Photo of Nancy Hafkin


Nancy Hafkin

Among the first to enter the field of electronic communications in Africa, Nancy Hafkin has been 
a pioneer and innovator in the area of networking, development information, and electronic communications, working primarily with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa. Dr. Hafkin’s work on African networking helped build the continent’s ICT framework through partnerships with governmental, nongovernmental, and development institutions. At UNECA, she served as coordinator for UNECA’s African Information Society Initiative and team leader for promoting information and communication technologies for development. Dr. Hafkin also served as chief of the Pan African Development Information System and chief of research and publications at the African Training and Research Center for Women. She played a central role in facilitating the Association for Progressive Communications’ (APC) work to enable email connectivity in more than 10 countries during the early 1990s before full Internet connectivity became a reality in most of Africa.

Hafkin has been instrumental in helping raise global awareness of issues related to gender and information technology and development. In 2006 she co-edited “Cinderella or Cyberella: Empowering Women in the Knowledge Society,” a collection of essays discussing ways that information and communications technologies empower women. Most recently she contributed the chapter on gender issues to the World Web Foundation volume edited by George Sadowsky, “Accelerating Development Using the Web: Empowering Poor and Marginalized Populations.”

Read Wired's profile on Hafkin's historic contribution to the Internet



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