Osama Manzar

Osama Manzar Photo


Founder & Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation

Osama Manzar is a global leader on the mission of eradicating information poverty from India and the global south using digital tools through an organisation he co-founded in 2002. With over 25 years of experience, Osama has worked in the areas of journalism, new media and software enterprise before he established DEF to digitally empower the masses (so far 20 million directly), with a footprint of 1000 locations and 9000+ digital foot soldiers across 130 districts in 24 States.

A British Chevening Scholar and an International Visitors Leadership Program Fellow of the US State Department, Osama is a social entrepreneur, author, columnist, impact speaker, angel investor, storyteller, and mentor. Osama sits on several government and policy committees in India and on international organisations working in the areas of internet, access, digital inclusion and misinformation. Osama Manzar was instrumental in making the National Digital Literacy Mission for DEF and its co-creators, which was later adopted by the Indian government. Additionally, Osama was a part of the team that developed one of India's biggest schemes called Common Service Centers. In 2020, the government of India declared PM-WANI to decentralise and democratise last mile wifi based on DEF’s Wireless for Community program conceived by Osama. He served as a member of the Advisory Board at Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and as a member of the Board at APC (Association of Progressive Communication). He is also a member of the Media & Information Literacy Experts Network (MILEN), Association of Progressive Communication (APC), Global Network Initiative (GNI) and World Summit Award (WSA).