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[AfriNIC-rpd] Call for Comments: Draft Minutes of Public Policy Meeting during AfriNIC-15 in Yaounde

Mukom Akong T tamon at
Fri Jan 6 19:09:59 UTC 2012

Hash: SHA1

Dear Colleagues,

Please find here the draft minutes of the public policy meeting that
took place during AfriNIC-15 in Yaounde - Cameroon.

- --------------------------------------

Minutes of the AfriNIC-15 Public Policy Meeting
(23rd and 24th November 2011 | Hilton Hotel, Yaounde, Cameroon)

Policy Development Working Group Chairs

Dr Paulos Nyirenda
Timothy McGinnis

Agenda Day One: 23rd November 2011

1.0 AfriNIC PDP Update - Presentation by PDWG Co-chairs
2.0 Staff Analysis of the AfriNIC PDP  and Outstanding Issues for Full
Implementation - Mukom Akong T.

[1.0] AfriNIC PDP Update -

Dr Paulos Nyirenda provided the historical context of the present
''Policy Development Process in the AfriNIC'' – AFPUB-2010-GEN-005 which
replaced the previous AFPUB-2008-GEN-001. He explained the various
issues which lead to its amendment. However it was stated that there are
still challenges and a need to further analyse and improve this policy.

Paulos explained the meaning of this policy through some of the main
contents of the AfriNIC PDP  which consists of procedures and guidelines
as well as characteristics. The scope of the PDP was explained followed
by the principles guiding the PDP namely the three principles of
openness, transparency and fairness.

The functions of the  Policy Development Working Group and  WG Chairs
were also explained. The process involved in policy development was then
further detailed, from initial submission of a proposal, provision of
relevant analyses by AfriNIC staff, mailing list discussion procedures
as well as conflict resolution and appeal mechanisms. Paulos concluded
by stating that there is a need for an urgent review of the PDP.

[2.0] Staff Analysis of the AfriNIC PDP and Outstanding Issues for Full

After Paulos’ presentation, Mukom Akong T (AfriNIC Policy Liaison) made
a presentation presenting staff analyses of the current PDP with a view
to soliciting inputs from the community on aspects that needed more clarity.

Mukom stated that the RPD mailing list is the primary medium in which
the work PDP is done. He identified a list of issues that needed
clarification for the PDP to be more effective. He also suggested staff
recommendations to each of these issues. The issues were as follows:

Issued #1: The PDP does not explicitly state how the PDWG chairs shall
be ‘chosen’ from the PDWG.

Staff recommendation: Use Elections as the mechanism for choosing PDWG

Issue #2: The Policy does not spell out the mechanism for replacing an
incapable co-chair.

Staff Recommendation:
 If a chair can’t serve their term, they notify
the mailing list and the remaining chair should call for nominations
from the community for a replacement for the duration of the term.

Issue #3: The policy only states it is the Appeals committee that
resolves conflicts – nothing more is specified

Staff Recommendation:

    (i) The complainant shall send their appeal in the form of an email
to policy-submission at The email must mention the names and
email addresses of three (3) persons who support it.

    (ii) The AfriNIC policy liaison shall contact the supporters to
verify their support for the appeal, then send the appeal to the board.

    (iii) The board will appoint an Appeal committee and give them the
task of resolving the issue.

    (iv) The term of the committee shall end once the issue has been
resolved and they shall submit their final findings(including proposal
for resolution) and decision to the  board which then publishes it on
rpd mailing list.

Issue #4: Policy only states it is the Recalls committee that
investigates recall of a chair – nothing more is specified

Staff Recommendation: Use the same procedure proposed for the Appeals
process in Issue #3 above.

Commenting on both the Appeals and Recalls proposals, Aminou Ndala Tita
recommended that an independent stand-by committee be put in place to
deal with recalls and appeals.

Issue #5: An even number of PDWG co-chairs makes it difficult to resolve
differences of opinion between the co-chairs.

Timothy McGinnis (McTim] concurred with having more co-chairs said that
having more co-chairs means at least one can attend a meeting which is
good for the PDP.  Alain Aina said that there shouldn't be any conflicts
between co-chairs as they  should always follow wishes of community. In
response, Paulos disagreed with Alain, stating that differences of
opinion or conflict  between co-chairs is a real possibility.

Louise Flynn from APNIC reported that there are three co-chairs for the
APNIC PDP. Dr Nii Quaynor questioned whether having a third co-chair
will help better manage consensus on open issues.

Issue #6: Establishment of consensus on policy proposals.

