contents: values, experience, platform, activities, for ICANN voters, endorsements, africa, personal

I am most honoured to have been nominated by the committee. To participate on the ballot of the first free and fair global election ever held is a milestone I shall always treasure. It has allowed me a deep introspective opportunity, and leaps of excitement. This nomination as well as other most recent personal experiences have only reconfirmed my commitment to working on building the Internet in Africa. As I write this I can hear some saying "So what's so great about that?"

It's about communication, and education, about building economies, and edutainment, and entertainment, and universities and science. The internet connects billions of people, and now in many various ways. My goal is to build regional economies by bringing this magical technology into peoples lives for work, study and pleasure.

Mark Shuttleworth recognises ICANN and endorses Alan Levin as an ICANN director candidate.

The Internet Society of South Africa endorse Alan Levin as an ICANN director candidate.

Dimension Data recognise ICANN and support Alan Levin as an ICANN director candidate. Dimension Data has extensive experience delivering corporate products and services through over 20 countries in Africa. Their in depth experience in South East Asia also prepares them well for various global internet infrastructure challenges. Richard Came, Group Marketing Director supports Alan Levin as an ideal candidate to represent Africa at ICANN. "Alan comes from a small IT company positioned in the developing health care sector in Africa. He has a good combination of networking and computing experience with business and commercial acumen. Alan has nothing financial to gain from being successful in this election, and we believe that he has the drive and enthusiasm to make a successful African representative."

The ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association of South Africa) recognise ICANN and endorse Alan Levin as an ICANN director candidate. This was unanimously ratified at the ISPA annual general meeting August 24 2000.

UUNET Africa recognise ICANN and support Alan Levin as an ICANN director candidate. UUNET in conjunction with local partners are currently rolling out a semi-regional Internet backbone into 16 African countries. UUNET are actively present in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The next countries are Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland. Other counties to follow later would be Zambia, Nigeria, Mauritius, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Cameroon.

There are 55 countries in the African region and 46 countries are represented at ICANN@Large. Fantastic! I must contribute this to a supreme effort by Pierre Danjinou, Dr Nii Quaynor, Charles Musisi, Tarek Kamel, Zajaria Amar, Yann Kwok, Anthony Brooks, Dr. Raymond Akwule and many others.

In January this year, over 16 countries in Africa did not have functioning top level domains. This is hampering growth. Click here to see more demographics on African domains.

South Africa, which represents 6% of the African population, currently represents 80% of internet bandwidth into the continent and in January 2000 (.za) accounted for over 90% of registered African domain names.

In January 1996 only 11 African countries had fixed internet connections. Today with possibly one or two exceptions every country has at least one permanent connection. At present this connection provides connectivity to people in the capital cities of most countries. Read more by Mike Jensen - the leading African Internet researcher.

What can be done... Intellectual property is a great area of concern, the arbitration required and legal costs incurred in domain dispute resolution has had impact in most regions. Other facets of the internet similarly impact cross-continental governance issues, but in Africa the networks are all connected in different directions. When a Kenyan browses a Ghanaian Web page (physically <3000 miles) the data is taking a longer trip than one from Hawaii (across the globe).

My resume / Curriculum Vitae.

My web cam - from my seat at Sunesi.

More about my family.

Internet related articles I have written for online publication.

I believe in democratic participation in decision-making, open processes, the right to communicate, and a fair balance between rights of privacy, speech, consumers, and property in Internet governance. This is something that I live and practice and reflects my style of working. I am an optimist and believe that all the Africa candidates will demonstrate their support for these important principles. All voices should be heard.

I do recognise there are problems with domain names worldwide. The current systems allow for names to be allocated either on a first-come-first-serve basis, or on a proof of trademark, company name, or area, with various levels of restriction. Some top level domain (tld) systems work quite well and others work technically but do not assist economic growth, while others don't work at all.

Organisations can make things happen. Groups can make things happen, but it is every individual in every group in every organisation that make things work. ICANN is such an organisation and I am such an individual.

