[AfrICANN-discuss] Mexico City '09

Katim S. Touray kaamt at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 1 02:08:57 SAST 2009

Dear all,

Thanks so much to all of you on your replies to my earlier posting about our participation at the ICANN Mexico City meeting.  It's obvious I rattled a huge box of issues, some of which are very difficult; even embarrassing. I'd like to briefly respond to them as best as I can.

In the first place, let me say that I appreciate the concerns expressed about the difficulties that many experience in trying to attend ICANN meetings.  The problem is a serious one, and worse, something that's not only unique to ICANN.  Indeed, some of you might have seen a similar discussion recently on the Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development in Africa (STI4D-Africa) list when people were invited to attend the upcoming CODIST meeting (http://www.uneca.org/codi/).  There too, the problem many people had was a desire to attend, without the means to do so.  The problem is lack of resources; specifically, poverty.  It's a broader issue which, in my view, needs to be taken head-on with a view toward seeing how our participation at regional and international meetings can be improved, and in a sustainable manner.

There was also the issue of how people can participate remotely in ICANN meetings.  As you might know, one of the major efforts of ICANN is to improve and increase public participation in its affairs.  For this reason, a recent re-organization of the Committees of ICANN's Board resulted in the creation of a Public Participation Committee, of which I am a member.  In the same vein, the Mexico City meeting will include a session on public participation at which people will be expected to provide feedback and suggestions on how to improve public participation in ICANN.  In addition, the ICANN Web site now includes a public forum (http://mex.icann.org/public-forum), that is not only informative, but also interactive.  You can submit a question at the Thurs. (Mar. 5) public forum by using the online question box provided.  Unfortunately, the deadline for submitting questions on the application guidebook was about an hour ago (Mexico City time), but I'm sure
 you can have other avenues to submit whatever questions you have.  I thus suggest that anyone who has questions they want to ask at the public forum do so online, and please bear in mind that the deadline for submission of questions is Wedns. (Mar. 4) again at 5 PM local time (i.e. UTC -6 hours).

I guess that's about all for now.  Please let's not give up.  As Dr. Yassin Mshana, and Anne-Rachel have indicated, we need to work hard at increasing our participation, even if it means doing so remotely, rather than in person. And let's not forget, it is only through participation that we have a good chance that we can achieve the results we desire.  Otherwise, we'll be at the mercy and sympathy of others.

Again, thanks so much for all your comments and feedback, and best wishes in your endeavors!



From: Dr Yassin Mshana <ymshana2003 at gmail.com>
To: vika at zadna.org.za; africann at afrinic.net
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:18:36 PM
Subject: Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] Mexico City '09

Dear all, with much respect to all the views that have been shared under this topic, the issue of "effective" participation is very important and capacity to trail the venues is not there. It could be there but not for those who would effectively represent the Region in addition to the representatives of Af*** constituents.
Remote participation is also as effective as physical - what matters much is a followup of deliberations etc after the Big meeting!
The Fellowship initiative is, I believe, one of the efforts made to boost up Af - Regional participation (I attended ICANN Lisbon through that arrangement) The outcome of that meeting was to give mscules to At-Large group - that is why we have this forum.
By asking for what message or concerns to carry to Mexico City, our colleagues are asking us to participate through them since they will be rubbing shoulders with others during the Proceedings.
I n that case; scathing ICANN at this stage is not fair to the colleagues - please give your aspirations, opions and views. To begin I have ONE question to be carried forward, " The ICANN Strategic Plan 2007 (or 2008?) had a component to boost under-served/ under-respresented Regions through its Outreach Policy: How far has that implementation gone?  

Will someone get a response to that during Public Forum please? not at individual constituent meetings. Or maybe this has been raised at som point during the years? (apologies - pse direct me)
Well done all!!
Yassin Mshana
2009/2/25 Vika Mpisane <vika at zadna.org.za>

Good points you got there, Michuki, as much as I concede that Maye & Alaa
are raising genuine concerns too.

To echo your view, the issue of ICANN meetings "touring" different regions
should not cloud the main issue with Africa in global Internet governance
fora. Our own African meetings (AfriNIC, AfNOG, AfTLD, etc) are usually
disappointing in terms of people numbers, and the question is always the
same: where is Africa's commitment & presence to contribute to the global
Internet dialogue?

Are we as Africans always going to rely on fellowships to attend our own
regional meetings? We honestly do need to have a closer look at ourselves &
realize that ICANN is not our main problem, but we are becoming our own
enemies! In the process Africa's voice becomes weaker & weaker.

