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Community 17 July 2023

An Internet Champion for Africa: Remembering Pierre Ouédraogo

By Dawit BekeleRegional Vice President - Africa

On 13 July 2023, the African Internet technical community lost one of its stars, Pierre Ouédraogo, fondly known by his peers as “Pierre O.” Pierre was such an important part of the community that it is difficult to imagine it without him. Not only was he a true Internet champion, he was a great friend whom I have known for many decades.

In 2012, Pierre was awarded the prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award for his technical leadership in Africa. He was a great technical leader committed to making sure that his knowledge and passion for the Internet were transmitted to young Africans. He was particularly focused on Francophone Africa which needed more support than the rest of the region. More recently, he established the Francophone School of Internet Governance which he promoted with his usual passion.

Pierre was a colonel in Burkina Faso’s army, his native country, and was one of Thomas Sankara’s closest collaborators, the much-revered Burkinabe and African leader. However, that never stopped him from being humble and a down-to-earth role model to a generation that wasn’t even born during those historic times.

Pierre O., you will be missed, but your legacy will stay.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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