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Andrew Alston, Group Head of IP Strategy, Liquid Telecommunications

Andrew AlstonAndrew Alston has worked in the industry full time for 20 years, since the age of 16. He founded Africa’s first IT security company, and was involved in the Internet security industry for many years before switching directions and moving into the networking field. Andrew was appointed as the Chief Technology officer for the South African national research and education network, where he, together with the TENET team, spearheaded the design and deployment of Africa’s fastest network, which included the deployment of Africa’s first 10G localised peering, the landing and commissioning of the first aggregated 10G circuit to Europe, and the first fully IPv6 enabled backbone. After 6 years with TENET, Andrew turned his sights further afield in a quest for new challenges, and joined Liquid with the objective being to be part of build Africa’s new fastest network, the Liquid Telecommunications network.

Andrew has also been involved in the policy side of the African internet for many years, and in addition to his current work with Liquid, Andrew was also elected last year to the board of AfriNIC where he continues to serve.

Andrew now lives in Kenya and is happily married to a wonderful Kenyan wife!

Simon Balthazar, Technical Contact, Tanzania Network Information Center (tzNIC)

simon_BalthazarSimon Balthazar is the Technical Contact for .tz ccTLD at Tanzania Network Information Center (tzNIC), a registry of .tz domains. He has been with tzNIC since its humble beginning in 2008 where he played a key role in the redelegation and migration of .tz domain. He has extensive knowledge and experience in Domain Name System and its related technologies. Simon championed the first deployment of IPv6 in Tanzania and most recently deployment of DNSSEC at the .tz registry. He actively contributes both locally and regionally as one of the resource persons for AfTLD where he participates in training engineers from other emerging ccTLDs in Africa. He works on part time basis with NSRC in training engineers in NRENs in Africa and as well as participating in direct engineering assistance for universities across the continent. Prior to joining tzNIC, Simon worked in the telecommunication industry with Tanzania Telecommunication Company Ltd. and Vodacom Tanzania Ltd.

Graham Beneke, Technical Pre-Sales Specialist, eNetworks

Graham BenekeGraham is Technical Pre-sales Specialist for eNetworks, an Internet service company providing online solutions such as web hosting, email spam scanning and firewall security.

Previously, he was a Network Engineer at Neology, a South African network solutions provider for the ISP and enterprise markets, where he designed and maintained core network infrastructure for mobile and fixed line operators and ISPs across Africa. He also maintained Neology’s international IPv4 and IPv6 backbone, which is used to provide Internet services to numerous organizations.

Graham is a member of the management committee of the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), South Africa. His responsibilities include chairing the Internet Exchange (INX) policy and technical working group, which in turn drives the operations of Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) and Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX), Africa’s two largest Internet exchange points by traffic volume.  Additionally, he is a Council Member at the National Broadband Advisory Council, and owns Apolix Internet, a company that offers domain names and website hosting.

Graham is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mark Elkins, Posix Systems

Mark ElkinsMark was born and educated in the UK. He attended Queen Mary College (London University) from 1979 to 1983. From that very first day at university – Mark has been working on Unix based computer systems. He moved to South Africa in 1984.

After twelve years at Olivetti Systems and Networks, he started his own company (Posix Systems – an Internet Service Provider) and has been involved in Computer Communications since 1986.

A founder of UniForum SA (now the ZACR), he acquired the administered of the “CO.ZA” Domain name system on behalf of UniForum S.A. from 1995.

He became CCIE (Cisco Engineer) No.1992, 6 June 1996. (10th in Africa) Running IPv6 at Posix Systems since January 2007. He has completed various FoT (Fibre Technician) courses, including Design and FTTH in July 2011.

He is very active in the Internet Industry around Africa, involved with AfrISPA (teaching ISP’s how to form IXP’s (Internet Exchange Points), does a lot of DNS Teaching on behalf of ZACR and is also very involved with AfriNIC.

He has been involved in various Internet governmental forums and gave IPv6 based presentations at the 2009 IGF (Internet Governance Forum) in Egypt. He sat on the (Dept. of Communications) South African IPv6 Task force committee.

He is a Member of the IoD (Institution of Directors) 2011 and has completing their “Being a Director” courses.

Current Directorships include:
AfriNIC, COZA Cares, Posix Systems (Owner), Domain Name Services and various other organisations (Die Wilgers Home Owners Association, Wapadrand Office Park – Chair)

Current dream: Currently planning to roll out Dark Fibre and FTTH from Johannesburg to Messina! See ftth.posix.co.za

Hobbies include SCUBA Diving (NAUI Instructor).

In particular, at the ZACR, Mark is deeply involved in the dotAfrica project, that is, to run the ‘.africa’ gTLD domain.

Nishal Goburdhan, Internet Infrastructure Analyst, Packet Clearing House

NishalNishal is an Internet Infrastructure Analyst at Packet Clearing House (PCH), a non-profit that exists primarily to build and support Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), and which has done so more than two hundred times during the past twenty years.

Nishal is also the Internet Service Providers Association’s (ISPA) country manager for the Internet Exchange Points (INXes) for South Africa. Both from a technical and policy background, Nishal has been involved in developing interconnections and IXPs in many countries, and brings years of experience to Africa’s largest peering points.

He has been CTO, and Senior Project Manager: Global Infrastructure, for AfriNIC, the Regional Internet Registry for Africa.  During his 12 year tenure at Internet Solutions, South Africa’s largest corporate ISP, he played a critical role in expanding of the company’s infrastructure internationally and ultimately across four continents.

Nishal is passionate about transferring knowledge to developing countries. He is a volunteer instructor for the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG), and an IEEE member.

Nishal is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Megan Kruse, Manager, Technology Outreach and Strategic Planning, Internet Society

MeganMegan Kruse joined the Internet Society in June 2011, first working within the Deployment & Operationalization Team and then moving into the Office of the CITO. As Manager, Technology Outreach and Strategic Planning, she helps foster Internet growth by encouraging the deployment of key Internet technologies including IPv6, DNSSEC, and Routing Security. She plans and executes educational outreach projects for industry leaders and technology decision makers worldwide including publications, meetings and conferences, and social media activities.

Before joining the Internet Society, Megan managed public relations and outreach projects at the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). In addition to promoting the company’s key messages and positioning its top executives as industry experts, she developed ARIN’s social media and communications efforts surrounding the depletion of IPv4 address space and the need to adopt IPv6.

Alan Levin, Chairman, ISOC-ZA

Alan LevinMy passion and career goal is to create jobs and build the African economy (and information society), from Cape Town, using the Internet.

My strengths include some business savvy, financial acumen and the ability to operate in an organisation as a change agent.

Specialties: Policy development, governance, business development, systems development, strategy planning and management, all things Internet.

Ben Maddison, Director, Workonline Communications

Ben MaddisonBen Maddison is Director and Co-Founder of Workonline Communications (Pty) Ltd with the responsibility of technology innovation and implementation. Workonline Communications, based in South Africa, is an innovative pan-African service provider of connectivity services.

Workonline Communications owes its strength, growth, and fast expansion to Ben’s dedication, passion, and unparalleled work ethics. Founded in Cape Town in 2006, Workonline is a privately owned company whose customers include some of the world’s largest telecommunication companies. Workonline provides services to the wholesale market, as well as specialised services to the medium and large enterprise market. Ben prides himself on the stability, resilience and redundancy provisions of the Workonline Communications network, which operates according to the highest standards.

His initial vision of being a trusted advisor to clients, and driving innovation and agility remain at the core of Workonline’s business. Designing innovative commercial and technical solutions has given them the edge and led to their healthy growth over the past nine years.

Michuki Mwangi, Senior Development Manager for Africa, Internet Society

michuki_mwangiMichuki Mwangi joined ISOC in April 2008 as Senior Education Manager working with the Education team to promote Internet growth and sustainability in the developing world.

Michuki has long been active in the African and global Internet communities, having been centrally involved in key infrastructure developments, technical coordination activities, and policy-making forums.

Before joining ISOC, Michuki was an Internet technology consultant. He previously served as the Administrative Manager at the .KE registry (KENIC) and serves as president of the African Top Level Domain (AfTLD) Association and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Kenya Internet Exchange Point (KIXP), both in a volunteer capacity. He facilitated the anycast deployment of the .COM, .NET, F, and J root servers in Kenya, as well as other key infrastructure deployments in Africa.

He is active in the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG), the Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO) of ICANN, AfriNIC (the Regional Internet Registry for Africa), and several other local and international technology groups. Michuki has also been involved in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) discussions since the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) meeting in Tunis.

Michuki holds a diploma in computer analysis and design from Data Center College in Nairobi, Kenya. He has also received additional training in Scalable Network infrastructure and services at AfNOG. In 2006, he was selected as an ISOC Fellow to the IETF (attending the 66th IETF meeting, in Montreal, Canada).

Michuki is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Gabriel Ramokotjo, Chairman, Internet Society Gauteng Chapter

Gabriel RamokotjoGabriel Ramokotjo is an Internet Activist, who currently serves as the Chairman of Internet Society Gauteng Chapter, where he leads the Chapter and manages its activities.

Gabriel works closely with the Soweto Wireless User Group (affiliated with SowetoiLAB, a non-profit innovation laboratory located in Soweto, South Africa) to roll out free Wi-Fi for the community of Soweto, focusing on innovative ways to bring disadvantaged African communities up to speed on current technologies and encourage more participation in the technology industry as a whole.

