Foundation activities at APrIGF 2023

The Foundation was involved directly in two sessions at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) 2023, and indirectly in many other sessions.

Investing in professional development for a diverse workforce in APAC: challenges and opportunities

The session was moderated by Omar Ansari, who is the Project Lead for the Foundation’s Technical Training and Mentoring Support to Internet Professionals in Afghanistan project.

Joining him for the presentation remotely was Lima Madomi, a participant in the Afghanistan Project, as well as Minh Châu Lưu and Bouala Phouannavong who are participants in the Foundation’s Switch! Gender Diversity project. The participants discussed their career paths, involvement in the project, and their views on gender and diversity in the technical sector.

Sustainability of Complementary Connectivity Initiatives

This session, hosted by ISEA, focused on a variety of business models and approaches that tackle financial and technical sustainability issues faced by initiatives in the Asia Pacific. It focused on rural/remote solutions, where bringing meaningful connectivity to the unconnected and addressing the digital divide are still the main challenges.

The session was moderated by Sylvia Cadena, the Foundation’s Head of Programs and Partnerships, with Sarbani Banerjee Belur moderating the remote participation. Sarbani is part of a project team led by ISEA, looking at three connectivity initiatives, including a Foundation-supported project that spans Bangladesh, China, and the Philippines. The speakers included:

  • Marie Lisa M. Dacanay PhD, the founding President of ISEA, and a pioneer in social entrepreneurship education and research in the Asian region.
  • Michael Ginguld, Director of Operations at Airjaldi. Airjaldi specializes in connecting challenging regions of India and is currently working on a hybrid ‘WiFibre’ project to connect rural communities.
  • Founder and CEO of Boom!, Lubuw Falanruw. Boom! is currently working on a project to connect Micronesia building out from submarine cable capacity that was brought to the Pacific in recent years.
  • Ms. Reina Wulansari, from the Common Room Networks Foundation. Common Room has been involved in a School of Community Networking project that is building out connectivity infrastructure and skills to support nearby rural communities.
  • Managing Director of Distant Curve Remote Area Telecommunications, Matthew James. Distant Curve is currently in the process of connecting remote areas of Australia’s Northern Territory with microwave technology.

Gathering Foundation partners together

The APrIGF was a rare opportunity to bring together a number of organizations that the Foundation has worked with. A breakfast event was held on the sidelines of the event so that participants can share their experiences and network with each other.

Supporting PacIGF fellows

The Foundation also worked together with APNIC to support Fellows to attend the APrIGF / Pacific IGF. The following Fellows were supported in 2023:

NameNationalityStakeholder group
Robert AbbilVanuatuGovernment
Jason DicksonPapua New GuineaGovernment
Chia Chen LinSamoaPrivate sector
Bongraoi ArebaioKiribatiTechnical
Ayesha Rani LataFijiIntergovernmental Organization
Shrestra SharmaFijiGovernment
Brian Misikui MangiSolomon IslandsPrivate sector
Gina Fangu O Vavau MaheTongaPrivate sector