Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jere works in the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a Principal Programme Officer focusing on policy, legal and regulatory aspects of infrastructure and services. She has over 15 years of experience working in the private sector, academia and currently in international development. She initiated the NEPAD Internet Governance Programme, helped to launch the Southern Africa Internet Governance Forum and co-founded the African School on Internet Governance. She represents NEPAD on the ICANN Government Advisory Council and served on the IGF Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group in 2014 and 2015. She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet Governance), an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). Towela is a member of the Malawi Institution of Engineers, the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She also serves on the IEEE Ad-Hoc committee on Africa Activities. She continues to advocate for increased awareness among African policy makers of the importance and significance of infrastructure and ICT development, internet governance and policy processes at national and continental level.