The 25th Africa Network Information Center (AFRINIC) meeting will be held from 25th to 30th November 2016 at Sofitel Imperial hotel in Mauritius.

Tutorials will be held on Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), IPV6 foundation training, Internet Number Resource Management, and a session on increasing participation at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in the African Region.

The session on AFRINIC Government Working Group will explore ways of involving more African governments and multilateral organisations in Internet Governance efforts.

The Fund for Internet Research and Education (FIREAfrica.org) will hold a session training their grantees on Leadership skills, project management, and pitching to investors.

An interesting development will be the launch of AFRINIC’s new IPv6 testing and certification platform available at http://certi6.io.

The hallmark for all Regional Internet Registry meetings is usually the Policy Discussion Working Group (PDWG). The PDWG will discuss four policies among them Inbound Transfer Policy, Soft Landing policy Overhaul, the proposal to Transfer IPv4 Resource within the AFRINIC region, and Internet Number Resources Review by AFRINIC.

The last day will have the Special general members meeting, where members will vote for Special Resolutions for AFRINIC Proposed Bylaws Changes, and elections of members for the AFRINIC Governance Committee.

The Agenda of the meeting is available here: https://meeting.afrinic.net/afrinic-25/agenda


(Published by Daily Nation on Tuesday December 29, 2015  http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/smartcompany/Why-uptake-of-Internet-remains-lowest-in-Africa/-/1226/3012662/-/hv2mkk/-/index.html)

In the first week of December, an important meeting, the AFRINIC 23 took place in Pointe Noire, Congo-Brazzaville, to discuss Internet Number resources policies in Africa. AFRINIC, short for Africa Network Information Center is the Regional Internet Registry responsible for issuing unique identifies called Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other enterprises across Africa. AFRINIC has among its members’ banks, academic institutions, governments, ISPs, and other business enterprises. The ISPs consequently assign the IP blocks to their customers. IP addresses are the numbers used by computers to communicate with each other on the Internet. An easier analogy for an IP address is the unique phone numbers we use to communicate with others.

At the AFRINIC meeting on Pointe Noire, one thing struck me. Congo is an Oil producing country, but for the whole week, the city was in lockdown. There was no fuel in petrol stations. Apparently two oil refineries had closed down for maintenance at the same time. The impact on the local businesses was obvious. There was little to no movement of goods and people; hotels were empty and streets were empty too. The economy was at a total standstill. I could see how lack of a commodity cans stifle an economy.

Parallel that on what happens when a large part of our population has no access to the Internet. They cannot communicate with the rest of the world, buy and sell goods and services to larger global markets, and get information when they need it.

AFRINIC is a member based organization, with a total of 1291 members. Of that, South Africa leads the pack with 309 (24%), Nigeria with 148 (11%) and Kenya 84 (7%), with Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, and Angola following the leaders. The others 47 countries take up the remaining 41%. It is easy to postulate that there is a co-relation between AFRINIC membership, Internet penetration, and economic prosperity. Kenya has done really well compared to other countries, but there is room for improvement in growing AFRINIC membership. We cannot afford to sit down pretty while a country like South Africa has 4 times more members. We must consolidate our position as leaders of ICT uptake in Africa.

Why would anybody want to be an AFRINIC member? Membership translates to allocation of Internet number resources (IPs). Assuming that issued resources translate to more devices connected to the Internet, more Internet related businesses will be built and therefore we will have more people have access to the internet. Time and time again, research has shown that internet penetration is tied to economic development. One such study by Deloitte found that when developing countries expand Internet access to the level of developed countries, it would cut extreme poverty by 28%, reduce infant mortality, increase literacy rates, and create millions of jobs.

Over the years, there have been complains from end users on allocation of IP addresses by ISPs. You could request a block of IP addresses for use in your business operations but the ISPs would probably give you an allocation that is not enough to run your operations, or they would charge an arm and a leg. Most organizations remained with a stifled ICT infrastructure.  Some businesses got the hint and became members of AFRINIC where they get as much resources as they need, and by only paying a membership fee of as little as $200 per year and a onetime resource allocation fee. The ignorance by the masses has had profound mark on our society, very few Internet footprints in Africa, and non-depleted IPv4 in the African continent, while a continent like North America has eclipsed us by usage of these resources a hundred times over.

AFRINIC now has more than 50million IPv4 addresses and virtually unlimited IPv6 addresses for our use. IPv4, the most used version of IP has depleted in all regions of the world apart from Africa. Although this is a story for another day, I would urge our businesses to apply to get the resources before the west raid our unallocated surplus addresses for legacy deployments.

