[Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Accountability assessment

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com
Wed Jun 29 15:46:07 UTC 2016

Hi Badru,

If you read my email carefully, you will see that I am not stating that I am not open to coming to an amicable position, infact I clearly stated which parts of this I would support and even offered a compromise on the parts I said I would vote against, stating that I would support a limit on the number of individuals from a single company.

Let us be clear here, if people are not prepared to CLEARLY state what they will not support we could easily end up in a situation where nothing gets passed at all because of the very high bar necessary to pass a bylaw change.  Getting a 75% majority is no small feat, and to do that, we need to understand each other and what our points of compromise are, and what points are deal breakers.  This is in my view, almost like a negotiation, we debate, we find points of compromise, and we also have points that are deal breakers in terms of how we will vote.  We need to clearly understand what is a point we’ll shift on and what are points that are complete deal breakers where there will be no affirmative vote if the point doesn’t change.  That’s standard negotiation 101


From: Badru Ntege <badru.ntege at nftconsult.com>
Reply-To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>
Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 5:43 PM
To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Accountability assessment


I think what Alain is suggesting is we should be open to listen to other views and maybe someone might have a better idea than either of us have which might in a way influence our position.

Yes based on the current position you can either support a position or not. But by stating our position immediately we close our mince to another opinion and thus kill the concept of consensus.

I hope this clarifies.

Let's open the floor to as many views as possible our diversity is our strengths.

Badru Ntege
NFT Consult Ltd

“Vision without execution is hallucination.”
― Thomas A. Edison

On 29 Jun 2016, at 3:49 pm, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>> wrote:

As much as we can have a community discussion about this, this is still a member vote issue.  I see no harm in members stating which way they stand in a clear and unequivocal manner.  Fact is, bylaw changes are NOT done by consensus, they are done by a super majority vote of the members.  If we wish to forge ahead with bylaw changes, and I personally think there are numerous changes which are welcome, it is good to know where we stand on the votes that will eventually decide if this passes or not.

Consensus states until all reasonable objections have been addressed, however, we can have all the consensus in the world on these issues but there are those who may still choose to reject the changes at the ballot box for reasons that are non-substantive and the changes will not occur.  Hence, where the votes sit on this issue is a valid question.


From: ALAIN AINA <aalain at trstech.net<mailto:aalain at trstech.net>>
Reply-To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>>
Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at 3:11 PM
To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>>
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Accountability assessment

Can we stay discussion and consensus oriented  here instead of  “…. I would vote against” ?



On Jun 28, 2016, at 11:56 PM, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>> wrote:

Comments below

Please note – I am posting here purely in my capacity as a resource member.

>>>1 ......  but there is a conflict between 7.2(i) and 13.7(i) on whether or not Associate Members may vote in elections forDirectors. This conflict must be resolved one way or another.
We need to decide whether or not Associate Members should vote, and modify the Bylaws to give effect to that decision

> Just a matter of ambiguity in the statement in 7.2(i) to straighten out. The bylaws are consistent.  Registered and Resource members vote. Associate members observe.

I tend to agree here and woud be in favour of an amendment to fix the ambiguity

>>>2.  Interchangeable use of the terms “Bylaw” or “Bylaws” and “Constitution”:...... Suggest adding a clause 1.3 to clarify that this document may be referred to by the term “Bylaws” or “Constitution”, and is intended to serve the function of the Constitution in terms of the Companies Act of Mauritius.

> Supported
Supported as well
>>4 - Term limits: Consider adding a term limit for elected Board members.
>> We need to decide whether or not to add a limit, and what the limit should be.

> Proposal :  One term and at least an election before another nomination
Agree with term limits – would not however support a single term – there has to be some continuity and it takes any director time to get up to speed with everything in the organization as well.  Two terms with a two term break seems far more reasonable to me, and I would support such

>>> 5- Independence of Directors: Consider adding a limit to the number of Directors who may work for the same organisation.

>>> We need to decide whether or not to add a limit, and what the limit should be.

> We need to keep refreshing the board with independence, expertise and skills so a better managed succession process is a must.  I propose with the exclusion of the CEO that we have

> -  Max 1 per org/company
> -  Max 1 per country
> - Max 2  per region

 > - Not more than one Director may have employment, consultancy or advisory relationships with the same Company or Organization and/or with one of its Related Companies or Organizations established or not in the > same country.

