Anriette Esterhuysen is the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international network of organizations working with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to support social justice and development. Prior to joining APC, Anriette was executive director of SANGONeT, an internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. She was active in the struggle against Apartheid from 1980 onwards. From 1987 to 1992 she did information and communication work in development and human rights organizations in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Esterhuysen, with many others, helped establish email and internet connectivity in Southern Africa. SANGONeT hosted a Fidonet hub that provided universities and nongovernmental organizations in, among other places, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with email links to global networks as part of a collaboration between the APC and the United Nations Development Programme.
Anriette has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa’s African Information Society Initiative and was a member of the United Nations ICT Task Force from 2002 to 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Task Working Group on Financing Mechanisms, and the Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements. She was a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum from 2012-14.
Anriette was one of five finalists for IT Personality of the Year in South Africa in 2012, an award which recognises a person who has made an outstanding impact on the South African ICT industry. She was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a global connecter in 2013. Anriette has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice.