Search RPD Archives
Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by:

[AfriNIC-rpd] Handover to new PDWG co-chairs

Trevor Mwangi trevor.mwangi at
Thu Jun 16 15:08:53 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM, Hisham Ibrahim <hisham at> wrote:

> Some people have commented on the participation of the co-chairs in the
> discussions about the proposals.  The co-chairs can ask questions in an
> individual capacity.  As you may have noticed, these persons come to the
> microphone line on the floor and wait for their turn like any other
> individual when they comment about a proposal.
> I support this;  in fact, I would like to see AfriNIC staff do the same;
> although my (admittedly brief) reading of the mailing list archives did not
> supply an explanation, I surmise that their conspicuous absence at the
> microphone is as a result of some dictatorial edict.
> Dear all,
> Allow me first to introduce myself, I am Hisham Ibrahim Acting
> Communications Area manager in AfriNIC.

Hello Hisham,

This is the first and hopefully the last time I post a comment on the rpd
> list as AfriNIC staff, and though we here at AfriNIC follow the list and
> keep an eye on the development of the conversations, we can not take part of
> the debates (either for or against) a proposed policy and the reason behind
> that is simple, "complete transparency".
> The role of AfriNIC is to implement the policies approved by the community
> and apply them into the procedures used for resource management and to
> conduct analysis of proposals and advise the community on any issues
> regarding implementation based on the communities request.
> As the "secretariat" for the members & the community at large,
> it's preferred that staff do not engage in policy discussion due to
> a potential conflict of interest. It is possible that staff can oppose a
> proposal which, for example, could cause more workload if implemented, or
> cause AfriNIC as an entity some unforeseen predicament, while the proposal
> is not necessarily bad for the community.

> This is why it is important that we stay as impartial to the conversations
> and debates at all times.

That's really odd especially since the first few policies were authored by
AfriNIC staff, so they would, out of necessity, need to have posted on this
list. I guess this is an indirect way of saying that AfriNIC staff may not
propose future policies. That's quite sad really, because, as the Trusted
Custodians (tm) of our number resources, I would think that they (ought to)
have a better understanding of the environment than most of us do, and can
add dimensions to an argument that would be otherwise easy for us to miss.
And because they SHOULD be aware of issues before we are, and by driving
policies can sensitise us to upcoming issues. Not all of this is possible
during a once-off policy analysis. If you're implying that staff may lead
the public astray, personally, I think that's demeaning; you're implying
that we (the public) are not able to distinguish the truth from BS, or that
we'd be easily swayed just because an argument is made by someone with a
staff badge. Quite bluntly, that's not your decision to make. In the
interests of TRUE transparency, you SHOULD let staff (and others) comment
because that would be a proper indication of total community collaboration
to reach a consensus driven policy.

Someday, I may want to work at AfriNIC; what you're saying is that by
working there, I'll give up my inalienable right to have and voice, my
opinion to what is supposed to be an open community. That's not a trade off
that I see as either viable (yes, I know; don't apply for the job then!),
nor equitable. Especially since you current allow AfriNIC board members to
post. Don't take this the wrong way Mark, John, Adiel and any other board
member that posts-your posts are welcomed, and encouraged. Get more onboard,
in fact!!!
This discussion was precipitated by SM mentioning that the co-chairs were
expressing their individual contributions. Another bottom-up, "rough
consensus" based body that I heard of, is the IETF, where the respective
working group chairs are allowed to express their opinions; most likely
since it is those opinions, and/or other tokens of respect that earned them
the seats that they have.

Way to reward your community btw; work them into a position of respect, then
don't let them speak!

There shall be no follow up from our behalf on this email and AfriNIC staff
> will only submit an impartial impact analysis to the list upon request from
> the community.

Thank you for affirming my earlier comment. Out of respect for your
position, I will not comment further in this thread.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the RPD mailing list