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[rpd] Improving participation of francophone and arab country
mje at posix.co.za
Thu Dec 31 08:09:48 UTC 2015
On Thu, 2015-12-31 at 08:49 +0400, Chevalier du Borg wrote:
> thank you for you great analyses!
> I started this thread because some member of list were mixing my first
> mail about "ways to measure board performance" with "language barrier
> for francophones"
"Knight" to the rescue (sorry - waiting days to say that :)
> my position
> a) there are thousands of french-speaker who ARE NOT ON THIS LIST.
> Some think it because of language barrier. I disagree ... i think they
> don't just care. If they have not even register, how can they claim
> language barrier?
There are probably quite a few people on this list but most remain
quiet. There are "usually suspects" who frequently contribute. Most folk
are sensible and only post when there is actually a policy under
As for "thousands", looking at members per country, the average
francophone country has a lot less members per country than other
non-francophone countries. This could explain why there are less French
> b) IF there are francophone here who do are unable to participate,
> then as a community (perhaps with some help from afrinic the company)
> we should try to help them.
If I can use (Google) translate to convert French/Arabic to English,
then non-English speakers can do the reverse. I suspect most technical
folk can understand the gist of English conversations here. After all,
this is largely a technical list as Policies usually usually have
technical aspects or implications.
> c) Ultimate policies will remain in English
True - at least, end up in English.
> here is thing we can do
> a) afrinic staff can make sure that during meeting ... there are
> printed copy of policy texts (latest version) in english and FRENCH
Members could use google translate.
> b) afrinic staff can provide monthly summaries of policy discussion in
> english and french (even using community help)
Same as (a), there is not much policy being discussed anyway. I think
only Douglas and I have policies under discussion.
> b) any person on this list who is french or portuguese or arabic who
> isn't understanding a contribution can ask "Pls help with translation
> for me"
After they try (a), I'd agree.
> 2015-12-30 18:14 GMT+04:00 Andrew Alston
> <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>:
> > So, that being said, let us talk for a second about what the real
> problems are in AfriNIC and how the language and demographic debate
> may be contributing factors that we can help to solve through the
> introduction of translations and better communications in the
> respective languages.
> > Let us first state certain hypotheticals that I would hope we can
> all agree on.
> > A.) AfriNIC's primary business is the allocation and control of IP
> address space
> > B.) AfriNIC has to be in a position to be able to operate as a going
> > C.) AfriNIC is a non-profit organisation that is reliant on its
> members to the pay the bills.
> > Now, is lack of understanding of communications due to them being
> primarily in English a contributing factor to the delinquency we see
> in the payment profiles? I analysed this, in great depth, using
> publically available data off the website. It is curious that the
> Francophonie countries have the lowest rate of members in good
> standing as a percentage than any other group of countries. (When I
> did my calculations, 63.3% of members in countries that have French as
> the first language are in good standing, as compared to 85.71% of
> countries that speak Portuguese, 80.1% of Anglo speaking countries and
> 76.25% of Arabic speaking countries).
> > So, perhaps if you are saying that language is a barrier to this,
> it's a problem that we do need to work on, however, chicken and egg
> situation, translation costs money and if people aren't paying their
> bills who is going to fund it?
> > However, the hypothesis outlined above fails, because AfriNIC
> currently does NO Portuguese translation and they have the highest
> payment percentage (though admittedly one of the lowest portion of
> member numbers, with only 70 total members as of September 2015).
> Their own member base could also make it easier for them to be in good
> standing, though again, this hypothesis is disputed by the fact that
> there are less members in Arabic speaking countries who also have a
> higher payment percentage.
> Great analysis. It however miss one important distinction: the afrinic
> COMMUNITY is a independent entity (from afrinic the organisation) that
> make policy (at least that what I understand from afrinic trainers and
> training material) and is the focus on this discussion.
> > So, lets assume based on the figures above, that language is not a
> barrier to payment. So, we need to move onto participation, since we
> are looking to find the problem we are trying to actually solve here.
> I've done some interesting analysis on this as well.
> > Working backwards to the last 10, Republic of Congo, Ebene,
> Djibouti, Abidjan, Lusaka, Khartoum, Serekunda, Yaounde, Dar Es
> Salaam, Johannesburg. At least 4 of these locations are heavily
> francophone areas. Now, considering that to host a members meeting,
> it requires a host sponsor who comes forward and offers to host, and
> then a series of criteria, this strongly indicates that there IS
> participation from the AfriNIC community in franco areas, else the
> sponsorship would not have happened for these meetings. And in fact,
> the participation when considering the member counts of the
> demographics shows that the francophone countries are participating
> *MORE* than the Anglo countries.
> to advocate for the other side --- i.e. community involvement and
> particularly engagement in policy discussions, there are few
> participation from francophones ABOUT POLICY. i think that at these
> meeting, if afrinic staff provide copies in french of latest policy
> proposal on discussion and other key document, it will help
> participation on site and hopefully those people will come to mailing
> list also.
> I also note that even in english speaking country ...there is often
> many participation life by people who just walk in and are not on the
> mailing list
> > Then, on an analysis on the mailing list postings on the RPD, these
> two have a heavy participation from francophone speakers, these
> speakers *choose* to interact on the list in English, however, if you
> look at the locations where the mails are coming from, it is clear
> that there is participation here. It would be up to these people to
> choose to interact in French if they so wished. However, the risk of
> doing that, policies require broad based support, and unless comments
> and policies are proposed in languages that can be understood by the
> majority, I question if they would ever pass consensus, and the
> majority of the people on the lists DO speak English (and the posts on
> the lists are testament to this).
> > So again, I ask, what is the problem we are actually trying to solve
> here, since it isn't participation, that's already there, it isn't
> payment profiles, as indicated by the Arabic and Portuguese segments,
> it isn't membership numbers, since the francophone countries have the
> second highest member base on the continent.
> i started this thread because other member of list made the complain
> about francophone balance etc. i don't believe it of course ... the
> problem i see is one of APATHY ...generally and also very heavy among
> north african and francophone countries.
> > That leaves me wondering, are we simply embarking down this road for
> the sake of cultural pride? If so, that's a very dangerous road we
> walk, and it is a road that leads to divisions which have come close
> to destroying this continent many times before. If we want
> translation into French, then Arabic, Portuguese and actually
> Kiswahili (which is another MAJOR language on the continent) should
> ALL be recognised, to be inclusive. We cannot be seen to be given
> precedence to any specific language demographic, so, in my view, it's
> all of the major languages or none
> exact! ... i think this is more cultural pride than any reality. which
> is sad. Thanks for adding weight to my earlier counter-arguement to
> "let's add arabic too" by pointing out swahili and hausa/fulani which
> are spoke by about 25 percent of the continent. France, China,
> Japan ... advance, bigger economies with high cultural pride don't
> fight this fight ...the have seen it is pointless. let africans not
> waste time on it.
> > These are just my views and spoken entirely in my personal capacity.
> > Andrew
> Borg le Chevalier
> "Common sense is what tells us the world is flat"
> RPD mailing list
> RPD at afrinic.net
Mark James ELKINS - Posix Systems - (South) Africa
mje at posix.co.za Tel: +27.128070590 Cell: +27.826010496
For fast, reliable, low cost Internet in ZA: https://ftth.posix.co.za
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