If you’ve been paying attention, Lusaka’s tech community has been really active for the past two weeks. What for? Well, for the first time ever the Africa Internet Summit was being hosted in Zambia at Lusaka’s Intercontinental Hotel from the 9th to the 21st of June. The Internet Summit invites people from all over the continent to discuss issues related to an increasingly important focal point of technology: Internet development in Africa. This years summit was particularly interesting because it was the first time so many organisations were participating in the event and the diversity of their presentations allowed for interesting opportunities in workshops and networking.
During the first week of the summit various workshops were taking place. It was during the second week when most of the sessions took place. On the second Monday of the event, the week was opened with a panel discussion on Internet Governance and the challenges facing Africa. BongoHive’s co-founder, Lukonga Lindunda, made an appearance as he gave a presentation on the importance of generating our own content. This wasn’t BongoHive’s only appearance as we made sure to have most of our members on the scene taking part in the historic event.
As mentioned earlier, there was a lot of diversity in the presentations given. They ranged from discussions on Africa’s low bandwidth usage to how social media is helping us today. With so many powerful presentations in play, you can only imagine the sheer amount of tech related banter you had to wrap your head around in one sitting. However, even if you aren’t particularly tech savvy there was one major topic of discussion that stood out among the rest. This is the need to switch our internet protocols from IPv4 to IPv6. Basically, the standard 12 digit IP addresses currently being used to connect to the internet only allow for a limited number of combinations. These are running out with an increase in the number of smart devices we use. Many feel that we should transition to Ipv6 addresses as soon as possible, which will allow for a greater number of IP addresses, before the lack of availability becomes a fleeting issue.
After 2 weeks the summit came to a close. There were lots of important issues discussed and people are already revving up for next years Internet Summit which will be held in Djibouti. The overall feel of the event was that it was well organised with great time management, however, the content was very technical and many guests wished they could have had a better understanding of what was going on. Perhaps next time will be a lot easier.
Did you attend any sessions at the Africa Internet Summit? What were your experiences?