[Community-Discuss] Unaddressed queries by AFRINIC during AGMM

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Thu Jun 24 11:29:57 UTC 2021

In message <17a3d21fad1.bd552ba1206303.7060355078460728919 at africaoncloud.net>,
Paul Wollner <paul.wollner at africaoncloud.net> wrote:

>Out-of-region use was extensively discussed

>within the last decade, and it was a consensus that pre-soft landing space is

>allowed for out-of-region use. Yet, I heard that AFRINIC seems to be using

>bylaw 6.1 to manage other people's resource usage. This is not part of AFRINIC

>policy and has, with good reason, never been approved by the community.

This happens to be a special point of interest for me.

Section 6.1 of the Bylaws reads as follows:

6.1) Subject to the other provisions of this Article, membership shall
be open to:

i) any Person who is geographically based within, and providing
services in the African region, and who is engaged in the use
of, or business of providing, open system protocol network
services; or

ii) any other Person who is approved by the Board or the members.

There is no ambiguity here, and the matter is NOT up for debate. AFRINIC
is a corporate entity and it is -legally obliged- to conform to its own

It is most certainly the case that some persons and entities who are
currently listed as "members" of AFRINIC simply do not qualify as such
based on any reasonable reading of the above section of the Bylaws.

If the membership wishes to *change* the Bylaws, then it may be free to
do so, under Mauritius law. But as of this moment, the Bylaws simply ARE
what the Bylaws are, and they are NOT ambiguous.

Some parties currently listed as "members" of AFRINIC are *not* providing
*any* "services in the African region". They are, instead profiteers and
carpetbaggers who have effectively looted what they could from AFRINIC and
then laughed all the way to the bank. (I prefer not to mention any names,
but the handle ORG-FGI1-AFRINIC comes immediately to mind.)

You can question whether or not AFRINIC should be allowing totally free
and totally unfettered use of, and transfers of, IP addres blocks that
AFRINIC has given out, but then if that was in fact the plan all along,
then a reasonable person would necessarily have to stop and ask himself:
"Well, then, what was the point of establishing AFRINIC as a separate
and independent RIR in the first place anyway?"

If people were all just going to descend on AFRINIC, like vultures, grab
whatever they could and then abscond with their booty to the RIPE region
or the ARIN region or the APNIC region or the LACNIC region, then we could
all have saved a lot of time and bother by never even creating AFRINIC in
the first place.


P.S. I personally would be entirely happy if all of the five existing RIRs
were folded into a single global entity. That would certain make it easier
for me, i.e. if I only had to parse a single flavor of WHOIS records, instead
of five different flavors, like I have to deal with now. But somehow I
suspect that the various people who work for all five of these Regional
Internet Registries might hold a somewhat different view on the matter.

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