5 April 2017 - The AFRINIC Board has issued the following statement on keeping the Internet open to everyone.
AFRINIC believes that the Internet plays a critical role in Africa’s social and economic development. While AFRINIC's core function is to act as the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa, we also play a leading role in capacity building and research, and we actively support projects and activities that reinforce the stability, openness and accessibility of the Internet.
The Internet has changed our world for the better. This is particularly true here in Africa, where communities have harnessed the power of the Internet to improve lives, from the remotest corners of our continent to our high-tech cities. While Africa has the lowest Internet penetration rates and one of the largest as-yet unconnected populations in the world, our online economy is growing quickly, largely due to the expansion of mobile Internet technologies in the region.
Internet shutdowns makes it difficult for people to communicate with family in distant locations, to conduct business, to send money to friends or relatives in need, to access educational material, and so much more. Unfortunately, Internet shutdowns, as well as access and content restrictions, are becoming more common around the globe. Keeping the Internet open and accessible to everybody at all times is imperative to ensuring that Africa's booming online economy remains viable, that our schools and universities can continue to educate the next generation of Internet users and Internet leaders, and that our rural health workers can continue to get the information they need from the cloud to save lives.
AFRINIC is committed to ensuring that the Internet remains open, trusted and secure so that everyone, everywhere can freely access the information and services that they need.