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Growing the Internet 8 August 2019

Save the Date: 4th Summit on Community Networks in Africa

Betel Hailu
By Betel HailuManager, Organization Members Engagement


The 4th Summit on Community Networks (CNs) in Africa will take place in Dodoma, Tanzania from 28 October to 2 November 2019. The Summit hopes to promote the creation and growth of CNs, increase collaboration between CN operators in the region, and provide an opportunity for them to engage with other stakeholders.

The main activities planned include:

  • Training Workshop: 28-29 October
  • CN Summit Plenary: 30-31 October
  • Site Visit to Kondoa Community Network: 1-2 November

The event is targeted at CN operators, policy makers, researchers, evangelists, sponsors, and related networks such as community radio.

Last year over 100 participants from 20 countries, 13 of them African, gathered in Wild Lubanzi, in one of the deepest rural areas of the Eastern Cape. The 3rd Summit on CNs in Africa was organized by the Internet Society,Zenzeleni Networks NPC, and APC from 2-7 September 2018. For the approximate 40 participants from surrounding communities, the Summit was their first international conference – or conference of any kind. It was exciting to see them absorb everything and feel proud of their neighbors in Mankosi, home of the Zenzeleni project, one of many community networks in Africa.

CNs offer local solutions to the connectivity gaps that exist in urban, remote, and rural areas around the world. In Africa, where these gaps are more evident, a recent survey was able to identify 37 CN initiatives in 12 African countries, of which 25 are considered active. Many more CNs have come up after the report, in part, thanks to the training and the experience that have been shared in the previous Summits held in Kenya and South Africa. Among them is the Kondoa CN, in Tanzania, which will be featured in this year’s Summit.

The 4th Summit is organized by the Internet Society in partnership with APC and hosted by the University of Dodoma.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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