Alison Gillwald – Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA)

alisonAlison Gillwald (PhD) is the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA) and holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Development, Policy and Practice where she convenes a transdisciplinary PhD programme focusing on ICT policy and regulation. A former regulator, she was appointed the founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) having headed the policy department at the first broadcasting regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority established in the wake of the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. She also served as chairperson of the South African National Digital Advisory Body, which reported on digital migration in 2001; the board of the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation; and was appointed deputy chairperson of the SA National Broadband Advisory Council in 2014.

She has provided technical assistance to several African countries, and regional bodies, advising the Ministry of Communication on the South Africa’s Broadband Plan: SA Connect and for the African Development Bank and Government of Mauritius on the i-Mauritius broadband policy. She has worked extensively with multilateral agencies such as the International Telecommunications Union, UNCTAD and the World Bank. She served on the first ITU Task Force on Gender Issues set up in 2001 to develop gender-aware guidelines for policy-making and regulatory agencies and on the Partnership on Measuring the Information Society Task Group on Gender to develop standard indicators for measuring gender inequality in relation to ICT and which drew extensively on the sex disaggregated statistics and gender modelling in relation to ICT access and use undertaken by Research ICT Africa for more than a decade across Africa.

In 2012 she served on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President’s Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation and sits on the board of the African Tertiary Education Networks (TENET).

Anriette Esterhuysen – Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

Anriette_EsterhuysenAnriette is the Director of global policy and strategy of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international network of organizations working with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to support social justice and development. She was previously the executive director of this same organisation for seventeen years, until March 2017.  Prior to joining APC,  Anriette was executive director of South African APC member SANGONeT, an internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. Since January 2014, Ms. Esterhuysen has been on the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She sits on the 1NET steering committee, a non-governmental multistakeholder platform to discuss and explore improvement areas for the current global internet governance and technical coordination framework. Anriette has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice. She holds postgraduate qualifications in Social Sciences from the University of Witwatersrand.

Avri Doria – Technicalities

avri-doria Avri is a research consultant with a number of contracts with both NGOs and the technical community.. She served on the UN Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation I (WGEC) and the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). She served as a member the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat and is a member of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (IGF MAG).

As a technologist she has been involved in the development of Internet protocols and architectures for over 30 years; is co-chair of a Research Group on Human Rights Protocol Considerations and a member of the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). She has been active in ICANN policy, was chair of the GNSO Council and is one of the co-chairs of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group.

She is serving as the first chair of the Internet Society Chapters Advisory Council Steering Committee. Avri was awarded the ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos award in 2014.

Bob Ochieng – Manager, Stakeholder Engagement – Africa at ICANN

bob-ochiengBob is a telecommunications professional with +10 years’ experience in multi-disciplinary Telecoms/ICT Industry with skills and strengths in Wireless Technologies, Fixed Network Technologies, Project Management, ICT Business Strategy Formulation and Implementation and Internet Governance. He has worked with both large Multinationals and SMEs including BAT Kenya, KeNIC, Telkom Orange, PwC and currently the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Technology, an MBA in Strategic Management and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) as well as a Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA). As the primary representative of ICANN in Eastern and Southern Africa, Bob is charged with developing and executing ICANN’s strategic and tactical objectives in the region.

Chenai Chair – Researcher & communications/evaluations officer at Research ICT

chenai-chairChenai is a researcher & communications/evaluations officer at Research ICT Africa (RIA). RIA is a Cape Town-based think-tank which hosts an Africa-wide ICT policy and regulatory research network established a decade ago with the purpose of developing the data and analysis necessary for evidence-based ICT policy and effective regulation on the continent. Chenai holds an MSocSci specialising in Global Studies, BsocSci Honours in Industrial relations and a BSocSci in Gender Studies and Industrial Relations from the University of Cape Town.

At RIA, Chenai works on the RIA African Mobile Pricing Index, collecting prepaid mobile information from 50 African countries. She also has been working on issues of internet governance including increasing access and use to the next billion, gender and internet rights and net neutrality. Her areas of interest include inclusion and exclusion for marginalized communities in society in particular youth, women and the informal sector. As well as issues of internet governance and the need for evidence to inform public policy beneficial to end users. She is an avid social networker believing in the importance of social media for communication.

Twitter @chenaichair

David Souter – Managing Director of ICT Development Associates

david-souterAs the Managing Director of ICT Development Associates, David  provides expertise concerning ICTs, Internet governance and their relationship with public policy, particularly development, environment, governance, rights and conflict.

He was lead consultant for the UN Commission on Science and Technology’s five and ten year reviews of WSIS outcomes, and has worked extensively for UNESCO, UNCTAD, ITU and other UN agencies, for international development agencies including the African Development Bank, and for non-governmental organisations including APC and the Internet Society.

He was Visiting Professor in Communications Management at Strathclyde University and, until September this year, Visiting Senior Fellow in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics.  David lives in the United Kingdom.

Gbenga Sesan – Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN)

gbenga-sesanOriginally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Gbenga completed Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific.

His consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University and United Nations agencies, among others, in over 30 countries. A Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2014) and former member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT.

He is a CyberStewards Fellow, Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow and Cordes Fellow. ‘Gbenga served as a member of the Presidential committees on Harmonization of Information Technology, Telecommunications and Broadcasting Sectors (2006) and Roadmap for the Achievement of Accelerated Universal Broadband Infrastructure and Services Provision (2013), and was listed by CNN as one of the Top 10 African Tech Voices on Twitter and by Ventures Africa as one of 40 African Legends Under 40.

