Award honors leader who brought the Internet to many throughout Africa and beyond
The Internet Society, a global non-profit dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet, today presented the prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award to Alain Aina, who serves as the chief technology officer of the West and Central Africa Research and Education Network (WACREN).
Mr. Aina was selected by an international award committee comprised of former Jonathan B. Postel award winners. The committee placed particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own contributions. The award was presented to Mr. Aina in recognition of his leadership in pioneering the Internet in Africa and building technical communities that helped connect countless others across the continent and beyond. Aina – who is from Benin and has lived in Togo for the past 25 years – helped build large parts of the Internet ecosystem throughout Africa, setting up networks, contributing to the creation of the regional Internet registry and the network operator group, and building ccTLD registries.
“This award encourages me to continue the work, to grow and help others spread the Internet continent-wide, and to help break down barriers for the engineers and scientists in Africa,” Aina said. “I feel happy and honored to be recognized for this work.”
The Postel Award was established by the Internet Society to honor individuals or organizations that, like Jon Postel, have made outstanding contributions to the data communications community. The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership. Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society presented the award including a US$20,000 honorarium and a crystal engraved globe, during the 106th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) held in Singapore, 16-22 November 2019.
Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet. Working through a global community of chapters and members, the Internet Society collaborates with a broad range of groups to promote the technologies that keep the Internet safe and secure, and advocates for policies that enable universal access. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).