If you are an organization with huge public address needs, and your ISP is a roadblock to achieving your ICT strategy, it is highly recommended you get your IP block directly from source by visiting the website afrinic.net. If you don’t have the time or human resources, you can get an IP strategy consultant to manage your resource allocation and mapping.

twitter: @lordmwesh

 


In May 2015, ICANN President and CEO Fadi  Chehadé announced his intention to resign from his position before end of his tenure. Although this shocked the ICANN community, it should be viewed as a good thing to have a new CEO post IANA functions transition.
Over the few years, ICANN has put concerted effort to internationalize itself, appear to be a legitimate global organisation. This has led to ICANN setting up engagement offices and  hubs across Europe, Asia, North and South America, which is commendable.
For ICANN to appear serious with the Internationalization attempts, and for the U.S Government to demonstrate commitment that it is transitioning IANA functions to the International Multistakeholder community outside U.S control, it would be important for the board to show committed to appointing a CEO outside US while still maintaining the quality and traits needed.

 


The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been under threat and there is a raging debate on its sustainability. When the Indonesia government announced it would pull out as the convener of the 2013 IGF, the entire Internet community was thrown in a spin. For that reason among others, Internet Society (ISOC) has resolved to establish a legal structure with the objective of achieving stable and sustainable funding for an association in support of the global IGF and regional IGF initiatives. This is a welcomed development which will give stakeholders more resolve and confidence in participating in this important forum.

The setting up of a group composed of ISOC, IETF, IAB, Regional Internet Registries, and ICANN’s Supporting Organization and Advisory Committees to steward IANA transition is welcomed. To have an all-inclusive IANA transition acceptable by both the East and West, ICANN which has been granted the privilege to spearhead the process will have to appear to be as inclusive as possible. The script had already been read when ICANN’s Government Advisor Committee (GAC) insisted on having 5 slots in the IANA transition committee to represent the five regions of the world instead of the two positions it had been given. The outcome of the whole process has to appear to have the interest of the world Internet user. All citizens of the world need to feel part of the whole process. I would expect a transition process that does not place any stakeholder in a privileged position. In the IANA transition, I do not see the need for structural changes in relation to the development of global IP addressing policies since that function is working as expected, a position shared by the Address Supporting Organizations. The Internet community will expect a transition with minimum risks on current well established operations.

Many stakeholders have accepted ICANN to be the final manager of the IANA functions. To be more acceptable, ICANN has initiated a number of activities, among them Internationalization of ICANN to make it appear a not so much a “California (US) organization” but a global organization. The folly of this is ICANN is still a US organization no matter how many branches it opens worldwide, the world will still continue to see it as a US organization. As the IANA transition debate rages on, we will see positions change as each stakeholder tries to get an upper hand. France’s call for world Internet Governance Council to be headquartered in Switzerland to replace IGF and oversee ICANN operations is an example of the fear and marginalization other stakeholders feel within the Internet Governance landscape. My fear would only be more government control in Internet Governance matters, which would mean other traditional stakeholders would find it even harder to engage.

I believe the different stakeholders can have equal say in shaping the future of the Internet. In Brazil during NetMundial, we saw all stakeholders coming together in an ad-hoc constituted meeting and trying to reach a consensus on common principles. Although civil society felt shortchanged in the process, it is a move in the right direction because you win some, and lose some.

Although the IGF model as envisioned is not a decision making model, the Kenya IGF has been praised even at UN level where the output has been touted as a model to emulate because some of the decisions have gone ahead to be implemented at the national level. A good example is Article 10 of the Kenyan constitution where Multistakeholderism has been embraced where all stakeholders are consulted in national issues. As an example, we have seen Computer Authority of Kenya call for public consultation in the National Cyber Security Framework. Most government Authorities have representation of all stakeholders and the Kenyan consumer has a say in matters of policy.

To quote the Kenyan constitution “Article 10 National Values and principles of Governance (2.) The national values and principles of governance include: (a) patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people. (b) human dignity, equity, social inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized.”

The question of concrete outcomes produced through the IGF is sometimes tackled diplomatically. At the UK IGF of July 2014, the organizers were not able to clearly indicate how the outcome of previous IGFs were used to influence policy, only stating that multistakeholderism and dialogue was part of the success of the IGF. The UK also stated she was able to adjust policy positions from outcomes of the IGF and have UK positions in bilateral talks with the greater Europe. However, there was no example given on these positions.

