Governance & Committee Members

Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Program Committee Governance Structure document details the governance framework determining how the Program Committee for the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (referred to as “PC”) will be structured and regulated. Read more or download PDF.

Program Committee Co-chairs

Fearghas McKay

Program Committee Members

Amreesh Phokeer is the Internet Measurement and Data Expert at the Internet Society. He is focused on efforts around Internet measurement, Internet shutdowns, and understanding market trends that impact the growth of the Internet across the globe.

Prior to joining ISOC, Amreesh was a Research Manager at the African Network Information Center – AFRINIC, where he spearheaded the organisation’s research activities in the areas of Internet security and Internet measurements – with focus on African networks. He also championed the deployment of various security frameworks namely RPKI and DNSSEC at AFRINIC.

Amreesh is also heavily involved in the academic community. Amreesh has a number of scientific publications in A-ranked conferences in the areas of network performance, security, and Internet policy. He has been a Programme Committee member of several academic and technical conferences. He was the General Chair of the 12th EAI International Conference on e‐Infrastructure and e‐Services for Developing Countries (AFRICOMM).

Amreesh holds an M.S in Computer Science from Telecom Nancy, France and an M.Sc in Information Security from the University of London, UK. He is currently finishing his PhD in Computer Networks at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Caglar Dabanoglu

Caglar Dabanoglu is a Senior Network Architect at Akamai Technologies. He is primarily responsible for peering & interconnection, network partner support and the architecture of the Akamai Global Platform, with a focus on Southern Europe, Middle-East and Africa. Caglar holds a B.Sc. degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul.

Before joining Akamai Technologies, Caglar worked for several regional and global ISPs and system integrators like Cable and Wireless, EADS and M-Net as a Senior Network Engineer and Network Architect.

Chidinma Iwe is a Systems Architect at Cisco.

He has over 18 years of active experience in the Telecommunications, Financial services, and Oil & Gas industry. In 2006, he joined Dimension Data as a systems engineer and was involved in several transformational projects that were synonymous with the rapid growth of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria. He joined MainOne in 2013 and rose to be the Chief information security officer and Head of IP Networks. He was a key part of the inspiring story of MainOne’s unparalleled growth in the Internet and Datacenter market in West Africa.

With a bachelor’s in Engineering, and an Executive MBA from the prestigious Pan Atlantic University, his career has been laced with multiple distinguished career awards and notable professional certifications as he continues to take time out to provide mentorship to several aspiring systems engineers.

Darwin Costa holds a Master in Internet Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Science.

Darwin worked at multinational Angola Cables from 2012-2019. He first worked for 7 years as Peering coordinator and IP product specialist before joining DE-CIX, Internet Exchange in Frankfurt,  the world’s leading interconnection platform, managing more than 9 Terabits per second peak traffic.

At DE-CIX, Darwin’s primary focus lays on network interconnection services as Senior Business Development responsible for Africa & LATAM regions.

Esther Cobbinah has worked as a Network Engineer at LINX (London Internet Exchange) for the past 5 years. Before that she worked as a NOC engineer for several years. As a British born Ghanaian Esther is very passionate about Africa and is kin to contribute to the development of the continent.

Esther King is passionate about education and women empowerment and has interest in building wireless community networks and shaping the Internet. Currently, she is a Data/Packet Switch operations, DNS Security & Resilience, Interconnection, Roaming and Network Engineer for QCELL, a leading ISP in The Gambia. She is also the co-founder and Chairperson of GAMCHIX, an organization formed to promote the development of women in technology in The Gambia.

Being an advocate for Women in Technology, she is interested in promoting the need for gender balance in the peering and interconnection system.

Jacob Dagunduro is a network engineer currently serving as the Head, Technical Services at Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria IXPN. He is responsible for managing technical operations and relationships with members (Network Operators) and Data Centres. He has led numerous technical projects in IXPN towards growing local Internet traffic in Nigeria. He speaks at events and facilitate workshops with network operators in Nigeria on Internet connectivity and peering. He led his team on a trial inter-IX interconnectivity between IXPN and Ghana Internet Exchange GIXA. He also worked with a team from African Union in providing technical support for the setup of the first Internet exchange point in Algeria. Jacob believes everyone is talented and he likes encouraging young people to be their best. 

Janvier Ngnoulaye

Jean-Baptiste Millogo (JB) is an Internet infrastructure expert. He serves as Network Architect at Orange Burkina Faso since 2013. In 2018, he became the Executive Director of the Burkina Faso Internet Exchange Point (BFIX). In his professional career, JB worked as a Regional Information Technology and Network Manager for Central Africa and the Great Lakes region at Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) from 2004 to 2013. With AUF, JB spent around 10 years building digital campuses and ICT infrastructures for various African Universities.

In the domain of the Internet ecosystem, JB is a founding member and of the Internet Society Burkina Faso Chapter and chaired its board from 2015 to 2020.JB holds a master’s of science degree in computer science with a major in network design and security from the University of Reims in France. 

Josiah Chavula is a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT).  He conducts research on Internet performance in Africa – including measuring the impact of Internet interconnection strategies on Internet Quality of Experience (QoE). His research interests also includes the design of effective and efficient network measurement infrastructure, data-driven network performance engineering, software defined networking (SDN), and application of network measurements for the analysis of security, privacy and censorship problems.  

Josiah leads the Networks for Development (Net4D) research group at UCT, which focuses on enhancing the use of Networks and the Internet for innovative and sustainable solutions that help local communities, and developing network measurement infrastructure that can help improve the design and management of low-resource networks. Josiah also collaborates with the Internet Society and AFRINIC on the Measuring Internet Resilience in Africa (MIRA) project, which aims to measure and model internet resilience of countries in Africa.      

