Stage 1
10:00 - 10:30
The Past, Present and the Future of the Internet in Africa

Short thesis

A fireside chat with Prof. Nii Quaynor - Africa's "father of the internet".


For over 20 years, Nii Quaynor has been at the forefront of internet development across Africa. He is the first African to be elected to the board of ICANN and helped establish some of the continent's first online connections. He also set up key organizations, including the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG) and founding Chairman of African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC), the Regional Registry for Internet Numbers resources for Africa. 

Nii Quaynor received the Internet Society's prestigious Jonathan Postel Service Award for his pioneering work to advance Internet in Africa in Dec 2007. Then in 2013 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, lauded as an instrumental figure "in the early design and development of the internet." Today, he is the Chairman of Ghana Dot Com (a solutions provider in the Domain Name Industry), former Chairman of NITA, a Member of Electronic Communications Tribunal and Professor at the country's Cape Coast University.

In this fireside chat, Prof. Quaynor will be interviewed on the past, the present and future of Internet penetration and access in Africa. We will speak about digital divides, how to connect the unconnected, net neutrality and openness. We will seek answers to the question how do we build the structures today that will allow future generations to benefit from the free and open Internet rather than being subject of surveillance and disinformation.