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[rpd] [pdwg] Time to fix broken things in PDP

Wed Dec 18 13:08:53 UTC 2019

Dear Arnuad and Alain,

We decided to address this repose to both of you because the piece was
written by Alain and posted on the PDWG by Arnuad who happen to be a
disciple of the later.

We first read the write up some few days ago and we decided not to
respond initially because Alain is someone we have so much respect for and
we felt we should spend our time in a more productive way. Secondly, in the
African setting, we need to respect elders and sometimes even when they go
wrong without causing too much damage, we tend to forgive them and just
move on by keeping silent. This is because the younger ones sometimes have
to tolerate the elders just the way a good mother tolerate her baby.
However, after reflecting on this for some days and because it is now
posted on the PDWG mailing by a “foot soldiers” hence, we decided to
respond showing as much respect as we can.

Firstly, we congratulate Mr Aina on his IETF trip and the Postel award. The
ward comes at a time you need to start thinking of leaving a good legacy
behind by encouraging younger ones to grow while teaching them some of the
good qualities that would help them to win a similar award in future not
just because they want diversity and give the award to an African but
because the Africa man deserves the award. We also hope Mr Aina as an elder
in this community would spend his time inspiring younger Africans to be
involved in IETF that is currently dominated by older white men rather than
this frivolous and untrue allegations just because he can’t get over the
fact that young and vibrate individuals are now seeking to save the soul of
AFRINIC while preventing it from being dominated by selfish individuals.

We do not know how the elder statesman who was just awarded what should be
a prestigious award concluded that many participants did not read the
proposals however we leave that as the level of engagement was glaring
during the meetings. The level of participation at the meeting is something
Mr Aina should be proud off if indeed he means well for this community.
However, saying we (co-chairs) dined the floor unjustly to people is not
only false but a reckless and mischievous statement that we do not expect
from him. Do you expect that we allow everyone to talk as much as they want
so that we can spend a year at the meeting? Mr Alain, with your experience
from AFRINIC 1 in this community, we expect you to support us in making the
community better not try to intimidate or harass us with a writeup full of
falsehood. We should have spent this time preparing the minutes of the
meeting rather we are spending productive time responding to your
imaginations. The fiction you wrote is just a distraction.

Again, please go and listen to the recordings, No one said the problem
statement was meaningless. what was said is that the problem statement does
not go into the CPM hence, it would not stop a proposal from going into the
last call. AK was only seeking that clarification when discussions were
about the problem statement while the community agree with the policy
change itself but some objected to the problem statement. The reason for
this is clear if objections are being raised about the problem statement
then it can always be sorted out during the last call and clearly if it
does not go into the CPM then we need to spend the limited time at the F2F
meeting on what goes into the CPM and not the faulty problem statement.
What response from the audience were you making reference too here “*The
audience responded appropriate. I assume the lesson has been learnt by the
author and the co-chairs*.” We hope you were not mixing up the policy
meeting sessions with your “Johnathan B Postel Award” session.

You made what we termed as a reckless allegation again “ *a participant
raised the fact that based on some real intelligence there was a meeting
held by the co-chairs with a selected set of the community to prepare on
how to handle the meeting*” The allegation is not only false so is your
account of what happened. The respected man who spoke at the mic said some
people had a practice session the previous day but he never mentioned the
fact that the co-chairs were in any way involved. He never also gave us any
evidence or reason to investigate the allegation further. Come to think of
it, if the allegation (as made during the session not your own account of
it) is true, it should be something to be proud off as it shows the level
of commitment and dedication by volunteers who are putting efforts into
participating in the policy development process of AFRINIC. It is clear in
your own account of events that you are trying to manipulate events. How is
it possible for us as co-chairs to prevent people or groups meeting to
discuss the policies, is this against the CPM are you saying you never
discussed the policies with anyone outside the room? If anything against
the PDP occurred we would be happy to investigate and sanction as
appropriate. Please give us a chance.

We want to categorically say that we never had a practice session with
a “*section
of the community*”. The practice session we had was between us (co-chairs)
and relevant AFRINIC staff. We had about two practise sessions to get us
familiar with how to handle the meetings and to be able to manage the
limited time well. We never discussed the policies in detail except for the
agenda and how to make sure the sessions are not boring or allowing the
individual with most policy speak all day without having some rest in
between. We never discussed what should be the outcome of any policy as it
was clear to all that the outcome depends on the community discussion on
the mailing list and during the F2F meeting and we believe the practice
session was in the best interest of the community and we thank the new CEO
and AFRINIC staff for this initiative. This is clearly a good way to build
capacity within the community.

Co-chairs are part of the community and we believe anyone from the
community can come and talk/approach us or we can approach any member for
advice and comments either in public or in private to guide our thought.
This has no influence whatsoever on our decision-making process and we have
tried to do this with elders and the younger generation in the community
including yourself despite your hostility towards us on a number of
occasions. We take decisions only based on what the community says to us
both at the meeting and on the mailing list. Furthermore, the role of an
elder (and in extension the co-chairs) within a community is to try and
bring people together. If you have 2-3 proposals on the table trying to
solve the same problem an elder should try and bring them together hence we
are disappointed that someone who won the Postel award meant for someone
who has made an outstanding contributions in service to the data
communications community would say “*chairs attempted to convince the
authors of the first two proposals discussed to merge... The exercise
turned to a public disaster and showed that the prior meeting among the
authors did not help*”. Let us be categorical, we can and ready to defend
all our actions, inactions and decisions during the meeting as they were
done in the best interest of the community. We sent out emails to all
authors on the transfer policies before the meeting asking authors to try
and consolidate their proposal into one. Two groups of authors met, and
they told us before the meeting that they reached some level of agreement
and that your group refused to meet them, and we felt the best thing was to
ask them how far they have gone during the meeting so that it would be an
open process. What is wrong with this for Gods sake?

Finally, please try and encourage the younger ones to grow and as an elder
please spend your time mentoring younger ones and so not behave like
typical African leaders who never want to retire rather, they want to
dominate the scene forever. This is one of the major problems we face as
Africans. When and If younger ones go wrong (no one is always right) please
call them privately and advise them. According to a popular African saying “An
elder cannot be in the market and a child‟s head will be allowed to droop”.

Thank you

NB: Generally speaking now: We need to make it clear to everyone in doubt
that we both decided to contest elections in Kampala because we want to
bring this community together while being directed by the community on the
policies, we would continue to do our best for this community and ignore
some of these side comments that we often get on the mailing list
especially when they are coming from drowning individuals. We have ignored
such comments in the past to avoid distractions. A word is enough for the

PDWG Co-Chairs

On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 4:49 PM Arnaud AMELINA via pdwg <pdwg at>

> Hi Community and PDWG,


> It is time to come back to the story of Afrinic and understand what is now

> happening to policy development in our region. Let us prepare our future by

> fixing what we have found broken in Afrinic PDP. Here is a good brief of

> the situation in a blog written by someone who attended Afrinic-1 [a]. It

> clearly shows that things are not going well with PDP in our organization

> and need to be fixed....



> [a]


> Regards


> --

> Arnaud

> _______________________________________________

> pdwg mailing list

> pdwg at



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