Prior to taking up an academic position at UCT, Josiah was a senior research engineer at AFRINIC, and previously, he worked in Malawi as a network engineer and as a lecturer at Mzuzu University.  He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2017, a Masters degree in Networking and Internet Systems from Lancaster University (UK 2011), and a BSc in Computer Science and Physics from the University of Malawi in 2005. 

Kyle Spencer is Chairman and Executive Director of the Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP), Co-Coordinator of the African IXP Association (Af-IX), board member at the Internet eXchange Federation (IX-F), and CEO of Stormzero Consulting.

His previous roles include CIO at International Medical Group and Technology for Development Specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Kyle helped establish many notable community organizations and projects; is passionate about open-source software and intellectual property law reform; and spends his free time working to develop the African multiplayer Internet gaming ecosystem.

Luc Missidimbazi is currently Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Congo Republic. Prior to his current position, Luc worked as the National Coordinator of the Central African Backbone, a project co-financed by the CEMAC countries and the World Bank. Before taking this function, he was Director of projects at the state market regulator of the Post and Electronic Communications of Congo. After following his education in France in Engineering, Luc worked, in his early professional years, as Manager in Alcatel (France) and ECI-Telecom (Israel).

Luc Missidimbazi is an important civil society actor. He is the founder of the Association of professionals and users of ICT in the Congo as well as founder of the DSI-club of Congo.

Matthew Chigwende head shot

Mathew Chigwende is the Head of Data Network at Liquid Telecom. He has over 15 years experience in Telecoms. He started as a graduate Engineer at TelOne in Zimbabwe and in 2002 joined Econet as Technical and Support Manager for its Ecoweb Brand – responsible for building the network into one of the biggest ISPs in Zimbabwe. In 2006, Mathew moved to UK and joined BT as a Project Engineer working on MPLS and Financial Extranet projects. In 2009, Mathew joined Liquid Telecom in London to spearhead a new exciting project involving connecting the vast fibre builds into a pan African MPLS network.

He currently holds the post of Head of Data Networks, responsible for core network support and optimization, and group wide network project implementations. Mathew was educated at University of Zimbabwe where he obtained a BSc in Engineering and later an MBA. He holds a number of Cisco professional certifications. Mathew is married and lives with his wife and three children in Kent, UK.

Mathieu Paonessa is the CTO of GVA (Groupe Vivendi Africa) in charge of all the engineering of Vivendi’s operation across Africa. Mathieu graduated from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada and has since then worked for various ISP as well as financial firms specialized in ultra low latency network connectivity. He is also involved in the peering community and was a former president of the board at France-IX.

Michelle Bainbridge is the Director of Cape Connect Internet (Pty) Ltd, an ISP based in South Africa, and has been involved in IT for around 15 years. Previous experience in food technology, technical writing, e-waste recycling, administration and education have provided her with a wide knowledge base to explore industry-specific Internet requirements for a variety of clients. In her spare time, you’ll find her in her garden or on her motorcycle.

Michelle Opiyo  has over 10 years of experience in the Network Services Provider Industry. She attained her BSc in electronic and computer engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology. Michelle currently serves as a Senior Network Engineer at Workonline Communications. Prior to joining Workonline, she served in various capacities at the national research and education network of Kenya (KENET) where she operated the core network and delivered tailor-made solutions to top Universities and Research Institutions. Her core skills are in network design, implementation and operation, capacity building and community development. She is passionate about developing the African Internet connectivity landscape and opening it up to the world, as well as developing the abilities of engineers on the continent. To this end, Opiyo volunteers as a trainer for various regional technical forums and network operator groups (NOGs) where she trains and mentors engineers. 

Rebecca Class-Peter has worked at Euro-IX since 2015, as the Events and Operations Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating the operational activities of the Association, managing Euro-IX events and representing Euro-IX at international events.  Rebecca holds an MA in International Relations and has extensive international experience in project management for universities and charities. Rebecca is very passionate about children and education and is interested in the development of Internet governance in Africa. 

Stephanie Achieng is currently working as a technical officer at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point (KIXP). Stephanie has particular interest in the IXP industry, Internet technology and Internet governance.

Yolandi Robinson started her career at Teraco Data Environments. First as an intern in the marketing department before joining the NAPAfrica peering & interconnection team, where she has been ever since. The NAPAfrica environment has been instrumental in furthering her ambitions to build a career in tech. She has gained valuable experience in the field of peering as well as the tech requirements in racking, stacking, and patching. She enjoys the challenge of learning about the industry both from a hands-on perspective and voraciously consuming all online material available for self-study. She is in passionate support of diversity in the ICT industry. 

Currently she is on the PeeringDB Product Committee and recently joined the AFPIF PC. She is also involved in the “Let’s Talk, Let’s Act” series for EURO-IX which discusses diversity in tech, specifically around age and how we can get more youngsters involved and support them. She is also on the Peering Toolbox team. Peering Toolbox is a community led project initiated to provide support and best practice information for new entrants into the interconnection community.

 As part of her daily duties, she is also involved with an initiative launched in 2019 called ‘Teraco Tech Days’ where we reach out to the tech experts within our industry to host a blitz 90-min virtual training session regarding specific topics e.g BGP, Network Security, Connecting to the Cloud, IPv6 Overview, etc. Our goal is to engage with our community members and discuss common obstacles when doing configuration or connections.