Fragments - The Internet Protocol Journal, Volume 15, No. 3

Pierre Ouedraogo Receives 2012 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award

The Internet Society recently announced that its prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award was presented to Pierre Ouedraogo for his exceptional contributions to the growth and vitality of the Internet in Africa. The international award committee, comprised of former Jonathan B. Postel award winners, noted that Mr. Ouedraogo played a significant role in the growth of the Internet in Africa and demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to training young engineers and participating in regional Internet organizations.

© Stonehouse Photography/Internet Society

Mr. Ouedraogo is the Director of Digital Francophonie at Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) based in Paris, France. Over the years, he has established networks of IT experts to coordinate African efforts to develop IT and use it as a tool for development. Mr. Ouedraogo initiated many IT technical workshops in Africa and is a founding member of numerous African regional organizations, including AfriNIC (the African Internet Registry for IP addresses); AfTLD (African Internet Top Level Domain Names Association); AFNOG (African Network Operators Group); AfCERT (African CERT network), and AfrICANN (African network of participants to the ICANN process).

"Pierre Ouedraogo is a highly-regarded technical leader in Africa, and he has been instrumental in bringing the Internet to Burkina Faso as well as other French-speaking African countries," said Lynn St. Amour, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society.

"His commitment to the expansion of the Internet and encouragement of young engineers to help them build their skills through training workshops has had a profound impact on the growth of the Internet across Africa."

The Postel Award was established by the Internet Society to honour individuals or organisations that, like Jon Postel, have made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The committee places particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions. The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership.

For more information about the Internet Society and the Postel award, see:

Vint Cerf Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Keio University

Keio University in Tokyo recently awarded Dr. Vinton Gray Cerf an honorary doctorate in Media and Governance for his work in the creation and governance of our modern Internet over the last forty years. On the recommendation of Professor Jun Murai, dean of the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University president Atsushi Seike presented Dr. Cerf with the degree. The ceremony was held in the Enzetsu-kan, the historic public speaking hall on Keio's Mita Campus in Tokyo, and streamed live via the Internet to viewers around the world.

Atsushi Seike (L) with Vint Cerf and Jun Murai.

Professor Murai's recommendation for the degree, read during the ceremony, said that not only is Dr. Cerf the founding father of internetworking technology, "he is the global leader in many ways of the largest innovation for the 21st century, the Internet itself, which has become the core of today's information-based society." In addition to his work on TCP/IP with Robert Khan, Dr. Cerf's work in establishing the Internet Society and his stewardship of ICANN as its chairman were highlighted. Also mentioned was his role in Delay/Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) and the first experiments connecting a space probe twenty million miles away using Internet protocols.

In his remarks, President Seike mentioned Dr. Cerf's forty-year commitment to advancing the role of networks in creating our global society, from the earliest days of the ARPANET through today's Internet. "[Dr. Cerf] understood quickly and clearly the international nature of the Internet and its potential for having a positive impact on the lives of not just the technical elite, but for all of the people of the world, as a tool for education, commerce, and the advance of democracy," he noted. Professor Seike compared Dr. Cerf's role in using technology to make the world a better place to the efforts of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of Keio University, who in the mid-19th century was instrumental in bringing knowledge to Japan from the outside world, not as an academic exercise but in order to improve society.

Following the ceremony, Dr. Cerf gave an invited technical talk titled "Re-Inventing the Internet." He discussed the potential of DTN and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks as tools for disaster recovery. He presented his view of urgent technical problems, including the need for strong authentication and digital forensics. He also outlined society’s need for preserving data, the programs that create and manipulate that data, and even the systems that are used to run those programs. Without such an effort, we will fail to preserve our own technical and cultural history for the thousands of years we have come to expect, he noted.

Dr. Cerf left behind the inscription, "I cannot imagine a greater honor than to be brought into this august and highly regarded university where contrary thinking is rewarded! I am most grateful to my good friend, Jun Murai, for his decades long commitment to the Internet."