We don't seem to contribute enough in a number of ICANN & IGF discussions.
What is our position in relation to the forthcoming new gTLDs? Won't the new
gTLDs really cause African ccTLDs to struggle even more than they are
struggling because of .com, .org & .net? What is our view? Can't we find
ways to contribute to discussions even when we can't physically be at ICANN
& IGF meetings? Remember you can still follow most of these meetings online.

What about the IDN fast-track process? Does it suit us? We need Africa's
views here!

The ICANN Regions issue has re-surfaced & raised its somewhat ugly head
again. In the process, some outside have tried to explore splitting Africa
into divisive regions such as Arab Africa, French-speaking Africa, etc! What
are we saying about this? I'm happy that the Egyptian government (I'm told)
has been quick to stand against any division of Africa.

The point here is this: it's not as important where ICANN meetings go
(although I sure hope we can find ways of regulating this as some of these
meetings really hit on our budgets!), what's important is our ability (or
lack of it) to contribute to & influence the Internet dialogue.

But yes, something must be done about the globetrotting nature of ICANN
meetings. No offence, Anne-Rachel & Baher:-)


Vika Mpisane
.za Domain Name Authority
Tel: +27 11 275 0082
Fax:+27 11 234 5022

-----Original Message-----
From: africann-bounces at afrinic.net [mailto:africann-bounces at afrinic.net] On

Behalf Of Michuki Mwangi
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:02 PM
To: africann at afrinic.net

Subject: Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] Mexico City '09

Hi all,

While this sort of digresses from the issues raised by Katim, i would
seek to beg your indulgence on this for one minute. The reason being
that the issue of participation at ICANN meetings has come up at the
ccNSO and other constituencies in the past. This also affects all other
regional meets especially within the Af* (AfriNIC, AfNOG, AfTLD, etc).

The question here is we are quick to point at the ICANN model (fair
enough). But we still lack in numbers and participation at regional
events where such issues need to be discussed. There are those who will
attend but we are still few in numbers, our contributions to the
discussions on and off the lists are still wanting in many spaces
(AfriNIC is doing a good job i must say). But still ...

My question is - what would make us consider the meetings any different
regardless of who is organizing them and increase our participation
levels and also our contributions as well.


Michuki (speaking for himself today!.)

Maye diop wrote:
> Totally aggree with Alaa.
> I think we have to take opportunity of re-organisation of AU to put agenda
> of  ICT meeting at expert level in the continent for our own perspectives
> and most important to have following up of these meetings!
> Best Regards,
> 2009/2/25 Alaa S. ElSharif <alaedin.elsharif at lttnet.net>
>>  I echo your questions Brother Katim,
>> As long as the big shots in ICANN insist on taking advantage of these
>> meetings to tour the world, I doubt that we from the African region can
>> up with their exotic travel schedule! Mexico, Australia, and then South
>> Korea.? Thank God there aren't any trips to Mars or else they would've
>> a meeting there as well.!
>> Personally I'm not going, but I believe we shouldn't wait until ICANN
>> organizes a meeting so that we, members of the African Community can get
>> together and discuss our issues.
>> Those are my two cents,
>> Kind regards.
>> *Alaedin S. ElSharif*
>> *Web Services Supervisor*
>> *Commercial Dept.*
>> *LTT*
>> *Tel: +218 21 3400020, ext: 7306*
>> *Fax: +218 21 3400044*
>> *Mobile**: +218 92 5017303*
>> *Abu Setta, Near Al-Furusia Club, Tripoli, Libya*
>> *Web: **www.ltt.ly* <http://www.ltt.ly/>
>>  ------------------------------
>> *From:* africann-bounces at afrinic.net
[mailto:africann-bounces at afrinic.net]
>> *On Behalf Of *Katim S. Touray
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, February 25, 2009 12:24 PM
>> *To:* africann at afrinic.net
>> *Subject:* [AfrICANN-discuss] Mexico City '09
>> Dear all,
>> As we get ready for, or are on the way to the ICANN meeting in Mexico
>> I have a few questions:
>> 1.  Are we going to have an Africa-constituency meeting, as we did in
>> Cairo, and if so, when and where?
>> 2.  Did the Cairo meeting of the Africa-constituency result in any action
>> item or items, i.e. things we are supposed to do?  If so, what was to be
>> done, and who was to do it by when?  Or was the Cairo meeting just a
>> getting-to-know-you kind of meeting, with no follow-up actions to be
>> I ask these because I was not at the conclusion of the Cairo
>> Africa-constituency meeting, and because I still haven't heard anything
>> about us getting together in Mexico City.
>> Thanks in advance for your replies, and best wishes for a safe and
>> trip to all of you heading to Mexico City!
>> Sincerely,
>> Katim
>> _______________________________________________
>> AfrICANN mailing list
>> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
>> https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo.cgi/africann
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