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[rpd] Board Composition

Dorothy K. Gordon director-general at
Tue May 3 16:36:59 UTC 2016

Really! I think Owen's points are all valid and we need to make sure we amend the rules to prevent this issue coming up again.  Perhaps a united AfriNic would be better served if companies avoided placing us in this type of situation.


Dorothy K. Gordon
Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT
Mobile: 233 265005712
Direct Line: 233 302 683579
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Alston" <Andrew.Alston at>
To: "Owen DeLong" <owen at>, "rpd" <rpd at>
Sent: Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 4:34:44 PM GMT +00:00 Casablanca / Monrovia
Subject: Re: [rpd] Board Composition


Allow me to take a slightly different view on this, and allow me to look at your own country and its democratic system for guidance.

Let us for a moment stop, and consider that Donald trump is quite likely to be the GOP nominee, and, he might even win the election.  This is despite everything he has said and everything that he has done.  Now, many would consider this bad for the USA, bad for immigrants, bad for reputation, bad for many many reasons.  But, here is the thing, if he gets elected, it is because the people across the states, be they conservative or democrat, caucasian or hispanic, rural or urban, together voted and the tally would have been counted. This is irrespective of who is a minority, who is a majority, or any other factor.  It is pure overall majority vote.  

Now, let us look at at AfriNIC when we look at our board and those that sit on it.  Each board member is elected by the community, as a whole, and the votes are tallied and those that the majority feel should have their seats, take up their seats and do their best to serve the organisation.  Board members at that point do not represent  region, they do not represent their employers, they have fiduciary duties that are aligned only to the good of AfriNIC as an organisation.  I really honestly feel that if people want another candidate, let their voices be heard at the ballot and let them vote.  If the majority votes in a particular way however, there is no way that anyone who did NOT partake in the vote can cry about it, and those who DID vote need to accept the majority vote. 

When we start introducing demographics and language and discussions like these, we are not actually working in the interests of a united AfriNIC, instead we are diving it by highlighting our differences rather than our common cause.  Just as in the states, part of the pledge of allegiance says “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Freedom for All”, perhaps it is time we as a community took a similar approach, "one continent, under one board, elected by all".

Unless of course you advocate for a contested convention where the majority vote means little?


On 03/05/2016, 6:36 PM, "Owen DeLong" <owen at> wrote:

>It has come to my attention that Mike Silber is running for the independent seat that is opening on the AfriNIC board in the next election.
>While I consider Mike to be an excellent candidate and believe he would be a true asset to the AfriNIC board, I have a concern that I must express. This concern has nothing to do with Mike himself, but rather is a concern about organizational structure.
>There are only 8 elected members of the AfriNIC board. If Mike Silber is elected, then 25% of the elected board seats would be held by employees of Liquid Telecom. Personally, I do not feel that the board can properly represent the diversity of the AfriNIC community if we allow multiple board seats to be held by representatives from the same organization. While I do not believe that Liquid has any sort of goal of organizational capture or any nefarious intent whatsoever, the reality is that if this is allowed, then it does create the possibility for some other organization to achieve a form of organizational capture.
>The board has tremendous authority and responsibility within the AfriNIC organization. As such, I think it is important to consider these generic structural issues seriously, no matter how much we may like and admire the candidates in question.
>Again, this is not personal. If it were, I’d be endorsing Mike rather than calling his candidacy into question. However, from a structural perspective, I think it is important that the community at least consider the issue.
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