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[rpd] Discussion about e-voting

Owen DeLong owen at
Thu May 15 16:49:31 UTC 2014

On May 14, 2014, at 10:54 PM, Kofi ansa akufo <kofi.ansa at> wrote:

> Hello All
> Thanks for the statistics and comparisons. Forgive me again to divert this discussion a bit. Come next year our RIR will be 10 years old.
> We have an advantage as the fifth and last RIR to observe and amend what are the challenges facing the other long established RIRs. IMHO as we strive to achieve more than the average 10% comparison in member turn out we should clearly review strategies for making impact on the continent.
I always find it interesting when members of an organization start talking about how to increase voter turnout without considering the reasons for low turnout. 

The number one reason for low voter turnout is complacency in most cases. Complacency is usually a result of satisfaction with the status quo. If people dislike what is happening, they are more likely to participate or vote.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for looking for ways to encourage additional and more representative participation. I just think it is important to keep in perspective that for the most part, things are working fairly well. Participation is not unusually low compared to many other well functioning groups. 
> 1. The core activity of AFRINIC is managing internet resources for the Region. What is seen now is more or less a passive approach to evaluation of prospective members for resources. AFRINIC staff makes it difficult to get resources YET when resources are granted there is little or no follow up processes to check if it is even being used in the region. A quick check in the whois database of AFRINIC indicates a /13 IPv4 that was issued last year which is not even used in the region. Lost of job creation opportunity on the continent.
I'm not sure I buy that assertion. I don’t think AfriNIC staff makes it difficult to get resources. I think they evaluate resource requests according to the policies set by the AfriNIC community just as any other RIR. The AfriNIC community has, for various reasons, adopted a fairly stringent and restrictive set of policies.

I can’t comment on the latter because I don’t know the specifics. If your claim is true, then it seems to me that the use violates AfriNIC policy and perhaps the resources in question should be reclaimed.

> Solution: the very IP resources we seek to manage is evolving in a technology which is dissolving geographic barriers. AFRINIC should then be seen as a key partner for our region to ensure that infrastructures are established in our region to create jobs through standard policies which will continuously monitor the activities and link or tie prospective investors to the region rather than turn them off or frustrate them and later grant them huge chunks of resources to be used outside the region.
If you think AfriNIC policy needs to change, then you should submit a policy proposal to change it. Staff cannot do so. The system is intended to work based on a bottom-up process where policy changes are proposed by community members such as yourself.
> 3. Again the RIR should be seen playing a regulatory role. Recent years has seen considerable internet exchange spring up each with their own operating guidelines for membership and peering. What AFRINIC should be doing is to collaborate with key stakeholders (governments, submarine cable providers, service providers through AfNOG) to draft various standards and architectutes to be adhered to. (for example encourage distributed / or linked national and regional exchanges.
I would think that an industry organization such as AfNOG, rather than an RIR would be a better place for such standards to be developed. 
> In short AFRINIC should be seen as a regulator and reach out to the community through existing specialized groups and institutions and not waste resources on operations with little impact on the continent.
> One will argue how does this approach impact AFRINIC members directly and increase meeting turnout and subsequent voting participation?
I'm relatively certain that if you turned AfriNIC into a regulator in the true sense of the word and made policies significantly more stringent, you would very likely increase the participation at least in the short term. I’m not sure that is the best mechanism for doing so. (See my above text about how satisfaction tends to breed complacency.)


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