Alain Aina stated that co-chairs should always evaluate consensus based
on open (contentious) and closed (non-contentious) issues. When asking
for consensus for a whole policy there will always be some contentious
issues. He encouraged the co-chairs to look at consensus in terms of as
aspects of policy proposal and observed that these are open issues with
progressive interests for consensus.

Adiel Akplogan commenting on the relative weights of mailing list and
face-to-face meeting comments said that only comments on the RPD mailing
list made before the face-to-face meeting should only be equal to those
at face-to-face meetings.

Adiel Akplogan, proposed that the community could review these issues
and propose amendments to the PDP. In response, Alain Aina proposed the
establishment of a set of guidelines for the co-chairs  and for
implementing the PDP as alternatives to a policy review.

The second session of the public policy discussions took place on
Thursday the 24th November 2011 from 09:15 – 10:25. The agenda was as

3.0 Panel Discussion on the PDP in other RIRs
4.0 Policy Proposals Report since AfriNIC-14
5.0 Report on PDP Discussions of Previous Day

[3.0] Panel Discussion on the PDP in other RIRs

The session started with PDP MG co-chairs inviting representatives from
other RIRs to share recent policy experiences, which they all did. Staff
from ARIN, RIPE, APNIC and LACNIC communities shared recent policy
discussions at their previous meetings with the community present at the

Full presentations is available at the following links

LACNIC PDP Presentation


RIPE-NCC PDP Presentation

ARIN PDP Presentation

APNIC PDP Presentation

- From LACNIC, Sofia Silva stated that the PDP should reflect the
criteria, realities and necessities of the community. She then explained
the LACNIC PDP process and its importance in detail.

McTim asking about co-chairing and how is it working. He asked if there
were any difficulties in case the two chairs are unable to attend  the
same meeting. In response, Sofia said that the issue of two co-chairs is
being reviewed.

- From APNIC, Louise Flynn explained the APNIC PDP and stressed on the
concept of consensus in that process and how it works in the Policy
Development Process. Louise stated that consensus reinforces the PDP and
it is not limited to a vote in a forum. She also indicated that
consensus could be indicated through gestures, by show of hands or
feedback on the mailing list.  She also talked about major and minor
objections within the PDP process.

McTim wanted to know how many policies and questions typically come up
during meetings. Louis replied that in April with Final /8, there was an
influx of policies. In New Delhi discussions centered on the types of
IPv6 policies to be adopted.

Paulos asked what was the best way to make an objection – on the mailing
list or through some other means? Louise said that there is a range ways
of  expressing objectives on the mailing list and there are processes
defined. In some cultures, people  prefer to talk about issues and
others prefer the mailing list.

Hisham Ibrahim asked how cultural barriers were managed within the APNIC
region. Responding, Louise stated that having three different chairs
from three different cultures helps. Some cultures do not feel confident
to voice their opinion in public. In such situations, an APNIC staff
member (Andy) talks to these community members off line and then bring
the matter to the mailing list.

McTim wanted to know if an APNIC policy to relax needs-based allocation
that was removed about six months ago had been restored. He stated that
we have the opportunity to see how one region's policy can impact on
another region. PDPs are not just about making policies for only our
region, they are also about making global policies. This politics and
interaction between RIRs could be useful.

In response, Louise stated that ASO global policies have a defined
protocol to reach consensus on particular issues such as IPv4 exhaustion
and transfer of IPv4 space. APNIC’s Proposal-15 (the proposal McTim was
referring to) was approved after reaching the Final /8. By this policy,
APNIC would enable transfers where it was not necessary to demonstrate
the need for resources but after further discussion with RIRs, APNIC
modified this particular policy, demonstrating that the need is
fundamental. Some issues need to be  discussed not only within the
community but with RIRs.

- From ARIN Paul Andersen stated everything about the ARIN PDP is
documented and invited the audience to also look at the Meeting minutes.
The Advisory council is composed of 15 members who are elected every
three years. The role of the ARIN board of trustees and staff was
further explained. The basic steps for the PDP, the policies in the NRPM
and the ARIN reference manual were outlined. The issue of petitions by
members was also highlighted.

- From the chat room, a remote participant wanted to know if the members
of the ARIN Advisory council were elected by ARIN members or by the ARIN
community at large. Paul responded that they are elected by the ARIN

- From the RIPE NCC Ingrid Wijte gave a detailed explanation of the PDP
through the various phases and explained the roles of each of the
parties involved. She said that creating a proposal involves
collaboration with between the working group chairs and RIPE policy
development officer.

