This is the first African Networking Symposium organized by the
Internet Society as part of the INET Conference series. It comes
at a critical moment when Africa is at the threshold of achieving
basic connectivity in almost all her countries.
It is therefore a crucial time for planning the next steps of
spreading the Internet in Africa - Beyond Basic Connectivity.
This enormous task requires mobilizing the key contributors, and
the Symposium is an instrument for bringing together the players
and highlighting the priority issues for our planning purposes.
The Symposium offers an opportunity to tap the world resources
and talents that the Internet Society is famous for assembling
at its conferences. For this, the vision and facilitation of the
Symposium by the Internet Society is deeply appreciated.
The Symposium has attracted fourteen strong, peer-reviewed papers
covering all regions of the continent and the key themes on the
state, evolution and future of the Internet in Africa. The papers
report on initiatives at national, regional and continental levels,
by both continental and extra-continental players.
The issues and concerns discussed range from the global, such
as commercialization, coverage, technical developments; through
infrastructure, capacity building and policy environments; to
those that carry a uniquely African flavor reflecting the continent's
social, economic, political and cultural realities.
A vibrant beginning has been made in planting the Internet in
Africa. The continent is now ready to chart the way forward, and
face the future with confidence.
Nii Narku Quaynor
Alex R. Tindimubona
Kuala Lumpur, 18 June, 1997