I am a programmer, designer, a systems and network architect, a product developer and Internet business developer. I lead teams and engineer projects on a business and technical level.

Understanding ports and their use, related security issues and network computing is core to my knowledge. Applying Internet Protocol into client-server and multi-tiered systems is a skill. I am also known for an ability to disseminate knowledge in the areas of routing and DNS as well as the application of various types of address ranges.

My leadership experience in developments of various business systems, work in international trade, involvement in various African Internet services and Internet appliances help to construct my platform for the ICANN director position.

My working style is proactive and and I manage to get things done by expecting the extraordinary. I tend to focus on the big picture, yet work in the details. ICANN has many challenges where my youth and track record add an African element of potential. (For details see my Curriculum Vitae)

I make a personal commitment to actively participate on the following various levels:

a) Global: ICANN@large is physically gathering internet ambassadors of various regions. I promise to facilitate representation for each and every African to each and every other continent. I will seek out information and create awareness of African issues. I will promote the region, facilitate global investment, and foster both business and political relationships.

b) Regional: The internet in Africa is only beginning. In the next two years we will see the number of countries with more than one point of presence at least double, and we should be able to sort out country code top level domains that have never worked. I will ensure that organisations on the continent are kept aware of internet issues and opportunities.

My direct involvement in regional issues began in 1997 when I lead a team in a UNDP training mission to Nigeria. Most recently I have been active in African domain names. AfriDNS has had an inaugural meeting in Cape Town in May this year where over 30 countries were represented. I believe that African collaboration is growing and as it expands so will our regional empowerment expand. I reiterate here my commitment that I mentioned at that AfriDNS meeting, to assist wherever possible in identifying problems and determining what is required to address them.

b) National: South Africa is amongst the very few countries in Africa with a somewhat mature internet industry. With most countries in Africa experiencing weak currencies I believe it makes economic sense to involve South African skills rather than those of other continents, in developing internet infrastructures. It is with these assumptions that I have involved various organisations in endorsing my platform (See right column). These organisations have a special attention to Internet development and have agreed with me to provide a collaborative resource to all African countries on information, skills and technology.

Peering issues are of concern in all regions. South Africa has matured peering issues and two functioning peering exchanges managed by the ISPA.

b) Local: The CITI (Cape IT initiative) is a not-for-profit company creating Cape Town as a global hub of information technology and the IT gateway to Africa. My executive role in CITI is voluntary and we work on developing the Capes IT cluster, addressing such things as IT skills and internet access, and establishing new IT businesses. The most recent projects include the Bandwidth Barn which proposes to be an incubator where Africans will get six months to start up an internet company - with all resources provided. The other project is a booming skills tourism economy. When training can be done in Cape Town rather than London or New York, then do it here. The University of Cape Town Graduate School of business maintains a strong and consistent in flow of international students as do many other training centres in Cape Town. I hope that the Mother city can be of great contribution to building ICT infrastructure for the region.

Community Activities

  • Administrator of
  • Sunesi representative at the ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association - http:/
  • CITI (Cape IT Initiative - - voluntary Executive committee member.
  • Signatory of the Civil Society Internet Forum (CSIF)
  • Voluntary leadership role in Amuzine - African music community

    Especially for ICANN voters
    This is a democratic and transparent process where all all interested parties have some input into the composition of the ICANN@large directors. The challenge you are faced with is the selection of the leadership for an 'an experiment in technological self-management'.

    I have suggested that individuals and groups make up organisations. This also relates to my understanding of the organisational structure of ICANN and offers the thread that makes me different from the other African candidates. I am a user. The other candidates are closely involved with the working groups of ICANN. It directly effects their livelihood.

    As mentioned, I represent the concerns of the Africa@large group. Africans that include Internet Users, ISPs, Non-Profit Organisations, Internet start-ups, Entrepreneurs, Web Developers, Online marketers, Software developers, IT Professionals, all e-businesses and all their potential employees.

    Alan Levin
  • links: resume, articles published, family, web cam, AfriDNS, Africa research