

This will be an added layer of safety in the WHOIS Database as we align with the current industry best practices for password hashing and storage. We encourage you to read more on maintainers here.

For any further inquiry and support on how to update the authentication mechanism, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


An exclusive Interview with Mr. Eddy Kayihura, Chief Executive Officer, AFRINIC

Eddy Kayihura was appointed in the position of the Chief Executive Officer of AFRINIC in November 2019. Ashil Oogarah, AFRINIC’s communications team leader sat down with Mr Kayihura to get his reflects on his year serving AFRINIC and its community as well as his thoughts on the new AFRINIC Strategic Plan 2021-2023 and the role AFRINIC can play in developing the future of the Internet in the region.

Page 9 of 30