Alison Gillwald (PhD) is the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA) an African digital policy and regulatory think-tank that works across 20 African countries. She is also adjunct- professor at the University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance where she supervises doctoral students undertaking transdisciplinary research in digital policy regulation and data governance. A former regulator she was appointed to the founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) in 1997, having headed the policy department at the first broadcasting regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority established in 1994. She has advised the South African Presidency, the National Planning Commission, the Competition Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, in addition to the African Union Commission, SADC, CRASA and the SADC Parliamentary Forum. She has been commissioned by the International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank to undertake research to inform policy across a number of Africa countries and collaborates with networks across the Global South to build evidence base for decision-makers. She is the deputy chairperson of Giganet, the international academic internet governance conference and was an inaugural associate editor of the ITU journal, Discoveries.
Anriette Esterhuysen is currently the Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Committee of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum. She was the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) - the largest ICT-focused civil society network in the world - from 2000 to 2017. She continues to work with APC as a consultant and convenes the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG), a joint initiative of APC, the African Union Commission and Research ICT Africa. Ms. Esterhuysen has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's African Information Society Initiative (1996-1999), the United Nations ICT Task Force (2002-2005), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Working Group on Financing Mechanisms (2003-2005), the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements (2011-2012) and on Enhanced Cooperation (2017-2018), the Global Commission on Internet Governance and the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the IGF (2012-2014). She was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a Global Connecter in 2013 and received an EFF Pioneer Award in 2015. Ms. Esterhuysen serves as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and as a member of the board of directors of the .ZA (South Africa) domain name authority, ZADNA.
Daniel Mwesigwa is an ICT policy analyst and researcher at CIPESA, an ICT policy and research organisation in Kampala, Uganda. He writes regularly on technology/internet governance, startups and digital entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. He is published by several journals including Karlstad University's Mobile for Development (M4D), Association for Computing Machinery's SIGCHI, and Global Information Society Watch. He is an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Born in Philadelphia USA, Mr. Peter Bloom has founded and worked with numerous social organizations in Latin America, Africa and the United States on human and environmental rights, community media production and telecommunications. Since 2009 Peter has been coordinating Rhizomatica, an organization he started that works on developing affordable open-source telecommunications solutions, regulatory advocacy for community networks, and sustainability modeling for rural networks. In 2013 Rhizomatica founded the first federated, community-owned and operated GSM network in the world, which it continues to support, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Peter holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree in Rural Development from the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Xochimilco, Mexico. In 2014 he became a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow. In 2015 he was named to MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35 as well as to Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers list. In 2017 he was awarded the UBS Visionaris prize for Social Entrepreneurship in Mexico.
Steve Song is a researcher, entrepreneur, and advocate for cheaper, more pervasive access to communication infrastructure. He is currently a Mozilla Fellow as well as a team member of the Association for Progressive Communication's LOCNET project supporting the development of enabling policy and regulation for community networks. His strong technical knowledge and ability to communicate technical concepts to non-expert audiences have made his Manypossibilities.net blog a popular destination for anyone interested in African telecommunications and Internet issues. Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. Steve is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactures low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service in under-serviced areas. Previously, Steve worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where he led the organization's ICT4D program in Africa, funding research into the transformational potential of ICTs.