Let us not lose hope. The IGF might be a talk shop, but the outcome has a positive bearing to our society. And talking is not necessarily a bad thing because consensus on contemporary issues is reached after engagement. It is my hope that we can have a discussion that is as inclusive as possible where all stakeholders feel they are participating on equal footing. The IGF provides a unique platform for all stakeholders to openly exchange perspectives on key issues that impact the future of the Internet. I also commend the IGFs for the capacity building it develops because participants usually have key lessons they domesticate back home. It is also my hope that the Internet Governance community can find a way to make the IGF more effective, and have a proper way to implement and measure the effectiveness of the outcomes.


After the last session on Tuesday July 24th, I happened to join the ICANN policy team through a trek across London from Padington to Marble Arch on Public House 6 New Quebec Street. It was a traditional English restaurant called the grazing goat. The setting summer solstice sun over the window overlooking the horizon was just incredible even though it was past 8PM.

The Vice President, Policy Development David Olive lead the team. I learned it it was the first time the policy guys were meeting in such a setting. Because of the Internalization of ICANN, the staff come from diverse regions across the world from North America, Europe, and Asia, and this was a perfect opportunity for them to link up. A not so formal setting helped them bond and know each other better.

The food was incredible from the wild boar starter, Yorkshire pudding, to the nicely grilled lamb and exotic French wine and double expresso coffee. The wild boar took me through a time machine to the times I was reading the French comic books Asterix and Obelix.

We had great conversations with Robert Hoggarth, the ICANN Senior Policy Director, Ariel Liang,  Susan, and Tom Dale the GAC secretariat contractors from Acig Australia.

Well, it’s not manners to crash into parties, but the lessons and interactions I had with these cool people was invaluable especially know that I’m getting deeper into ICANN policy working groups.

It must be fun working at ICANN, isn’t it?


Trying to penetrate the various groups and become an integral MVP seems harder than cracking diamond with bare teeth. It’s like there are so many opportunities but getting in is proving more difficult.

But I know the trick, volunteer in working groups, read background information documents, comment and give suggestions. You will learn and find areas of interest on the way.ring at

Starting engagement with ICANN is like driving on a road less traveled at night. Your can only see the next 50meters, but you drive on hopeful you will arrive at your destination. I’m on my first 50 meters 😐


I’ve been active in At-large’s AFRALO as the Internet Society Kenya Chapter Secretary General and ALS representative. Before ICANN50 I did not know much about other communities like NCUC, NPOC … what are they? 🙂

So I had a personal goal

“Challenge yourselves to look at other communities and their way of working through the multistakeholder process and discover information that you may not already know about ICANN that can help you moving foreword.” – Janice’s clarion call

I met and re-established contact with many ICANN and AFRALO African leaders like Pierre Dandjinou, Abdelaziz Hilali, and Tijani Ben Jemaa.

We discussed at lengths with Lars-Johan Liman of Netnod and Root Server System Advisory Committee on ways to volunteer at RSSAC. RSSAC is in the process of getting more volunteers involved, especially those with different skill sets, not just the traditional geek. I’m still considering how helpful I can be if I join this group.

Sentiment analysis and Opinion mining is a new area in social media Business Intelligence analysis. Through much persistence, I was able to discuss with Aba Diakite, the ICANN Senior Manager for Business Intelligence on how ICANN can get instant feedback from the community just by analyzing social media posts. Aba was positive and promised to get back to me after discussing with the high and might at ICANN.


So I was privileged to be a mentor for two newcomers, One from Venezuela and another from West Bank. Not because I know anything really, but because I had attended ICANN47 in Durban.

We exchanged emails for a month prior to the meeting, sharing important PowerPoint presentations from the different ICANN constituencies, and exchanged tit-bits from the new and improved ICANN learn. http://learn.icann.org/

Unfortunately, the West bank fellow was not able to make it to London. Not withstanding, I hope to meet him in future, probably in LA. His dream is still valid.

“No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o.

As for Jesus, he was very informed and focused, and knew many participants especially from Latin American region. His interest was more on GAC where he understood most issues especially because of his past engagement with ITU. This was puzzling because his background is ccTLD management. My thinking was he would have found ccNSO a natural home. We are still in contact via email, so let’s see how it turns out.

Thoughts on mentorships

What gets measured gets done.  This is just a beginning of a good thing, and the programme is superb.

