Alan Levin Manifesto Header

contents: values, experience, platform, community activities, ps, personal

photo of me with Steve Crocker and my wife Terri

For all those that googled Alan Levin, I'm the African Internet activist (coined by Reuters journalist). This page is my personal manifesto and was used in respect to selections for the .za (Domain Name Authority) and the ICANN 2001 elections.

Since the Internet became normal to me, my personal interest has been in the business and community elements and aspects of the domain name system (DNS). Although many consider the DNS as the cesspool of the Internet, I dive in with enthusiasm and passion. I guess it's the challenge of dealing with both a natural monopoly of a registry, and content being the communal property of Internet users (current and future).

In addition to spending 40% of my time on volountary work, I earn a living by assisting organisations grapple with the knowledge economy and information society. I am a proponent of free and open source software and content.

Thawte notary: seal

My blog

My resume / Curriculum Vitae.

My family and geneology.

.za DNA board candidate, selections 2003

ICANN board candidate page, global elections 2000.

I believe in democratic participation in decision-making, open processes, the right to communicate, and a fair balance between rights of privacy, speech, consumers, and property in Internet governance. This is something that I live and practice and reflects my style of working. I am an optimist and believe that all governing directors of non-profit or community organisations should demonstrate their support for these important principles. All voices should be heard.

I recognise there are problems with domain names worldwide. The current systems allow for names to be allocated either on a first-come-first-serve basis, or on a proof of trademark, company name, or area, with various levels of restriction. Some top level domain (tld) systems work quite well and others work technically but do not assist economic growth, while others don't work at all. It is with this in mind that I have been pursueing the AfriDNS project for four years.

Organisations can make things happen. Groups can make things happen, but it is every individual in every group in every organisation that make things work. When volounteering for a board role - it is with this in mind - I act accordingly, with passion and energy.

I am a programmer, designer, a systems and network architect, a product developer and Internet business developer. I lead teams and engineer projects on a business and technical level. In the past two years I have and continue to actively participate in a number of commitees and boards.

Understanding the DNS, Internet address space, Internet ports and their use, related security issues and network computing is core to my knowledge. Applying Internet Protocol into policy is a skill that I am learning, while I actively share ideas and information in the areas of routing and DNS amongst various communities, locally, regionally and globally.

My leadership experience in teams of global researchers, provincial government, developments of various business systems, work in international trade, involvement in various African Internet services and Internet appliances help to construct my platform for the za DNA.

My working style is proactive and and I manage to get things done by expecting the extraordinary. I tend to focus on the big picture, yet work in the details. (For details see my Curriculum Vitae)

I made a number of promises in 2000 during the ICANN@large elections and I continue to pursue these goals. Including active participation in Internet governance on the following various levels:

a) Global: I seek out information and create awareness of African issues. I promote the region, facilitate global investment, and foster both business and political relationships. This materialises largely through my current role in the Public Interest Registry (.org domain) and over the past two years I have actively worked on developing the public voice in ICANN decision making.

b) Regional: My prediction of growth of Internet in Africa has been well exceeded, especially with Egypt overtaking South Africa in total International bandwidth connectivity, and others close by. I recently attended meetings in Kenya and actively participate in a number of African wide initiatives including Aftld, AfriNIC, AfrICANN and recently AfrISPA.

My direct involvement in regional issues began in 1997 when I lead a team in a UNDP training mission to Nigeria. I have been active in a couple of redelegations of African domain names. African collaboration is growing and as it expands so does regional economic empowerment.

c) National: South Africa is amongst very few countries in Africa with a somewhat mature Internet industry. There have been numerous attempts by government to establish a regulatory framework that will facilitate economic growth and social development. This in concept is strongly in line with my personal goals.

With personal advice from Andile Ncaba, I embarked on a mission to work in Government to experience first hand how things work on the inside. Over the past two years this has allowed me great insight into the real problems facing government as well as a good understanding of the principles of economic empowerment. Black economic empowerment (BEE) is essential for rapid economic and social development. The ICT industry - with specifics to the Internet - clearly requires a good dose of BEE.

d) Local: The CITI (Cape IT initiative) is a not-for-profit company creating Cape Town as a global hub of information technology and the IT gateway to Africa. CITI works on developing the Capes IT cluster, addressing such things as networking, IT skills development, entrepreneur support, research, export and establishing new IT businesses. The most famous projects include the Bandwidth Barn which is recognised as a succesful incubator where Africans cooperate and share resources to reduce costs and develop synergy.

I share my volountary time in the local environment between performing board duties at the Bandwidth Barn as well as assisting the Active Birth Unit and Cape Reptile Club .

Community Activities and awards

  • Chairman of the Internet Society of South Africa -

  • Founding Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the .za DNA (Domain Name Authority)

  • Member of the Board of AfriNIC

  • As administrator of Alan has monitored the use of country code top level domains (cctld's) in Africa for over two years and co-ordinated a project team with the aim to adress the problem of a half score dysfunctional domains across the continent.

  • Founding board member and Treasurer of the Public Interest Registry (PIR) manages the .org top level domain. This non-profit organisation is created to serve the non-profit global community.

  • Member of the Board of directors of the Bandwidth Barn, a Cape Town ICT community and cluster incubator. Also tenant elected IT Exco chair and representative to the ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association - http:/

  • Member of the CITI (Cape IT Initiative - Board of directors 1999 - 2003

  • 2001 IT person of the year - Computer Society of South Africa (W.Cape chapter)

  • Proponent and web site maintainer of Khoisan community and Film performers

    Personal note
    If you have any questions or comments you'd like to ask me - at any time - please don't hesistate to get in touch directly.

    Alan Levin
  • links: my blog Radian, Future Perfect Corporation,, AfriDNS, vanilla