Anriette Esterhuysen

Civil Society, Africa – Association for Progressive Communications, APC

Anriette Esterhuysen is the Executive Director 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. Prior to joining APC Esterhuysen was executive director of South African APC member SANGONeT, an internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. From 1987 to 1992, when she joined SANGONeT, she did information and communication work in development and human rights organizations in South Africa and Zimbabwe. During this period, and while she was at SANGONeT, Esterhuysen, with many others, helped establish email and internet connectivity in Southern Africa. SANGONeT hosted a Fidonet hub that provided universities and nongovernmental organizations in, among other places, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with email links to global networks as part of a collaboration between the APC and the United Nations Development Programme. She has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN's Economic Commission for Africa's African Information Society Initiative and was a member of the United Nations ICT Task Force from 2002 to 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Task Working Group on Financing Mechanisms, and the Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements. She is currently a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum and serves on the boards of Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative and Ungana-Afrika. Most recently, Esterhuysen was one of five finalists for IT Personality of the Year in South Africa in 2012, an award which recognises a person who has made an outstanding impact on the South African ICT industry and a significant contribution to the ICT profession. She was the only female and only civil society finalist. Esterhuysen was also nominated into the Internet Hall of Fame as a global connecter in 2013. 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. Esterhuysen has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice. She holds postgraduate qualifications in Social Sciences from the University of Witwatersrand.

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