[AfrICANN-discuss] Smart Infrastructure: Transform Africa 2013

Ben Fuller abutiben at gmail.com
Fri Nov 8 12:58:53 SAST 2013


This is exactly the problem. You have to focus on the situation within
national boundaries. I have been involved with post apartheid development
in Nambia for well over 20 years. No matter what the area (SME development,
livestock and agriculture, tourism, etc.) the need to build local and
national supporting infrascructures is paramount. Without that focus you
never get to where you can engage effectively with foreign businesses or
any kind of supranational agency.

The discussions in ICANN and on this list coalesce around the need for more
ICANN Accredited registrars in Africa. Thats a nice goal, but only part of
the story. What if most or all of these registrars are based in East or
West Africa? How will people in Namibia access these registrars? If they
have a credit card they can, but that's a small number of people in our
economy. Namibia is a member of the Common Monetary Area which still has
exchange controls making bank transfers outside the CMA very complicated.
Writing a cheque in your local currency and sending through the post is not
an option because banks in other countries often want cheques in USD, EUR,
etc. While the elites of any society will have few problems getting to
access to Internet services and infrastructures, what about the rest the
people living in African societies? I am sure that this group makes up the
vast majority of any population.

The advantage of nationally based registrars is that they take care of
these transactions for clients as well as providing the many different
services that people new to the Internet require. They speak local
languages, they provide service and support. Bob Ochieng started this
thread with a post about "ubiquitous, secure and sustainable ICT
infrastructure."  The panel was also about "smart infrastructure." Building
infrastructure from the bottom up (to borrow a well known ICANN term) is
smart. This process needs to occur in conjunction with the seemingly top
down approach of creating of 25 (the number I have heard as a target) ICANN
accredited registrars for Africa. (Which comes out to less than half a
registrar per country.)

Neither ICANN nor this list wants to get into the different ways in which
businesses are created, regulated, taxed, etc in different countries;
places like the World Bank, AfDB, GIZ, and others do a much better job.
ICANN and people on this list can start thinking about how promote national
registrars within what I take to be the ambit of ICANN and Africann -- DNS,
stability and security. For example, the meeting referred to by Bob talked
about security. How do we convince ccTLDs and African ISPs to adopt DNSSEC?
There are other questions to look at.


> > On Nov 7, 2013, at 21:52, McTim <dogwallah at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM, Ben Fuller <abutiben at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> It seems no one is interested in the issue of building up national
> registrars.
> >
> > I am all for building up African registrars, but I see no need to
> > focus inside nation states boundaries.
> >
> > --
> > Cheers,
> >
> > McTim
> > "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A
> > route indicates how we get there."  Jon Postel
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Dr. Ben Fuller
abutiben at gmail.com
ben at fuller.na                http://www.fuller.na
blog: http://www.fuller.na/  skype: drbenfuller
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