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

gregoire.ehoumi gregoire.ehoumi at
Sun Dec 22 17:28:21 UTC 2019

Dear Arnaud and cochairs,

Thanks Arnaud for recognising your mistake in posting your message related to the afrinic-31 blog to co-chairs list instead of RPD.

That aside, is that how co-chairs, who are supposed to be handling "disagreement", going to respond to someone who disagrees with them or have different view on things which happened?

I am deeply concerned by the direction things have taken and I understand more now why Alain was forced to write this blog which we should all be discussing and looking for possible initiatives to improve the ways we do things through our PDP.

I am very disgusted, and very disappointed by many of comments in the co-chairs responses.I wish you also serve the community so well to be the best and be the next African recognised in the Postel award and not by mere diversity as you suggested. The caliber of past awardees speak for themselves.

I do hope that the PDP remains open to anyone to participate and be heard and we will not be asking senior community members and Afrinic members representatives to retire, but instead learn and build on their experience and expertise. Be aware that, the organization whose PDP process you act as co-chairs for, was built by the very ones you are asking to retire. How uniting are you with this new co-chairs posture?
Best regards
-------- Original message --------From: Arnaud AMELINA <amelnaud at> Date: 2019-12-19 8:29 a.m. (GMT-05:00) To: ABDULKARIM AYOPO OLOYEDE <oloyede.aa at> Cc: Policy Development Working Group <pdwg at>, ALAIN AINA <Alain.Aina at>, rpd List <rpd at> Subject: Re: [rpd] [pdwg] Time to fix broken things in PDP As you can see from the opening, "Hi Community and PDWG”, the post was intended for rpd and was inadvertently sent pdwg, cochairs list. This was an unnoticed  error on my part with the recipient  of the mail.<Sorry> ArnaudLe mer. 18 déc. 2019 à 13:09, ABDULKARIM AYOPO OLOYEDE <oloyede.aa at> a écrit :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

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”.  


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 wise.      

 PDWG Co-ChairsOn Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 4:49 PM Arnaud AMELINA via pdwg <pdwg at> wrote: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] --Arnaud
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