[AfrICANN-discuss] AFRALO - AfrIC ANN joint meeting

Tijani BEN JEMAA tijani.benjemaa at fmai.org
Wed Dec 15 14:51:48 SAST 2010

Dear Vika,


You are absolutely right: The statement is adopted by the African
participants in the AFRALO-AfrICANN meeting held in Cartagena, and not by
the whole Africans participating in the Cartagena ICANN meeting. 


I apologize if the formulation wasn’t that precise.




Executive Director 

Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations

Phone : + 216 70 825 231

Mobile : + 216 98 330 114

Fax     : + 216 70 825 231




De : africann-bounces at afrinic.net [mailto:africann-bounces at afrinic.net] De
la part de Vika Mpisane
Envoyé : mercredi 15 décembre 2010 12:04
À : africann at afrinic.net
Objet : RE: [AfrICANN-discuss] AFRALO - AfrIC ANN joint meeting


Dear Tijani,


I still think your explanation is incorrect because while I attended the
ICANN Cartagena meeting, I did not attend the African community meeting
there. So to say these are statements of the Africans who attended ICANN
Cartagena is incorrect. As a matter of fact, I doubt that my employer would
have allowed me to be part of such a statement.


In particular, I personally have some reservations with your statement
relating to African participation at ICANN. I find it to be re-inventing the
wheel which was tried in the past & did not succeed. Effective participation
at ICANN or any similar institution should not be made to depend on ICANN
funding or on ICANN supporting interested African participants. 


In fact, I’m particularly disturbed by the statement that ICANN should
increase the number of ICANN fellows from Africa. Shouldn’t it be the
interested African parties that drive & fund their participation at ICANN?
As much as ICANN offers travel fellowships, I can’t see a valid and
justifiable ground on which ICANN would want to give Africa preference. 


It should be African individual or his institution that takes interest in
ICANN processes, and then support the individual by giving them time and
resources to participate in ICANN processes. We can’t require ICANN to fund
African governments or institutions so that they can participate in ICANN
processes. Sadly this Cartagena statement intimates that this is what
Africans want. I can’t disagree any more.


Also, let’s do away with the attitude that you can only participate in ICANN
processes by going to ICANN meetings. What about the ICANN mailing lists
where detailed discussions happen in between ICANN meetings? You hardly see
African participation in such open processes. 


For example, the gNSO launched an open Vertical Integration WG – it was open
to everybody, but I was only aware of Baudouin Schombe & myself (as an
observer) participating there from Africa. You can’t blame Africa’s absence
from such an important WG as down to lack of capacity. The new gTLDs are a
known and understood process, and Africans had every capacity to understand
the issues and make contributions, but as before, there was very limited
African participation.


There’s also the experience of ICANN fellows from Africa: it is often usual
that you will see a good number of ICANN-funded African fellows in some
meetings, but then you never see the majority of them anywhere or involved
in other ICANN processes in between ICANN meetings. I’m really convinced
that the absence of a strong African voice in most ICANN processes is not
about capacity building but is about the reluctance of African individuals
and their institutions to use their own resources to make an impact. Again,
I must emphasize that you can very well make meaningful contributions in
ICANN processes without having to travel there in person.


Also, I’m concerned that while the participation statement suggests feasible
ways of encouraging participation, I just can’t see why it should be ICANN
that funds most of these means. In fact, I think it should be the party
feeling left out of the ICANN processes that should fund these means; it
should not be ICANN!


I, therefore, would like to object strongly to the participation statement
of “African representatives attending the ICANN Cartagena meeting”. I
propose that it be amended to reflect that not all Africans  who attended
ICANN Cartagena attended the African community meeting because I’m convinced
that even if I attended, I would not have agreed with most of the contents
of the statement.




Vika Mpisane


+27 11 275 0082


From: africann-bounces at afrinic.net [mailto:africann-bounces at afrinic.net] On
Behalf Of Tijani BEN JEMAA
Sent: 14 December 2010 08:22 PM
To: 'Dr Yassin Mshana'
Cc: africann at afrinic.net
Subject: RE: [AfrICANN-discuss] AFRALO - AfrIC ANN joint meeting


Dear Yassin,


Nobody said that the statement we adopted in Cartagena was adopted by the
whole African community, but by the members of the ICANN African community
attending ICANN meeting in Cartagena, exactly like the one adopted in
Brussels, that was clearly presented as the statement of the ICANN African
community members attending the Brussels meeting. 


I just sent the text of the 2 statements adopted in Cartagena. Please read
them, and tell me your remarks that I will record for any further

I hope you will volunteer in the future to help in such initiative  


Many thanks for your interest.


Best regards




Executive Director 

Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations

Phone : + 216 70 825 231

Mobile : + 216 98 330 114

Fax     : + 216 70 825 231




De : Dr Yassin Mshana [mailto:ymshana2003 at gmail.com] 
Envoyé : mardi 14 décembre 2010 15:21
À : tijani.benjemaa at fmai.org
Cc : africann at afrinic.net
Objet : [AfrICANN-discuss] AFRALO - AfrIC ANN joint meeting


Dear Tijani,


I saw the Call for the meeting to discuss African issues as described below.


I wish to register my congratulations for having such a meeting.


I am however concerned with 2 main things:

1.	Did the African Region participants at the ICANN meeting have the
opinion of all Africans on the issues discussed?
2.	Will the decisions or recommendations during the meeting have the
consent of Africans?

An African colleague raised this concern with me for my observations which
is that: A small group of Africans can meet and discuss issues and even make
recommendations but those will not represent the opinion of Africans unless
a Consultation Process involving the whole community takes place. This is in
line with the Policy Development Process which the Internet community
adheres to.


Lastly, will you please share with the rest of Africans the deliberations
from that Group meeting. However, that does not mean that the process to
come to that point is acceptable. 


In my opinion that will look like hijacking the African Community by a group
of representatives at the ICANN meeting.

I look forward to seeing the proceedings of that meeting for information


Kind regards


Yassin Mshana





Dear all,

Continuing on the Brussels initiative, I’m pleased to invite you to the
AFRALO – AfrICANN joint meeting that will be held in Cartagena, Colombia, on
Tuesday 7 December 2010 at 14:00.
The topics for this meeting will be:
•       Follow-up on of the African community statement on the support to be
provided to the new gTLD applicants who require assistance for applying for
and operating new gTLD in light of the ICANN board decisions last October.
•       Participation of the African community in the ICANN policy

 We will also welcome the new NomCom Chair Adam Peak who wanted to address
our community. He will be accompanied by a number of the NomCom members.

Please pass the information to all your networks, and we will be honoured to
see you tomorrow discussing those 2 very important issues.

c/o DFID-Sierra Leone
5 Off Spur Road

Skype: yassinmshana1

Fax:  (+232) 22235769

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