Summary of ngNOG VI, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife: 16 - 22 October 2011

The 6th edition of the annual Nigerian Network Operators' Group (ngNOG) Workshop and Meetings, was successfully hosted by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (OAU) from 16 - 22 October 2011.

Seventy seven (77) delegates from 31 Institutions and Organizations participated in the five parallel tracks offered at the 2011 ngNOG workshop in Ile-Ife. This compares to the 35 delegates from 14 institutions in the single track at pre-ngNOG Ibadan; 56 delegates from 14 institutions in the three tracks of ngNOG Jos; 75 delegates from 21 institutions in five tracks of ngNOG Kano; 71 delegates from 25 institutions in the five tracks of the 2008 ngNOG in Lagos; 85 delegates from 15 Institutions and Organizations in the five parallel tracks of the 2009 ngNOG workshop in Ilorin; and 66 delegates from 18 Institutions in the six parallel tracks of the 2010 ngNOG workshop in Port Harcourt.

The distribution of the 77 delegates to the 2011 workshop tracks is given below:

  • 12 System Administration (SA)
  • 19 Internet Infrastructure (II)
  • 12 Internet Services and Applications (IS)
  • 07 ICT Strategy, Policy and Management (SPM)
  • 27 Applications and Content Development (ACD)

ngNOG VI at OAU Ife was also dominated by Academic Network Operators: 79% of participants were from the HEIs. Beyond that, however, ngNOG 2011 featured the highest number and diversity of participating research and education institutions in the history of the event. For the first time ever, there was very significant participation of institutions from sectors of Higher Education other than universities. Eleven (11) universities maintained a sub-sector lead by accounting for 45% of the 77 delegates. This year, however, three (3) Research & Development Institutes also sent delegates, while the National Board for Technical Education and 13 Polytechnics from across the country accounted for 34% of delegates to ngNOG.

Achievement of this feat by the Technical Education Sub-System was the result of deliberate strategic action by Rectors of Polytechnics and the Management of the NBTE. For example, on 17-22 September 2011, in partnership with the NBTE, the Forum had conducted a sector-workshop for 30 academic network operators from 16 Polytechnics at the NBTE's UNESCO Centre in Kaduna, to prepare them for full participation at ngNOG Ife, among other objectives.

The 2011 ngNOG at OAU Ife records a significant milestone achievement - the emergence of a coherent and inclusive research and education networking community that reflects the diversity of higher education in Nigeria.

University Libraries were also present in force this year, thanks to the synergy grown with the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs. A special side-meeting of University Librarians took place and a cocktail party was hosted by them and the OAU Ife. This was to be the end of the project intervention by the Mortenson Centre, but it marked a new beginning as the University Librarians decided to really own the intervention by maintaining the relationship with other sources of funds: it was most delightful to observe Aisha Schnuer and Alade Dorman getting used to their new Nigerian names and attire.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) led institutional representation with 10 delegates. It was followed by the host with 9 delegates, and the University of Ibadan with 7 delegates.

On the other hand, the participation rate for women at ngNOG Ife was 12%, which is lower than was ever recorded. It was 26% in 2006; 13% in 2007; 14% in 2008; 19% in 2009; and 33% at ngNOG 2010.

We are grateful to the various Institutions and Firms, who contributed instructors and presenters. They include: Yaba College of Technology, Lagos; American University of Nigeria, Yola; University of Jos; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Benin; University of Ibadan; Bayero University Kano; NISTech Ltd; Datasphir Ltd; GDES/ SKANNET; Google University Access Program; and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.

With very great appreciation to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, and Google Inc. for supporting this event; to the Network Start up Resource Centre, which donated books and networking equipment; to the Mortenson Center; and Meed Networks, which donated T-shirts for this event.

Delegates, observers, our volunteer instructors and presenters, and their employers; as well as our Membership, the ngNOG host institution, LOC, Interns and organizers, are deeply appreciated.

This workshop built-upon foundations laid at the preparatory-ngNOG Workshop that held at the University of Ibadan in July 2006, and the five full editions that were hosted at UniJos, BUK, Unilag, Unilorin and Uniport. These were in turn, made possible by earlier editions of the INET and AfNOG workshops at which fora ngNOG instructors were mostly trained over the years, and will continue to be updated.

We remain deeply grateful to all our supporters and those who inspire us, including the very many who were not specifically mentioned in this summary.