WISAT Senior Associate Named a Heroine of Computing

Nancy Hafkin, WISAT Senior Associate, is featured in the Heroines of Computing exhibit of the Women in Computing Gallery at The National Museum of Computing (UK). She was included for her work to bring about email connectivity in more than 10 African countries during the 1990s. Sponsored by Google UK, the Gallery highlights the pioneering role that women have played in the development of computing and has been designed to inspire many more girls to take up computing as a career.

Nancy Hafkin: African Internet champion

Nancy Hafkin was pivotal in bringing the Internet to Africa.  Born in the US, she moved to Ethiopia in 1975.  Through her work at the UN, Nancy was instrumental in bringing about email connectivity in more than 10 African countries during the 1990’s, as a first step towards full internet connection.  She championed the Pan African Development Information System, launched in 1980, which sought to improve information sharing and helped pilot electronic networking in the region.  

Nancy’s key achievement was helping remove structural barriers to telecommunications in the region.  Through her UN work, she convinced governments to lift the blocks on connectivityincluding dismantling ISP monopolies, getting rid of customs duties on computers and lifting bans on the import of modems. 

More about the event at http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/women-computing-gallery-opening.