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avatar for Dr. Alison Gillwald

Dr. Alison Gillwald

Research ICT Africa
Executive Director
Alison Gillwald (PhD) is the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA), an African digital

policy and regulatory think-tank that works across 20 African countries. She is also adjunct-
professor at the University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance

where she supervises doctoral students undertaking transdisciplinary research in digital
policy, regulation and data governance. A former regulator she was appointed to the
founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) in
1997, having headed the policy department at the first broadcasting regulator, the
Independent Broadcasting Authority established in 1994. She has advised the South African
Presidency, the National Planning Commission, the Competition Commission and the
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, in addition to the African Union
Commission, SADC, CRASA and the SADC Parliamentary Forum. She has been commissioned
by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Bank and the African
Development Bank to undertake research and provide technical assistance to inform policy
across several Africa countries and collaborates with networks across the Global South to
build an evidence base for policymakers and regulators. She sits on the ITU Indicators Expert
Group, is a UNESCO nominee to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence and serves
on the contact group of the Internet & Jurisdiction. She was appointed to the first
ITU Task Force on Gender Issues in 1999 and has served as the chairperson of the South
African Digital Broadcasting Advisory Board from 2000, the Expert Advisory Group to African
Ministers of Communications and as the deputy-chairperson of the SA Ministerial
Broadband Advisory Council in 2014. The has served on the board of the public broadcaster,

the SABC, AVUSA, the Media Monitoring Project and Womensnet. She is the deputy-
chairperson of Giganet, the only international academic conference dedicated to internet

governance and serves on a number of journal editorial committees including being an
inaugural associate editor of the ITU journal, Discoveries.