Abha Ahuja Bursary Report

During the AfNOG meeting in 2008, a generous sponsor (who wished to stay anonymous) stepped forward and expressed interest in providing fellowship money for engineers from Africa to attend international operators meetings in other regions. This was the start of the Abha Ahuja Bursary, named after a valuable community member who tragically passed away in 2001. A small evaluation committee was set up to select the fellows (see committee members listed at the end of this document) and a simple application form was developed with the help of the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC). The Internet Society kindly provided administrative support for the fund and travel support for the fellows.

Recently Verisign agreed to also contribute to this fun. This allowed us to increase the number of fellows and also include engineers from countries in Asia. Excellent candidates are often found at AfNOG networking workshops and similar events. Below is a list of all previous fellows.


Location: RIPE 79, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Fellow: Manhal Mohammed Mokhtar Hamed, Sudan

Manhal works as an IT engineer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, Sudan. In that role she is responsible for various network admin tasks. Manhal participated in events such as AFRINIC and WSIS. She was a speaker at the African IGF and is also very active in SdNOG.

See her report from RIPE 79 on the SdNOG website:



Location: RIPE 77, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Fellow: Bhumika Sapkota, Nepal

Bhumika graduated with a BSc.IT from the London Metropolitan University and is currently working as a Senior Network Support Engineer at Classic Tech Pvt. Ltd in Kathmandu, Nepal. Bhumika attend the Network Security Conference and Workshop at SANOG 30 and has been an instructor at the Network Security workshop at APRICOT 2018.

Fellow 2: Patience Nagaba, Uganda

Patience works as a network engineer at the Research and Education Network RENU in Kampala, Uganda where she is responsible for maintaining the backbone and managing RENU's IP address space. She has also been a workshop instructor (Building Internet Scalable Infrastructure) at AfNOG in 2018. Patience is especially interested in best network design principles and security.


Location: RIPE 73, Madrid, Spain

Fellow: Sonam Lhamo, Bhutan

Sonam works as Executive Engineer in in the systems group at Bhutan Telecom. Before that she managed the datacenter of Bhutan Telecom and worked as a systems administrator. She also actively participated in a networking workshop at SANOG.


Location: APRICOT Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand (Feb. 2016)

Fellow: Alisha Gurung, Bhutan

Alisha works at Bhutan Telecom. Before joining Bhutan Telecom she worked as a systems engineer at TashiInfoComm Limited (also known as Tashicell) in Bhutan. Alisha participated in the security workshop at APRICOT 2010 in Malaysia and the DNS/DNSSEC workshop at SANOG/APRICOT in 2012 in India. At BTNOG 2 in 2015 in Bhutan and also at NZNOG in 2015 Alisha was one of the instructors of the security workshop.


Location: APRICOT Meeting, Fukuokoa, Japan (Feb. 2015)

Fellow 1: Nafissatou Boubakar Seyni, Niger

Nafi has a masters degree in Computer Science. As part of her thesis, she has designed a tool to calculate mobile core network capacity. Nafi is involved in regional groups such as the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG), African Women in Technology (AfCHIX) and the African Peering Forum (AfPIF).

Fellow 2: Joan Masai, Kenya

Joan holds a degree in Networks and Communication Systems. She works as a Network Administrator at the Kenya Research and Education Network (KENET) where she provides technical support to KENET members, helps setting up new wireless links and is involved in the roll out of eduroam services. Joan is also involved in the AfNOG community.


Location: APRICOT Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Feb. 2014)

Fellow 1: Sara Alamin Mohamed Hassan, Sudan

The AfNOG instructors recommended giving this year’s fellowship to Sara, because of her contributions during the recent AfNOG workshops. She was very knowledgeable and helped other students during the workshop. Sara is a System Admin at Packet Clearing House (PCH) and she was working at the Sudanese Research and Education Network (SudREN) as a network engineer, she is also a volunteer instructor at AfNOG and co-founder for SdNOG.

Fellow 2: Tashi Wangmo, Bhutan

Tashi worked with the Royal Bhutan Army and was a strong contributor during the SANOG Security workshop held in Thimphu, Bhutan in 2014.


Location: RIPE 65, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Fellow: Putseletso Pusoane, Lesotho

Putseletso is a network engineer and works at the Lesotho Internet Exchange Point (LIXP). She was an active participant at the RIPE Meetings and presented at the RIPE EIX WG: https://ripe65.ripe.net/archives/video/82. Putseletso also helped at previous AfNOG meetings.


Location: NANOG 53 & ARIN XXVII, Philadelphia, US

Fellow: Marie-Paule Uwase, Rwanda

Marie-Paule is an assistant lecturer at the University in Rwanda.


Location: RIPE 61, Rome, Italy

Fellow: Khoudia GUEYE, Senegal

Khoudia was an outstanding student at the AfNOG workshops in 2010 in Kigali. She is now a regular instructor at AfNOG and teaches various workshops for NSRC all over the world. Today Khoudia is Director of Infrastructures and Information Systems at the Senegalese Virtual University (UVS) in Dakar, Senegal. She was awarded fellowships to ICANN and IETF meetings and is a regular attendee at various industry meetings, actively promoting the deployment of IPv6, DNSSEC, IXP and is the co-founder of SenChix, the Senegalese chapter of Afchix.


Location: RIPE 59, Lisbon, Portugal

Fellow: Richard Mikisa, Uganda

Richard is an Infrastructure Analyst at Tullow Oil Uganda.


Location: NANOG 44, Los Angeles, US

Fellow 1: Patrick Okui, Uganda

Patrick started by helping with the network set-up at AfNOG meetings. He is now an important member of the AfNOG network team. He is also teaching at AfNOG, local NOG meetings and for NSRC.

Fellow 2: Coko Mirindi Muzasa, DRC

Coko was an active member of the AfNOG team for many years. He is now an IT consultant for a small company providing network services in Rwanda and DRC. Coko was also awarded a fellowship to the IETF in 2009.

Abha Ahuja Bursary Review Panel:

  • Hervey Allen
  • Randy Bush
  • Nishal Goburdhan
  • Khoudia Gueye SY
  • Mirjam Kühne
  • Lucy Lynch
  • Michuki Mwangi
  • Patrik Okui
  • Cristel Pelsser
  • Philip Smith
  • Mark Tinka
  • Salam Yamout