Gbenga is married to Temilade Sesan, PhD, an expert on Energy Poverty and Development issues in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mawaki Chango – Founder & Managing Director of DigiLexis Consulting

mawaki-changoMawaki is a consultant and an entrepreneur as well as a scholar in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). He is particularly enthusiastic about assisting African countries develop a truly digital economy through inclusive and evidence-based ICT-enabling policies. He has nearly 20 years of experience on societal issues relating to ICTs, consulting for organizations including UNESCO, the International Development Research Center, the Open Society Foundations, the African Union’s NEPAD Agency, UN’s Economic Commission for Africa, Hivos, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), etc. Mawaki has a PhD in Information Science and Technology from Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York) with a research focus on Internet governance, policy and digital identity management. Mawaki has recently been appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees at Sovrin Foundation, dedicated to building a trustworthy identity layer to the Internet.

Over the last dozen of years, Mawaki has been actively involved in Internet governance spaces such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), particularly as a councilor in matters of policy regarding the Internet’s top-level generic domain names; the global civil society’s Internet Governance Caucus; and the UN-led process, Internet Governance Forum, both at global level and on various levels in Africa.

Founder of DigiLexis Consulting (upcoming new site at www.digilexis.co), Dr. Chango intends to increasingly engage his thoughts and actions to help spur Internet-enabled entrepreneurial opportunities in Africa as well as governments to embrace the most adequate policies in that regard while improving their own operations in the digital age. Currently residing in Togo, Mawaki speaks English, French and Portuguese.

Pria Chetty –  Regional Director of EndCode

pria-chettyPria has over 10 years of experience as a technology law and policy advisor to public and private sector organisations, developing country governments and international organisations. In 2007, Pria founded a leading South African technology law firm which was acquired by Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2011. Following the acquisition, Ms. Chetty was responsible for establishing and heading the technology legal and regulatory service area for the PwC national advisory practice. She left PwC in 2013 and went on to serve as an expert consultant on an ITU project focusing on technical assistance in the area of cybersecurity law and policy for Southern African countries.

As a thought leader, Pria has presented at local and international technology conferences including conferences in Egypt, Canada, Senegal and Namibia and published in local and international newspapers, magazines, and journals. She has also published book chapters examining emerging technology law and policy topics with particular emphasis on recommendations for developing countries. Pria currently serves as a member of regional and international expert groups and advisory boards including the BRICS Cybersecurity Expert Group and Wikimedia ZA. She was also an Associate at the Global Cybersecurity Centre at Oxford University.

Pria is passionate about facilitating technology law and policy that enables ICT opportunities in Africa.


  • Proc. (Law Degree)
  • Postgraduate studies in E-Commerce and Internet Law and Intellectual Property Law,
  • Masters in Management (ICT Policy and Regulation)
  • Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa

Awards and Achievements:

  • Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans
  • Maverick Magazine – Young Lawyers to Watch

Souhila Amazouz – Senior Policy Officer at the African Union Commission (AUC)

Souhila Amazouz is a Senior Radio Communication Officer; she works for the Information Society division within the African union Commission (AUC), where she is asked to contribute to the elaboration and formulation of policies and regulations for the development of programs and projects relating to Radio Communications and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

With the African Union Commission Ms. Amazouz is involved in projects related to the development of the Information Society in Africa and works closely with the African Union Member States to coordinate regional and continental initiatives, harmonize the legislations and provide policy guidance on critical and emerging global issues  such Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Broadband strategies and Spectrum Management.

Before joining the AUC, she worked more than 10 years with the Algerian Broadcasting Corporation as a Chief Engineer specialized in spectrum management and Network planning.

Towela Nyirenda-Jere – NEPAD Agency

TowelaDr. Towela Nyirenda Jere holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications) from the University of Kansas, an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). She is currently the Programmes Manager with the NEPAD e-Africa Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). She currently manages projects in e-skills and Internet Governance and is responsible for identification of new projects and partnerships for the e-Africa Programme. Prior to this appointment she was the Projects Coordinator at the Malawi Polytechnic, University of Malawi.

Support team

Masedi Tshukudu, NEPAD Agency (On-site support)masedi




Shawna Finnegan, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)  (On-site support)

22cde60Shawna Finnegan (Canada) is the event management and resource mobilisation coordinator for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She hold a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Environmental Policy.



Yolanda Mlonzi, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)  (On-site support)

yolandaYolanda Mlonzi (South Africa) is a Student at the University of Witwatersrand studying towards an honours degree in Media Studies. In 2015, she was a Google Policy Fellow (Africa), and it was through this fellowship that she gained a deeper understanding of pertinent issues related to Internet governance. Subsequently, she worked for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) assisting with their policy work across the African continent. She is a graduate of the 2015 African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) and currently forms part of the Internet Society Ambassadors. Her interests are ICTs for development (ICT4D), multistakeholderism, gender issues, human rights and youth involvement in Internet Governance.


Olga Tsafack-Koloko, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)  (Remote support)

ppOlga is the Africa Communication Officer/French editor at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She is also a freelance Digital security trainer and English to French (&vice versa) translator. Originally from the beautiful and sunny town of Douala in Cameroon, she holds a Masters degree in International Relations, specialized in “International Communications and Public Actions” from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC). In 2008, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in “Political Science” from the University of Buea in Cameroon.

She previously worked as a Development Volunteer and translator in a Cameroonian NGO called PROTEGE QV for eleven years; and as a communications Officer and translator in the financial counselling firm “Karvan Finance”.

Olga is an AfriSIG 2015 graduate and also attended the first Gender and Internet Governance exchange (gigX). She is passionate about the Internet and all that revolves around it. She also likes traveling, baking and reading.

Twitter @OlgaTsafack



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