  1. Timing of Guidelines to Mentors: A month is perfect, and the timing for initial engagement, 19th May was good.
  2. Guideline Package itself: It would be great if we can develop a mentorship guide, that new mentors can follow. In a matrix form, or something like that.
  3. One vs Two mentees: Two mentees are better. They can share with each other thoughts on the information given to them.
  4. Response and reaction from mentees: My mentee was very positive and eager to learn. He responded promptly to emails.
  5. Pre Meeting: I had a small meeting with my mentee where we exchanged expectations, and modes of participation at ICANN. I advised him to make a checklist of all sessions he wants to attend, and also make short notes, probably a paragraph on key takeaways for the meeting. This was to aid in report writing.
  6. At Meeting: We met in between sessions and evaluated effectiveness and relevance of the session.
  7. Post Meeting: We are still communicating via email, and finding the best ways for future participation in ICANN policy making activities.
  8. Does this need to be regional or based on compatible sectors: Compatible sector is better. It’s easier to engage on a professional level if you are from the same professional background.

Apart from the officially assigned mentors, I was able to interact and learn with many newcomers. Questions like “Are you are a member of ATLAS constituency?” were not uncommon but were met with fine answers on ICANN structures.

The fellows were lively and very eager to learn, from the knowledgeable Nabil of Morrocco, the young and intelligent Xiaohui of China, the friendly Martin Pablo of Argentina, the reflective Muchene of Kenya,  Amparo of Dominican who insisted I should pronounce her name with Latin romance accent – Ampaarooo,  Oarabile of Botswana who was oozing with life, to Adrian the key mobilizer. This is the perfect fraternity.

The leads Jeannie, Karel and Gao conducted the fellowship meeting very professionally, and the alumnae were quick to interject when called upon.

The ever smiling and warm Selina and Sarah (SS) were the perfect team for the ICANN newcomers booth. How Mama Janice picked two lovely people with extraordinary likable characters amazed me. No wonder visitors kept on going back to the ICANN booth.

 


On one of the meetings, our constituency ran late and exceeded the time allocated, eating into the time of the next group coming in. Apparently, the team that was before us also ate into our 10 minutes. If you add room transition times, we started 20 minutes late. To make matters interesting, Staff told us our meeting allocated time had been changed from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. We were virtually thrown out of the room, in a rather undiplomatic fashion I must add after our time was up.

I approached the Ombudsman  Chris LaHatte and his mate Herb Waye on seeking clarification on how such matters should be handled. After listening very carefully, he approached both teams and came up with this blog post.  

Lesson learned: I must acknowledge some meeting Chairs are terrible at controlling speakers who go on and on and on and on and on and on and on … Yawn


Social media was abuzz with London’s ICANN 50 trending. The twitter hash tag was #ICANN50. The At-Large summit was on with the tag #ATLAS2.

Officially checked in 3000 attendees to . Thank you 4 making ICANN50 our new record!

At you have to think quickly, and fast like the speed of the internet

How do you survive an Meeting? Reply w/ ur top tips using , be included in Mtg Guide!

Words being thrown around at : bottom up, multistakeholderism, open, participatory, review, transparent

Do you know what happens when you enter a domain name into your browser? Take a look…

It’s important for other civil societies to track ICANN and engage –

Nice to see remote participants from Cameroon, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippine engage actively in discussions at

Fadi says he is an atypical CEO who changes his mind and changes course in reaction to community feedback

Become part of the process. Help shape the Stewardship Transition

fellowship morning meeting

Public Forum begins at 16:00 in Sandringham. Remote participation details:

The Board should delegate .africa pursuant to the registry agreement signed between ICANN and ZACR 25/6/2014 – GAC

Joke of the day: If your laptop has crashed, and you have lost your data, you can have NSA give you a backup.

 Jul 1

had meeting room challenges that brought to the attention of the Ombudsman

Already loving the topics at the Public Forum….

Live now: Public Forum

Learn the basics on the IANA functions with this new infographic:

Africa Strategy Progress Report with Pierre Dandjinou taking place in Windsor Suite

“This is an opportunity to show that these bottom-up processes work” – Community Member

lunch sponsored by at Hilton Paddington, London

SSAC meets fellows in London. Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

Africa has 54 ccTLDs

Its time to put users at the front of the family says CEO Fadi Chehade

The Internet should be Conducive for healthy growth of juveniles. . Those are the 7 Internet tenets according to

DR. Steve Crocker, Board Chairman says should be all about

endorsed by acclamation!!! to present to Board, 18:00 Sandringham

 —