Our Story

The Africa Community Internet Program (ACIP is an initiative of the Africa and global Community Internet Program (pronounced ‘A sip.” Our goal is to provide everyone anywhere with at least ‘a sip of Internet.’

A Vision Ignited

The seeds of ACIP were sown at the International Governance Forum (IGF) 2022 in Ethiopia, a gathering that set the stage for a transformative vision. Amidst a backdrop of challenges faced by remote and rural communities in Africa, a vision emerged—one where every community, no matter how remote, could

operate its own decentralized Internet services. This vision sparked a collective determination to bridge the digital gap and redefine what was possible.

Inception and Collaboration

The Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation, in collaboration with Syracuse University, seized this vision and founded the Africa Community Internet Program (ACIP). This ambitious endeavor received crucial backing and support from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union, affirming the belief in the transformative potential of community-driven connectivity.

Piloting Change

February 2023 marked a significant milestone. In partnership with the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, ACIP extended invitations to national governments, parliamentarians, and civil society organizations, including notable entities like the Internet Society, Access Now, and the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), to partake in pioneering Pilot Projects. These projects were the crucible for the innovations and lessons that would shape the future of community-based internet services.

Empowering Nations

The journey continued with a keen focus on regulatory and policy changes that were imperative for community participation. The White Paper, a testament to meticulous research and insights, outlined funding options, lease financing possibilities, and recommendations for nations to consider. It was a roadmap towards sustainability and inclusivity in the digital age.

A Global Stage

The stage was set for a global audience at the UN IGF 2023 in Tokyo. ACIP shared preliminary results from trials in multiple African nations, engaging participants both in person and online, igniting conversations on scaling efforts to empower the 37% of the planet previously beyond the reach of sustainable, affordable, community-managed Internet.

The Invitation

In every word, in every action, in every trial, ACIP extended an open invitation—to individuals, organizations, and nations—to join hands in contributing to Africa’s Grassroots Digital Transformation. The White Paper delved into the technical, social, legal, regulatory, policy, market, and standards aspects, inviting all who were passionate about making a difference to become a part of this collaborative and cooperative effort.