Thank you very much. I’m just grateful and honored to be part of this distinguished group. But I’d like to tell you a story. I could not get a visa to come here because the dates they were giving for interviews were like a month away. Satisfyingly, the government of Ghana decided to elevate me and make me a diplomat so they’d give me a diplomatic visa. So with that, I thank the Ghanaian delegation, [?], and also my AAU friends are here from AfREN and I thank them very much for this level of support.
I know this honor is not for me alone but also for the billions who still do not have the benefit of the Internet. But I accept it and thank everyone on their behalf as well. Enabling people from the developing countries to have a chance to benefit from the Internet and contain the digital divide is still very very relevant. The sacrifice has been great but the rewards and benefits for generations of people in the developing world who would otherwise have missed the opportunity have been limitless.
I’m really excited about how actions in technology can triumph monumental policy and regulatory barriers and cause changes of the scale as was in Africa in the 80s and 90s. Governments would do well to reform communications policy, regimes more favorable to the Internet. And African governments in particular would benefit from investing in basic sciences and engineering education. And of course, using the Internet for increased community participation in policy development and also in developing planning.
I have been blessed to have founded important communities and institutions in the African Internet ecosystem. This has been a wonderful experience in the formation of self-organized technical communities in Africa, and it has changed me. I look forward to seeing how today’s Internet champions will change the world. I thank you all very much.
Nii Quaynor profile, Internet Hall of Fame 2013