Af* are organisations collaboratively working for a better Internet in Africa. These organisations represent the various sectors of the Internet ecosystem and include Internet Numbers, Policy, Content, Domain Names, Research, Infrastructure, Capacity Building, and Security. 


In the 1990s, the African Internet pioneers known as the African Internet Group (AIG) were engaged in discussing Internet issues in Africa, including Internet governance.

In 1998, following an  International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) process which led to the formation of ICANN, one of the first African Internet governance conferences was organised in Cotonou, Benin. Pierre Dandjinou served as host. 

The theme for this workshop was ‘’Internet governance in Africa’’.During the workshop, Dr Nii Quaynor, recipient of the prestigious Postel Service Award, proscribed the need to set up several institutions for supporting Internet growth in the African region. 

The setting up of such organisations was visionary at a time when Africa needed to develop its own Internet Infrastructure but was lacking in critical technical workforce. This was the call for uniting the African Internet community.

So, in the years following the Cotonou Meeting, several organisations emerged to form the African Internet ecosystem. Today we know them as the Af* (pronounced 'Af-stars'). Af* comprises several organisations and fora including:

  • AfNOG  (African Network Operators Group) is a forum for cooperation and the exchange of technical information between operators of Internet-connected networks in Africa.
  • AfTLD (The African Top Level Domain Organisation) is a non profit organisation for coordinating, formulating, developing and presenting a unified approach to issues related to the Domain Name System. 
  • AfREN (The African Research and Education Networking)  a Unit of the Association of African Universities (AAU), was set up to promote national and regional research and education network in Africa.
  • AfPIF (The African Peering and Interconnection Forum)  is an ISOC initiative addressing the key interconnection, peering, and traffic exchange opportunities and challenges providing participants with global and regional insights for maximising opportunities that will help grow Internet infrastructure and services in Africa.
  • AfIGF (The African Internet Governance Forum) was formally launched in Nairobi, during the global Internet Governance Forum in 2011. The First AfIGF was held in 2012 in Cairo Egypt. The AfIGF takes on board representatives from governments, businesses and non-governmental organisations and addresses Internet Governance issues in the continent to provide substantive input to the global IGF process.
  • ICANN the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Internet's underlying address book, the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • AfricaCERT (The Africa Computer Emergency Response Team) consists of trusted computer incident response teams devoted to cooperate to handle computer security incidents and promote incident prevention programs.
  • ISOC (The Internet Society)  Is present in Africa through its African chapters. ISOC was officially formed in January 1992 and engages in a wide array of activities including policy, governance, technology and development. ISOC has consistently supported AF* organisations in capacity building initiatives since the early 1990s. From 1993 to 2001, a number of professionals have been trained in the design, operation, maintenance and management of Internetworks during the annual Internet Society (ISOC) Network Training Workshop.
  • AFRINIC (African Network Information Centre) is the African Internet Registry responsible for managing Internet number resources in its service region.
  • and many more still  evolving within the ecosystem.