[Community-Discuss] "Fighting Internet Shutdown" - Any Role for AFRINIC?

Willy MANGA mangawilly at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 16:37:49 UTC 2017

Hi ,
(speaking in my own capacity)

Le 13/04/2017 à 10:21, Seun Ojedeji a écrit :
> <Taking this to the community list, where it belongs>
> Dear Community,
> One other thing that comes to mind is whether AFRINIC can be pro-active
> instead of re-active i.e they are made aware of the planned act and issue
> strong statement against it hoping that it will get to the ears of relevant
> authorities and get them to reconsider. This may also be effective if the
> relationship between AFRINIC and the AU (and regional bodies like ECOWAS,
> EAC, COMESA etc) is strengthened as that can serve as a channel of
> communication to the respective governments.

From my personal understanding whatever is the motivation behind the
shutdown, some states act like that because they see the Internet as
something very strange and dangerous because they do not have the *full*
I use to compare it to people who have not followed any life-saving
class. When there is fire, they are afraid and run about instead of
following safety instructions.

Many don't know at all (or they are realizing a little bit) what the
Internet is. It's usual to see people who compare Internet to some
social networks for instance.
Many people don't know that social networks is a fraction of the web
which itself is a fraction of the Internet. (You should thank some big
players for their marketing here; they did it best unfortunately)

Internet does/should not belong to any entity,individual. Here is the
biggest issue for any state. They look for ways to gain more and more
control. Those who do not master the keys of their national
infrastructure cut all or a part of the services. Those who master all
their infrastructure capture traffic,analyse it and decide on how to
proceed with that data. In Africa we are generally on the first case.
Whatever the case, this issue should be addressed to ICANN in my humble
opinion. AFRINIC can discuss it within ASO.

Moreover on a continental level, in addition to what Seun has suggested
above in order to help them better understand what is this «beast», I
think they need more capacity building training at different levels
(technical,administrative,..) and on various topics. We all know that
these trainings exist but they should continue.
I read that their participation within AfGWG was low; we should help our
States understand that they have to really participate, give their
opinions and discuss. Their low participation contribute a little bit to
the situation where you see a proposal emerge within the community on
whether or not AFRINIC should take some actions when an internet
shutdown occurs.

At last, I'm not convinced that international pressure will always be
the better solution (or even the solution). Most of us here are citizen
of a country in Africa. Those who participate here are very aware of the
importance of the Internet. We should push forward debate (and actions)
in our respective country on these issue. It's not easy at all, trust me
(speaking for my country) but that should be the way forward. We have to
be responsible at all our different levels and help our national
ecosystem grow because we cannot evolve if we do not study/contribute to
RFC, deploy root servers system, build IXP, use IPv6, sign our zones,
...  If we do not understand and contribute on all that matters we will
always run about when we'll have the feeling that «the danger» comes
from the Internet.

The solutions should come *at first* from the citizen, entities of each

Willy Manga
freenode: ongolaBoy
Ubuntu Cameroonian Loco Team

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