> - not more than one Director may be domiciled in the same country. Should a candidate for a position on the Board of Directors have more than one domicile, one of which involves a presumed incompatibility, in order > to analyze his/her case for usual country of residence, the country where the company or organization he/she is a part of or works for is established, and/or any other relevant data shall be considered;

> - not more than two Directors may be domiciled in the same region.
I do not support this at all and would vote against any such change.  I believe that the members are free to nominate who they want, and the vote at the ballot box should be the deciding factor.  If the community wishes to elect a number of people from the same <insert criteria> that is the communities choice, and I don’t think we should be attempting to code in limitations to this.  There is however one except, I would support an amendment that says no more than two directors from the same organization (on a 9 man board, I don’t believe this is a number high enough that 2 people could have any meaningful sway).  With regards to the regional and who is domiciled where, I strongly oppose.  I point out at under the current bylaws a director may be domiciled in a particular place when he stands and may relocate during his term (including off the continent) – under this proposal a director who moved to a country where another director was domiciled during his term would have to forfeit his duly elected seat.  Sorry, can’t support that.

>>>6- Regional representation: Consider modifying 13.5 to state that Directors must act in the interests of AFRINIC as a whole,regardless of their regional affiliation.

> Supported
>>>7.  Conflict of interest: Consider adding a requirement for Directors to disclose any conflict of interest, and to recuse themselves from voting on any matter where they have a conflict of interest.

> Supported.  In addition, the Board must have a Conflict of Interest Policy and enforce it.
Strongly supported and would go so far as to say that a director should sign a conflict of interest register when they accept the position, that clearly states any affiliations they have where such conflict could arise (Basically any additional board seats, any companies  they are renumerated by, and any companies they hold in excess of 5% shareholding in)
>>> 8- Separation of powers: Consider adding a requirement that no more than one key position (Board Chair, Vice Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer) may be occupied by the same person.

> Supported


>>> 9- Replacement of Directors: The bylaws sections 13.1, 13.8, 13.10, and 13.14 give  different methods of replacing Directors for  different reasons. Consider  harmonising this.

> Harmonisation supported but the preferred option should be replacement through election at the next AGMM.

Supported – though I would add SGM as a possibility for replacement.  In the event of losing multiple directors at a single time through some unforeseen event it may become necessary to call an SGM for this purpose and the bylaws need to allow for it.  The risk of tying this to an AGMM is that the board could be down to a skeleton for close to a year if we don’t allow for SGM’s.

>>> 10- Board approval of nominations: The Board can approve or disapprove  nominations for Board elections in terms of the Bylaws section 12.14(i). Consider requiring a supermajority of two thirds of the Board to disapprove any nomination

> We should remove this approval and strengthen NOMCOM.  NOMCOM composition and operation should be reviewed and improved.   We can have the legal advisor and past NOMCOM chair as non-voting
> members and make the appointment of the other members by the board more transparent, fair and unbiased.

I agree with the original proposal that states a super majority.  I believe that the board should have the right to reject candidates if certain situations.

>>>11-  Modification to the Bylaws or Constitution: The Bylaws say how the AFRINIC Members may change the Bylaws, but the Companies Act say that the  Registered Members can change it. Consider requiring that the  Bylaws/Constitution may be changed only after a Special Resolution by all AFRINIC Members in terms of Bylaws 7.6(vi),so that the Registered Members (the same nine people as the Directors) cannot act without broader approval.

> Registered members only MUST never amend  the bylaws.  Amendment of Bylaws beyond regulatory compliance must require general membership notice and consultation.

>The proposed amendment should be published not less than 60 days and not more than 90 days before with provisions for members to comment online and in any meeting held during the consultation
Am not sure we can legally override the companies act in this regard and would like to see legal opinion on this.  In principle I agree that the board should never change the bylaws without a super majority special resolution of the community at either an SGM or AGMM, I am just not sure we can have the bylaws match the companies act in this regard.

>>>12- Policies introduced by the Board: In terms of the Bylaws section 11.4, the Board may adopt policy changes that did not go through the normal PDP. Consider giving the community the right to reject such policy changes introduced by the Board.

> Section 11.5 seems to give this right to the community but endorsement may be open to misinterpretation so we shall just remove this.  In case of emergency, section 8 of PDP on varying the policy process applies.

11.5:  Any policy adopted by the Board under the provisions of Article 11.4 shall be submitted to the community for endorsement at the next public policy meeting.

Agree with the original proposal, the community should have the right to reject policy adopted by the board.  I still believe that the board needs the right to adopt emergency policy to protect the organization if it deems necessary, and have the community reject it at the next meeting if they feel it necessary.



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