EDWARD LAWRENCE

Edward is a successful entrepreneur, skilled negotiator, and Internet aficionado. He is well recognised for his commitment to the development of the African Internet.

He started this site to highlight the issues and conversations that he comes across daily as he meets and interacts with people across the board who are interested in helping to grow the African Internet ecosystem.

Often called on for business and leadership advice, Edward is a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA), chairs the board of an Internet NGO, and serves on multiple boards of pan-African technology companies. Since founding Workonline Communications in 2006, Edward has successfully led the company to becoming the leader in the provision of wholesale connectivity and IP transit services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Edward has consistently championed skills development in southern Africa, supporting the advancement of critical initiatives in the fields of IPv6, BGP security, RPKI and other Internet related technologies. He also supports many causes to this end in his personal capacity.

1997: Moves from American school in France to join French school in England.

2000: Leaves school in London, England, to muster cattle in the Australian outback.

2004: Starts his first company, Workonline Interactive, aged 19, in Cape Town, South Africa.

2005: Establishes Hush Hush Marketing in Cape Town.

2006: Co-founder of Workonline Communications in Cape Town.

2007: Sale of Workonline Interactive's website hosting business. First exit.

2008: Co-founder of The Code Studio in Cape Town.

2010: Co-founder of Leopard Luxury Care Hire in Cape Town.

2011: Moves to Johannesburg to open Workonline Communications in Gauteng.

2012: Launches first European point of presence (POP) for Workonline Communications in London.

2013: Forges a strategic partnership between Level3 Communications, the largest network in the world at the time, and Workonline Communications.

2014: Introduces free IPv6 IP Transit service to ISPs in South Africa through Workonline.

2015: Workonline opens in Kenya, marking the beginning of its expansion into many other African markets.

2016: Awarded finalist in the IT Personality of the Year in South Africa in recognition of exceptional contribution to the South African ICT industry.

2017: Appointed to advisory board of leading pan-African carrier neutral data centre operator.

2017: Introduces the Workonline Tour – an initiative to encourage deeper collaboration and skills transfer between African and American engineers and the Internet industry.

2018: Launches first Asian POP for Workonline Communications in Singapore.

2018: Launches WomenTechConnect programme for the African Internet community at the African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF).

2019: Supports Workonline Communications in becoming the first African network to deploy RPKI-based BGP Origin Validation to help secure the African Internet.

2020: Drives the implementation of free high-speed Internet to thousands of children in South Africa in partnership with Africa Tikkun.

2020: Co-Founder of AIK Group which is focused on deploying and managing fibre infrastructure in Africa.

2021: Co-Founder of Magic Space Dust, a global engineering franchise which builds, owns and operates satellite communication infrastructure.

2021: Founds Unicorn Factory, a private “angel” investor focused primarily on opportunities in the Internet technology sector in Africa.

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CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: edward (at) lawrence.africa