[AfrICANN-discuss] African Governments, Internet and Governance

SM sm at resistor.net
Fri Nov 2 20:35:31 SAST 2012

At 16:06 01-11-2012, Nii Narku Quaynor wrote:
>While these 'let's tame the beast' debates are going on, the 
>Internet is growing dramatically and some African governments are 
>investing on 'Internet for Governance' instead. Since the global 
>open government partnership was initiated by some eight countries in 
>2011 it has spurred open data initiatives globally and Africa is participating

In some parts of the world governments have been supporting the 
re-use of public sector information.  This allows people from outside 
government to make use of the data to create new services and 
products.  According to the World Bank, for the general public 
obtaining information from governments in the developing world is 
usually difficult.  It was also mentioned that the biggest challenge 
is changing decades old political and bureaucratic cultures of 
secrecy and unresponsiveness to the general public.

>The partnership sought to highlight transparency, accountability and 
>engagement of larger society in policy evolution and governance. 
>Beside the partnership governments are quickly going beyond e-

There was a comment on this mailing list about the African Union.  A 
report about the African Union [1] mentioned that:

   "Many sections of the organization's Web site have no content, 
contain broken links,
    or direct the user to the wrong page. The Washington office of 
the AU was unable to
    provide basic information and referred questions to the AU 
headquarters. Telephone
    and e-mail inquiries to the AU headquarters for information and 
documentation went

   "This lack of information, especially on an important issue like 
the budget, is
    extremely unusual."

>So who is governing who? Is it governments governing/regulating the 
>Internet or is the Internet becoming a governing tool. Are we 
>missing opportunities by being obsessed with regulating the Internet 
>that we don't place sufficient attention on taking advantage of its 
>powers for development. Time will tell

While the debates go on about "Internet for Governance" the 
opportunities go by unnoticed.  Here are some numbers for traffic 
flowing though some Internet Exchange Points in Africa:

  GIXA   16 Mb/s
  JINX   11 Gb/s
  KIXP    2 Gb/s
  MEIX   26 Kb/s
  MIX    (no information available)
  MIXP   (no information available)
  RINEX  99 Mb/s
  UiXP   35 Kb/s

It is not worth investing money in an Internet Exchange Point if the 
amount of traffic is the same as what can be sent over a dial-up modem.

There was a deployment of two copies of the Root zone server in Ivory 
Coast [2].  If one of these instances is at CIIXP I hope that the 
CIIXP is still operational.  The nameserver for ciixp.ci is not 
working correctly.

What are the results of the opportunities which have been 
provided?  What are the benefits of regulating the Internet?


2. https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/africann/2012-October/006249.html 

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