[AfrICANN-discuss] Re: AfrICANN Digest, Vol 28, Issue 3

Eric M.K Osiakwan emko at internetresearch.com.gh
Mon Jun 8 22:31:11 SAST 2009


You raise a point which we can apply ourselves to, the million dollar  
question is "Are institutions better accoutable to the community in  
terms of corporate governance or to some other entity?". If you narrow  
this down to the ICANN experiment then the question would be "Is ICANN  
better account to it's community since it upholds a bottom up  
community based corproate governance structure?".

If you answer to the later is no then the ICANN is faulty and so we  
need to look for other models. My take is YES, however we need to  
build in more checks and balances to deal with the uncertainties,  
duplications and vested interest. ICANN as an experiment seeks to  
inprove itself and build on the model.

Like every child, when you reach a certain stage, you need to leave  
your parents "control" and build our own life on the basis that you  
have recieved enough to be able to continue on the good path or go  
otherwise. The thorny issue for me is has ICANN reached the stage  
where it's internal accountability has reached the level where the  
external accountability actually could be counter productive to the  

Eric here

On 8 Jun 2009, at 12:17, Vika Mpisane wrote:

> Hi Pierre D,
> Good move this is: you did well to try & gather together the views  
> expressed in the AfrICANN list.
> I am overall content with this summary, noting that the wording is  
> quite diplomatic as well. I would however have liked to see the  
> those 5 key questions to which we individually applied our minds  
> being listed in the submission after the first sentence that reads:  
> “In a view to provide comments which reflect the general views of  
> the Africa region on the termination of the JPA agreement…”
> In that way it will become clear what the key questions were that we  
> had to answer.
> I’ve noted Paulos & Yassin’s “flowery” concerns, but as a person  
> who’s only glad he was not around this space at the time of the WSIS  
> event (J), I cannot respond to those concerns.
> My personal view still stands that after the JPA, ICANN needs to be  
> independent from the US DoC & we need to find another structure to  
> which ICANN should account. Whether it’s an international tribunal  
> as somebody has called it within the EU, I don’t know. I’m keeping  
> my mind open to various scenarios.
> One thing I will not comfortable with is to see ICANN not accounting  
> to anyone or to see it accounting to what is called the “ICANN  
> community” because good as the community concept is for the bottom- 
> up policy & technical development processes, my personal view is  
> that it (the ICANN community concept) is still filled with  
> uncertainties & duplications, which in the long run are likely to  
> become self-defeating & only self-interest serving.
> Regards,
> Vika Mpisane
> .za Domain Name Authority
> From: africann-bounces at afrinic.net [mailto:africann-bounces at afrinic.net 
> ] On Behalf Of Dandjinou Pierre
> Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 12:38 AM
> To: africann at afrinic.net
> Subject: Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] Re: AfrICANN Digest, Vol 28, Issue 3
> Dear All,
>  Following the  responses to the series of questions , we now need  
> to conclude. I am therefore proposing the following text for your  
> perusal and review. feel free to amend as English is not my mother  
> tongue; Also, bear in mind we should be sending this to the NTIA by  
> the 7th June.
> Finally, this text which is meant to represent the views of members  
> of this discussion list does not prevent us from sending any  
> individual comments as a response to the NOI..
> Pierre D
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The Africa ICANN Discussion List members provide the following  
> comments in response to the National Telecommunications and  
> Information Administration Notice of Inquiry “Assessment of the  
> Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the  
> Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System [Docket No.  
> 090420688-9689-01].”
> In a view to provide comments which reflect the general views of the  
> Africa region on the termination of the JPA agreement and thereof a  
> final report on the DNS project, members of the Africann list , a  
> discussion list for Africans who are interested in Icann’s matters ,  
> organized an online  brain storming session. The Group is now happy  
> to submit its deliberations to the National Telecommunication Agency  
> (NTIA).
> According to ICANN's mission statement, it coordinates the  
> allocation and assignment of the three sets of unique identifiers  
> for the Internet, which are:  Domain names; Internet protocol  
> addresses and Autonomous system numbers; Protocol port and parameter  
> numbers. After its 11 years of existence, ICANN has served as the  
> testbed for many initiatives that have come to make the Internet an  
> ever growing space for communication and knowledge sharing. The  
> Africa region is particularly marked by the new developments which  
> ICANN has generated in its core business of DNS and IP address  
> management. Thus, the bottom up approach to policy development, the  
> constant search for transparency and accountability constitute the  
> overarching features which ICANN has struggled for since 1998.  
> Indeed, since then, the successive MoUs which have delineated  
> ICANN’s perimeter have provided an outlet for an experiment which  
> spans diverse issues and cross sector relationships.
> In performing its function as the custodian and coordinator of those  
> critical resources that are domain names and IP addresses, ICANN has  
> constantly striven to be open, transparent and accountable. The JPA  
> and the subsequent MoUs have certainly provided the framework for  
> this coordination which has now given its global and international  
> nature to ICANN.  While the Africa region benefitted from the  
> ICANN’s experience in many ways, including the development of the  
> African Internetworking groups and associations and the growing  
> participation to Icann’s policy development processes, Africa would  
> like to recall that Internet being a global goods, its sound and  
> effective coordination should continue to be operated along those  
> criterion and procedures that have given to the Internet its  
> stability and secure operation.
> The ICANN’s experiment has proven to be a success in many ways  
> including capacity development and cross fertilization of ideas and  
> knowledge. Its bylaws and internal mechanisms have ensured over the  
> year more transparency and accountability which portray ICANN as an  
> experiment in global self governance which could be replicated in  
> other institutional formulas. Therefore, termination of the JPA will  
> only reinforce its credibility at the global level. There is always  
> room for improvement and the termination of the JPA and the end of  
> the DNS project will only give ICANN its full dimension and  
> potential as a global and international and multistakeholder  
> institution within its restricted mission of coordinating the  
> critical resources of the Internet. One such room for improvement  
> should be the role to be played by governments in the specific  
> layout of ICANN which guarantee both openness , inclusiveness and  
> freedom within the larger context of the global Internet governance.
> ..
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Eric M.K Osiakwan
Internet Research
emko at internetresearch.com.gh
42 Ring Road Central, Accra-North
Tel: +233.21.258800 ext 7031
Fax: +233.21.258811
Cell: +233.24.4386792

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