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[rpd] The Redistribution of Wealth

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Tue Jul 30 02:55:28 UTC 2019

In message <a8872b50-d3f8-b1c2-6081-69e847eee61b at>,
Lee Howard <lee.howard at> wrote:

>On 7/27/19 4:01 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:

>> My apologies if others view this as being off-topic for this list.

>> (Personally, I don't think that it is.)

>If you think it's arguably related, can you make the argument? I don't

>see it.

The article that I posted a link to ( contained
details of an investigation undertaken by the International Consortium
of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with various conclusions that
the ICIJ journalists derived from the facts they uncovered.

The primary focus of their report was the way in which corporate entities,
established in Mauritius, in particular, are used and have been used to
accrue benefits to established elites, on the continent, at the expense
of the common people.

I do not personally know any of the Afrinic board members, nor do I have
any personal connection whatsoever to any of the Afrinic staff or to any
of Afrinic's dues-paying member organizations. Nontheless, I have some
confidence that none of these people or entities are wanting for basic
necessities, malnourished, or routinely begging in the streets, unlike
others on the continent, some of whom were featured in a pair of very
enlightening documentaries that I have only recently viewed on YouTube:

Greenwashing global logging | DW Documentary
Jul 27, 2019

South Africa: cities without water | DW Documentary
Jul 4, 2019

My point here is just this: Like it or not, the people on this list, the
Afrinic board members, the Afrinic staff, and the Afrinic member organizations
and their representatives all qualify, in my view, as "elites" relative to
the average man or woman on the street in Africa. Ths association of this
organization with the demonstratably exploitative "offshore" jurisdiction
of Mauritius is therefore, at best, optically unseemly. I will not even
attempt to characterize what this association with Mauritius could imply,
worst case. I'm sure that everyone can use their own imaginations.

It does not help the case that Afrinic had, at its formation, been granted
multiple /8 blocks, each of which has a current free market value of
something in excess of $250 million U.S. dollars. This is unarguably an
exceptionally large endowment of booty, and one which I'm sure we all hope
is being responsibly sheparded and fairly distributed in a manner which
benefits not just already privleged elites but also the common man and
woman of Africa.

It also does not help the case that Afrinic, as an organization, has been
beset by what may generously be called "certain controversies" in recent

If all of the forgoing has not made my meaning plain, then let me just
sum up as follows: I am not now and never have been a fan of "offshore"
corporate secrecy jurisdictions. Mauritius, as noted at length and in
detail in the ICIJ report, has a well-deserved reputation for its lack
of transparency and the resulting lack of accountability of the many
corporate entities that call Mauritius home. To have any one of the
world's five IP address registries incorporated in, and only in, that
jurisdiction is, to my way of thinking, more than a little troubling.

All people, the world over, who have spent more than a few minutes aquainting
themselves with the tormented history of the African continent and its
people know all too well that the common people of the continent have
suffered mightily from the depravations imposed upon them, in both the
distant and recent past, by elities of all complexions. And people of
good will the world over hope that the mistakes of the past shall not
be extended indefinitely into this 21st century and into the coming
information economy.

The world's rapidly dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses, critical as they
still are to modern economic development, should not be a prize which is
unduly captured, by elites and for elites, to be doled only only to a
favored few. Whether this has happened or is happening is something that
everyone here can judge for themselves. For my part, I will only say that
given what is already well and widely known about Mauritius, Afrinic's
incorporation in that jurisdiction provides neither a comforting veneer
of respectability nor a sense of the organization's sincere desire for
transparency and/or accountability.

>The major downside to Mauritius, from what I've seen, is that it's far,

>so travel is expensive.

Yes. And this fact also tends to support my point that Afrinic may be,
and perhaps should be viewed by outsiders as a privileged club for elite
"jet setters".

Given the recent and more distant history of the continent, these are not
good optics for Afrinic.


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