Adiel Akplogan: Dear colleagues, friends, and our invited guests. It’s an honor for me to join this impressive group of fellow inductees. I would have never thought twenty-five years ago that I would stand here and be able to talk and be honored to join you. I have worked with many of you in different circumstances and on different projects. But this induction resonates deeply in me as a recognition from you as peers.
But I’m standing here having particular thoughts to my friends, my colleagues, and those I call my comrades back in the region and thinking about how important it is for us not to ever give up. Not to ever give up doing the right thing, despite all the difficulty in a region like ours. We will continue to support progress, even as little as there can be or be perceived, we shall cherish them and consolidate them at all costs. Our achievements always fuel more initiative and greater progress. Quoting somebody, talents are everywhere, opportunities are not. So every time we have the opportunity to identify some of those, we need to seize them and work not for personal gain but to allow those talents to benefit from them.
Nominated for efforts and contribution to several initiatives that brought and drew the Internet in West Africa in the 90s, and also for leading and nurturing the consensus approach that has helped create AFRINIC, the Internet number registry in Africa in 2004, I have witnessed over those twenty-five years how technology can change and improve people’s lives on a daily basis. The time has past where we were laughed at as young engineers, shy probably, but very energetic. Locked in a five-by-five room, sitting on our gear. Eating, sleeping, and working to connect our country to the Internet with its own domain. How can we do that in a country where everything telecom has to go through the telecommunication company? That was laughable.
But guess what. We did it. We connected the country to the Internet and provide a service to a lot of companies and individual people. That milestone achieved, we enthusiastically joined another aspirational idea. Because as operator we were facing a lot of challenge managing, receiving, Internet number resources. We worked to achieve that goal as well, building and growing AFRINIC as a region Internet number resource. That would very quickly become the catalyst for the continental internet ecosystem, tackling challenges we were facing one at a time, but with diligence, discipline, and beyond all with courage.
Why courage? Because we’re operating in a region that is always perceived as complex. Where top-down and monopolistic mindsets prevail. Though there is still a lot to do in the region, we believe that the ground is profoundly set in a direction that will continue to enable and support the Internet’s uptake in the region.
All that done, and now that we recognize the positive impact of technology and innovation, the challenge is upon all of us to be able to put our knowledge, our understanding of the technology, openly available to policymakers. We have to work with them to help them see our policy and norms that will continue to be enablers for innovation without permission.
I look forward to continue working with you all, fellows of the Hall of Fame, to support, encourage, value, and promote the mission of open standards and technology for further success in the region but also globally. Thank you for trusting me. But more than that for also paying attention to what we were doing down there in the region. I would like to thank ISOC as well for creating and continuing supporting the Hall of Fame initiative, and also organizing of course this very beautiful ceremony here in Costa Rica. We well continue working diligently, with discipline and courage, to build consensus and make the Internet a very key element for development. Thank you.
Internet Hall of Fame profile