September 2015, Issue 23
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Monthly Newsletter

Omobola Johnson Appointed Honorary Chair of A4AI

On September 1, we officially welcomed Dr. Omobola Johnson, the immediate past Minister of Communication Technology of Nigeria, to the A4AI team as its Honorary Chairperson. In this role, Dr. Johnson will provide A4AI will strategic policy guidance and will lead high-level international advocacy efforts to help A4AI drive down high broadband prices and bring billions more online.

Dr. Johnson brings with her over 30 years of experience in the ICT policy arena, across both the private and public sectors. From 2011-2015, she served as Nigeria's Minister of Communication Technology, where she oversaw the creation and implementation of policy to enable affordable Internet, including the development and presentation of the country's 2013-2018 National Broadband Plan. During her time as Minister, Nigeria became the first African country to join A4AI (in October 2013), and the percentage of Internet users in Nigeria nearly doubled, from 24% in 2010 to 43% in 2014.

You can read more about Dr. Johnson's career, her thoughts on the Nigeria ICT space, and her hopes and goals for her work with A4AI in this exclusive interview, published on
ITWeb Africa.

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Johnson to the A4AI team, and look forward to working with her to advance our work for affordable Internet!

Kojo Boakye Interviewed on Sky News

On August 28, A4AI Deputy Director-Policy Lead Kojo Boakye made his major international network television debut when he was interviewed on Sky News. Kojo sat down with Sky News Presenter Niall Paterson to discuss new approaches to expanding Internet access. Kojo reflected on many of the exciting new technological approaches to expanding access, and how these initiatives must work in conjunction with policy and regulatory reform on-the-ground in order to reduce prices and bring more people online.

In this issue: 

Country Engagement Update

Developing a Digital Agenda in the Dominican Republic

A4AI is working with stakeholders in the Dominican Republic to support the development of the country's digital agenda. Over the coming months, A4AI, INDOTEL, CNSIC (National Coalition for the Information and Knowledge Society) and other local partners will convene a number of public consultations and workshops to ensure that the digital agenda is inclusive and comprehensive. The first workshop and public consultation, conducted in partnership with CIPAF (Center for Research and Feminist Action), is taking place on September 15 in Santo Domingo, and will explore options for including a stronger gender lens in the development of the digital agenda. A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge will present findings and recommendations from A4AI and Web Foundation research on gender issues, as well as recommendations proposed by the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender and Broadband. Sonia will be joined by Magaly Piñeda, CIPAF's Executive Director, and Amalia Toledo, Project Coordinator with Colombia's Fundación Karisma, who will share the progress made on gender equality in ICT in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, respectively.

International Advocacy Update

A4AI Shares Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billions
Ahead of the 2015 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil, A4AI submitted a short paper to the IGF on “The Policy Tools Making Internet Access More Affordable Across the World.” The paper looks to provide policymakers with brief insights into the key best practices and policy tools proven to reduce costs and help bring the next billion users online. Specifically, the paper looks at three best practices: (1) infrastructure sharing; (2) a balanced approach to taxation of ICT goods and services; and (3) the effective use of Universal Service and Access Funds. Read the full paper in our Policy & Research Knowledge Bank.

Staff Update

Welcoming Africa Regional Coordinator Onica Makwakwa

A4AI is excited to welcome to the team our new full time Africa Regional Coordinator, Onica Makwakwa. Onica joins us from A4AI member organisation Consumers International, where she led the coordination of Consumer International's initiatives in Africa. She brings with her over 20 years of advocacy, fundraising and management experience across organisations in the non-profit sector. As Africa Regional Coordinator, Onica will work closely with the team to support and strengthen the work of the A4AI national coalitions and develop effective collaborations across stakeholders in Africa to enable increased access to affordable broadband. Onica will assume her new role on October 1. In the meanwhile, you can follow her on Twitter @AfroDiva.
Member Event Spotlight
Join A4AI at the upcoming Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum 2015, September 14-16 in Nairobi. The event, "Towards a Connected Commonwealth", will bring together senior policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders to examine relevant ICT sector issues. A4AI Deputy Director Kojo Boakye will join former A4AI Honorary Chair Dr Bitange Ndemo, and others for a panel discussion on lowering broadband access prices. Learn more at

Join the GSMA October 27-29 in Atlanta for the North America edition of their Mobile 360 Series. North America is the fastest growing adopter of mobile products and services, and this event will give mobile leaders the platform to share industry developments, network with peers, and discuss key mobile technology issues. It will feature three days of case study presentations, state-of-the-art demonstrations, fast-paced pitch presentations from mobile entrepreneurs and keynotes from top executives. Register at
Do you have new research, an upcoming event or an exciting development you'd like to highlight in the next edition of our monthly newsletter? Let us know by emailing
Engage with A4AI! 
Upcoming Events 
All members are invited to attend our presentations, panels, and forums. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with our team at any of the below events, please e-mail

September 14-16

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum 2015
Nairobi, Kenya
*A4AI Deputy Director Kojo Boakye will be attending

September 15-16

A4AI-Dominican Republic Coalition Meeting & Workshop (hosted by A4AI)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

September 22-23

NigeriaCom Conference 
Lagos, Nigeria

September 22-25

Meetings of the ITU Expert Groups on ICT Household Indicators & Telecommunication/ICT Indicators
Geneva, Switzerland
*A4AI Research Manager Dhanaraj Thakur will be attending. 

September 24

Meeting of the UN Broadband Commission's
Working Group on Broadband & Gender

New York, USA
*A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge will be attending.
October 6-7

A4AI-Mozambique Coalition Meeting & Workshop (hosted by A4AI)
Maputo, Mozambique

October 7-9

GSMA Mobile 360 Series - Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
*A4AI Deputy Director Kojo Boakye will be speaking at the event; Representatives from the A4AI team will be attending. 

October 19-21

Transform Africa
Kigali, Rwanda
*A4AI will be organising two of the main sessions. We will share details of the programme soon.

October 21-22

Stockholm Internet Forum 2015

Stockholm, Sweden
*A4AI will be participating. 

October 27-29

GSMA Mobile 360 Series - North America

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

November 10-13

Internet Governance Forum 2015

João Pessoa, Brazil
*A4AI will be attending. 
**Will you be attending IGF 2015? Let us know by filling out this quick Google form:
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