High Level Session I: UNIVERSAL, AFFORDABLE & MEANINGFUL CONNECTIVITY - Monday 28 November, 11:00-13:00 UTC+3

Ms. Paula Ingabire

Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan technology enthusiast, who currently serves as the Minister of ICT and Innovation in the Government of Rwanda. Minister Ingabire coordinated the creation of Smart Africa, an initiative that seeks to leverage broadband infrastructure as a driver for Africa’s socio- economic growth.

Ms. Lise Fuhr

Ms. Lise Fuhr is ETNO’s Director General since January 2016. At ETNO, she leads and oversees all the activities and she is the main external representative of the Association. On behalf of the Association, she is also a Board and an Administrative Committee member in ECSO, the European Cybersecurity Organisation. Lise has also been appointed to the Internet Society Public Interest Registry Board of Directors for a three year term as of July 2016. Prior to joining ETNO, she was Chief Operating Officer of DK Hostmaster and DIFO, the company managing the .dk domain name.

Moderator: Ms. Jewel Forde

Jewel Forde is a television producer and presenter with the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados. She has hosted "Monitor" and worked as an announcer on CBC 900 AM radio. She is also joint public relations officer for the Barbados Association of Journalists.

Forde has a Diploma in Mass Communications from University of the West Indies, Mona in Jamaica and a master's degree in Journalism Studies from the University of Cardiff.

Mr. Kojo Boakye

Kojo Boakye is Meta’s Vice President of Public Policy for Africa. He’s an experienced ICT for Development Practitioner, with 15+ years’ experience working with governments, fixed-line and mobile operators, development partners, online service providers, content developers and civil society organisations. Before joining Facebook, he was the Deputy Director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), and the Head Research and Consultancy at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) prior to that.

Mr. Rodney Taylor

Mr. Rodney Taylor, a national of Barbados, was appointed as CTU Secretary General from 1st March 2021.

He was formerly the Chief Digital Technology Officer with Barbados’ Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology (MIST), where he was the technical lead on Barbados’ digital transformation, improving public sector service delivery through the strategic use of innovation, science, and SMART technology.

Mr. Balcha Reba

Engineer Balcha Reba is an accomplished Electrical Engineer with over 16 years of experience in Telecommunications regulation. Currently, he is the Director General of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, which is a National Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Postal sector. Before being appointed Director General (DG) in September 2019, Engineer Balcha was Director of Communications and Information Technology Standardization and Regulation at the then Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and later at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

Ms. Onica N. Makwakwa

Leads the multi-stakeholder engagement across Africa for the Alliance for Affordable Internet focusing on advancing good practices in policy and regulatory frameworks for affordable and meaningful access to broadband. She also convenes the Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology.

Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor

Nii Quaynor graduated from Dartmouth College in 1972 with B.A (Engineering Science) and received a Ph.D (Computer Science) in distributed systems in 1977 from S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook.

Nii worked with DEC, U.S.A from 1977 till 1992 and returned to Ghana to establish the first ISP operated by Network Computer Systems in 1993.

Nii had earlier in 1977 established the Computer Science department at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Doreen Bogdan-Martin is Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.  On 1 January 2023 she will take office as the first woman elected to the post of ITU Secretary-General.

A leader with more than 30 years’ experience in international relations, she is a passionate advocate for digital development and inclusion.

Mr. Antonio Pedro

Antonio M.A. Pedro is the Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Africa’s premier thought leadership institution focused on generating knowledge and applying policy research in support of accelerated economic diversification and structural transformation. A mineral exploration geologist with more than 40 years’ experience, Pedro has broad experience of and exposure to international development issues and management at national, sub-regional, and continental levels. 

Ms. Amani Abou Zeid

Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid is the twice-elected African Union Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, Energy & ICT. For more than 30 years, Dr Abou-Zeid has served in leadership positions in international organisations and has amassed a remarkable mix of experience from across continents and stakeholders.

Mr. Li Junhua

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Mr. Li Junhua of China as the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs effective 25 July 2022.

H.E. Mr. Leon Ibombo

Politician, husband, and father of 4, H.E. Mr Léon Juste Ibombo was born 30 November 1968 in Brazzaville. Ibombo completed his primary and secondary education in the Republic of Congo (Grande Ecole de Poto-Poto, Ecole de la Poste, CEG de la Fraternité) and Cameroon (Collège NOA de Mbalmayo). He then studied Political Science and Public Law at Marien Ngouabi University, Brazzaville, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris. Ibombo’s professional career began in 1997.