Previously a member of the technical support team at The ZA Central Registry (ZACR), where he was responsible for helping clients set up name servers for their domain names and resolving DNS queries using the Linux operating system.

Gabriel is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Andrei Robachevsky, Technology Programme Manager, Internet Society

Andrei RobachevskyAndrei Robachevsky joined the Internet Society’s Standards & Technology Department in March 2011.

Andrei’s primary area of interest is security and resilience of the Internet infrastructure. This work is based on active engagement with the operator, research and policy communities.

Prior to joining ISOC, Andrei was Chief Technical Officer of the RIPE NCC, leading the development of company’s IT strategy, external and internal IT services, and work of the engineering departments. He was responsible for the deployment of DNSSEC for the reverse DNS tree and deployment of anycast instances of the K-root DNS server.

Andrei brings to the Internet Society more than 10 years experience in the Internet technical community. For more than a decade he is actively following Regional Internet Registry (RIR) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) activities. He was Chair of the Number Resource Organization’s (NRO) Engineering Coordination Group (ECG), which is responsible for various technical inter-RIR activities and projects. In 2010-2012 Andrei was a member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

Andrei is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Mukom Akong Tamon, Head of Capacity Development & Professional Services, AFRINIC

Mukom Akong Tamon is Head of Capacity Development & Professional Services at the African Network Information Center (AFRINIC) based in Mauritius. He created and runs AFRINIC’s IPv6 training program which has trained more than 2000 network engineers in 45+ countries on the skills needed to plan and deploy next-generation IPv6 networks.

He is also the creator of AFRINIC’s “IPv6 Strategy & Planning” aka “IPv6 for Managers’” course which helps decision makers better understand the strategic issues relating to IPv4 exhaustion and how to effectively plan and support IPv6 deployment. Mukom is the main author of the IPv6 Forum’s “IPv6 for Systems Engineers” program which standardised the skills needed by systems engineers to deploy IPv6 services.

Before joining AFRINIC, Mukom worked at Kaduna Business School, Ahmadu Bello University, the United Nations Development Program  and volunteered as trainer & curriculum designer for the Nigerian Network Operators’ Group. In these roles, Mukom has trained more than 1000 managers and executives on think and use IT strategically.

A citizen of Cameroon, trained as an Electrical Engineer, Mukom’s experience spans Information Technology, management consulting, executive education and international development industries. He is Lean Six Sigma Certified  by the Chartered Quality Institute of the UK, 4DX (the 4 Disciplines of Execution) certified by Franklin Covey as well as IPv6 Forum Certified (Gold) Engineer and Trainer

Mark Tinka, Head of Engineering, SEACOM

Mark_TinkaMark has been in the Internet industry since 1999, having helped build various Internet Exchange Points (IXP’s) in Uganda, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi. He was also instrumental in shaping the technological advancements and construction of the service networks of Africa Online, a Pan-African Internet Service Provider with eight operations on the continent, Global Transit and TIME dotCom, two Malaysian sister organizations engaged in wholesale and retail infrastructure services in Malaysia, when he worked there. Mark is heavily involved in various community organizations such as AfNOG, APRICOT, MyNOG, AfPIF, e.t.c. He is now based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is the Head of Engineering at SEACOM, a submarine cable operator along the coast of East and Southern Africa.

Jan Žorž, Operational Engagement Programme Manager, Internet Society

Jan-ZorzJan is the Internet Society’s Operational Engagement Programme Manager. He works on operational initiatives to ease the deployment of IPv6 and other technologies. He is also working to help the industry document best current operational practices and to improve operator feedback to the IETF.

Jan is one of the pioneers of SiOL, the Slovenian national ISP, and has been involved in the organization from the beginning. For the last seven years, Jan has been working as a consultant in the IT field, specializing in IPv6. He co-founded the Go6 institute (not-for-profit), a Slovenian IPv6 initiative whose main objective is to raise IPv6 awareness in Slovenia and alert the community to the fact that we are approaching extensive changes on the Internet.

Due to the success of Go6 Institute, Slovenia is currently leading the EU as the country most prepared for IPv6 (according to the RIPE NCC’s IPv6 RIPEness study). Jan has been invited to present around the world on his work, the model of the Go6 platform, IPv6 awareness raising and deployment at the national level. Jan is also primary co-author of a very successful procurement (specification) paper, published as official RIPE Best Current Practice document RIPE-501, titled “Requirements For IPv6 in ICT Equipment”. This document is translated into more than 10 languages and is used around the world by enterprises and governments when requesting IPv6 features in ICT equipment purchases. RIPE-501 was recently replaced by RIPE-554, also co-authored by Merike Kaeo, Sander Steffann and Jan Žorž.

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