The Sixth Edition Network Information and Infrastructure (NI&I) Service Award has been proudly awarded to Mr. Boubakar Barry of AfREN for his work in promoting Internet development in Africa.

The ceremony was hosted by Gaelle Fall, AFRINIC’s Head of Communications and PR, on 5 June 2014 at a Gala Dinner held during the Africa Internet Summit (AIS) Meeting in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti.

Mr. Alan Barett, last year's recipient presented the Award to Boubakar Barry. Originally from Senegal, Boubakar is the CEO of WACREN, the West and Central African Research and Education Network. Prior to joining WACREN, he was the Coordinator of the Research and Education Networking Unit at the Association of African Universities (AAU), where he worked on supporting the emergence and the strengthening of several research and education networks in Africa.

Boubakar Barry holds a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Physics and a PhD in Nuclear Electronics, both from Technical University of Dresden, Germany.

Dr. Nii Quaynor, conveyor of AfNOG acknowledged Mr. Barry for his commitment to the development of the Internet in the Continent.

Mr Adiel Akplogan, CEO of AFRINIC, explained that the choice of recipients follows an open process, where a call for nomination is sent to the community and candidates are nominated by nominees from the community.

Boubakar was elated upon receiving the NI&I Award.  “It’s a great honor for me to receive the 2014 Network Information & Infrastructure (NI&I) Service Award. I see it as recognition of my active involvement in the Internet community for almost 20 years now.  Being more active in the research and education networking community as Convener of AfREN for the past eight years, I would like to share this honourable moment with all those who work tirelessly to build state of the art infrastructures, and offer services to support quality education and research in Africa."

Besides the main NI&I Award, a Young professional Award was also given to Abibu Ntahigiye for his contribution to the Internet infrastructure development. Abibu works for the Tanzania Network Information Centre (tzNIC) and has been active in facilitating the establishment of an ISOC-TZ chapter.  He also has initiated capacity building efforts by localising the AfNOG in Tanzania.

The Network Information & Infrastructure (NI&I) Service Award was set up in 2009 during AfNOG’s 10 years anniversary by Dr Nii Narku Quaynor, who himself received the Internet Society's prestigious Jonathan Postel Award in 2007 for his service, dedication, commitment, and leadership in the Region. The NI&I Service Award has been set up to acknowledge individuals and organisations for providing Internet services and Infrastructure in Africa.  The NI&I Service Award recognises and rewards the next generation of "i-heroes", role models from the African Internet technical community for their achievements.