With respect to timelines, she stated that the discussion phase lasts
for 4 weeks, the review phase lasts  for a maximum of 4 weeks and that
the draft policy and the last call for comments also last for 4 weeks.

- From the chat rooms, a remote participant wanted to know whether a legal
analysis was done for each proposal. Ingrid responded that the impact
analysis done also includes a legal analysis.

[4.0] Policy Proposals Report since AfriNIC-14

The meeting noted that:

[+] The IPv4 Soft Landing  policy progressed from Last Call and is
awaiting approval from the AfriNIC board after gaining consensus from
the community at AfriNIC-14.

[+] Global Policy for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by the
IANA  is  is awaiting approval from the AfriNIC board after gaining
consensus from the community at AfriNIC-14

The meeting also noted that other proposals that are still active in the
PDP process are as follows:

(a) Reclamation of Allocated but Un-routed IPv4 Addresses

The co-chairs noted that there has not been any discussion on this
proposal on the mailing list since the last face-to-face meeting
(AfriNIC14) in Tanzania. They sought ‘interest’ from the community
present at the meeting, and there seemed to be no interest in discussing
this proposal.

Co-Chairs mentioned that an impact analysis of this proposal was
conducted by AfriNIC staff, and is available online for reference. It
was mentioned that the analysis indicated it could take up to 12 months
to implement the policy once ratified.

Mukom Tamon Policy liaison at AfriNIC stated that there have been
several attempts to contact the author, and there has been no feedback
from him.

The co-chairs noted that there was no consensus on the proposal, and
referred it to the PDP, which, when followed, will see the proposal
automatically withdrawn after one year of inactivity.

(b) Transfer of IPv4 Space to any Entity

The PDP MG co-chairs presented the proposal as written in absence of the

Questions emerged about whether this policy promotes a black market or
unrestricted IPv4 address trading, to which the co-chairs noted that it
instead seems to be promoting a ‘grey’ market. There was another
question about whether AfriNIC conducted a legal analysis of policy
proposals. Mukom responded that during Staff Analyses, the inputs of
AfriNIC’s legal counsel were sometimes sought where appropriate.

A question arose on what the other RIRs experience on this matter, and
if there has been any precedence to follow. Louise Flynn stated that
this is an opportunity for our region to observe and learn since similar
policies have been adopted in other regions. McTim stated that it is not
just sufficient to look at what the others are doing, but instead
address issues and formulate policies that affect our community as

The PDP co-chairs declared that there was “no ground” for support of
this proposal from the meeting, and referred it to the PDP again, where
it would expire after one year if there were no further activity.

(c) Global Policy for IPv4 allocations by the IANA post exhaustion

Mukom Tamon, policy liaison at AfriNIC commented on the policy from its
historical perspective. He stated that as a global proposal, it has
already failed to see consensus in one other region and the authors
expressed no interest in pursuing it further and as such the proposal is
set to expire on the 25th November 2011.

(d) Addition of Real Contact Email into ASN Whois Bulk Data

McTim  stated that the author of this policy has not responded to
request for changes. Consensus was not reached during the last meeting.
MT stated that this proposal started as a request to the hostmaster and
perhaps when writing the policy proposal the author was not clear with
the policy objectives.

[5.0] Report on PDP Discussions of Previous Day

Mukom Akong, Policy liaison at AfriNIC briefed the audience on the
issues of the PDP that were discussed by the community during the
previous day. Mukom  stated that any amendments made directly to the PDP
even if there is a 97% recurrence would need to go through the entire
PDP process as it currently does not allow amendments.

Mukom laid out the options for improving the current PDP according to
yesterday’s discussions as follows:

(i) A totally new policy
(ii) A PDWG charter to be used as a working document with the current PDP
(iii) Guidelines for co-chairs

The co-chairs called for a show of hands on which direction to proceed
in and option (iii) had the majority votes (15) McTim asked the audience
if they had further queries or requests about the PDP and there was no
reaction from the audience.

McTim requested for new ideas or policies from the audience and followed
by  explanations some on the guiding principles of resource based on
assignments and need basis. There was no response from the audience on
the call for new policy proposals.

The session was adjourned at 10:25.


[1] Policy Development Process in the AfriNIC service region

[2] Call for Comments on Staff Analysis and Recommendations on the PDP

[3] Discussion Guides and Minutes of Previous  Public Policy Meetings

[4] About the PDWG co-chairs

[5] RPD Mailing List Archives

- -- 
Mukom Akong T.          |       Training Manager | p: +230 403 5100   |   f: +230 466 6758
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