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ICANN-ASWG Comments

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Author Comments
Rafik Dammak

I am involved in non-commercial part of GNSO (being myself a GNSO councilor) with few african colleague and unfortunately there is few attendance from the region while a lot of gTLD policy is discussed there and it is hard to amplify the message/concerns to be listened.

I do agree that all SO/ACs should consulted later too and maybe that will be a signal fro them to bring more from africa with their own outreach efforts (btw there is already discussion about more coordinated outreach within ICANN with members from the community and led by ICANN staff)

 

Baudouin Schombe

The initiative ASWG is a very good idea. But the question of representativity is also another important aspect. What is done is done. From Mexico, the question of visibility ICANN was raised many times by some ALS and I realize that these concerns have not been listened to. That's like a magic wand the problem reoccurs.

Now that the AU, in collaboration with the CEA, is seriously involved in the activities of ICANN must quickly begin with a diagnostic clinic process from Lisbon to date.

ICANN should be well established at country level. On this point, it is necessary that local actors are able to offer a term of reference of the methodology. It is at this level AFRALO comes in. It will also see that the CEA has done in cerrtains african countries in the process of developing national policy. These are just suggestions.

 

Yaovi Atohoun Click here to download comments as PDF file
Fatimata Seye Sylla

I would like to fully support your proposal and congratulate you for your hard work and excellent methodology. The process has been inclusive and transparent. I specially appreciate the focus on capacity building, internet industry development and the creation of a special fund. However, I would like to suggest that this fund be open to other donors to tackle any specific needs able to boost internet development in Africa, specially the domain name industry development.

Regarding capacity building I would propose that the strategy puts emphasis on youth involvement with a special focus on women.

 

McTim

1- Your priority list of 5 to 10 strategic objectives with subsequent strategic projects

Objectives:

Promote the multi-stakeholder model and platform in Africa at the government, civil society and private sector levels to enrich participation in ICANN constituencies.

Support capacity building and development of Internet governance in Africa

Effective communication / Outreach on ICANN operations including IANA Reference Strat Obj 3/4-5

Encourage resiliency of local DNS infrastructure (IXP, Copy of Root, Anycast DNS)

Ensure physical presence in Africa to conduct outreach to help reflect ICANN’s global image

Support policy development process to create conducive environment for the internet economy in Africa

Ensure internationalisation of ICANN using outreach programme.

Projects:

An ICANN academy to help in capacity building and HR development in Africa

An ICANN ambassador programme to promote global ICANN values

Produce Targeted Documents in appropriate languages regarding ICANN operations Ref AFRICAN Strat. Obj 3-3

Consumer/Community Capacity Building

A programme for enhancing cooperation with I* organisations and IGFs to promote regional events for multi-stakeholder engagement

Leadership development programme in multi-stakeholder Internet governance.

 

Alain Aina

First of all thank you all for leading this process since the meeting in Dakar. The SWOT analysis and the Strategic matrix are well detailed and accurate. They show the issues and the challenges but also the opportunity Africa presents. May I sugest that:

1- For the projects, we try to establish what the African community(including various stakeholders) should do and should be the leads ?

I think this is important as the final objectives shall be local participation and ownership. We have local and regional organizations, govts, etc... doing stuffs or which can lead or take part of projects or activities to help meet the goals.

2- We clearly state what should change in the approach this time to make more impacts ( it is not clear in the SWOT analysis)?

Things have been done( for example: ICANN support to ccTLD, the debates on new gtld process and costs for developing countries, etc....), but we are still where we are which the SWOT analysis describes well "Treat AFRICA as a specific Internet Ecosystem": What to change from lessons learnt and what to do.

 

George Sadowsky

I'd like to make a number of points.

I agree with the objectives of the ASWG. While ICANN is not a development agency, what it does and how it does it clearly has an effect on development. Our most important goal -- without which no other makes any sense -- is the continued security and stability of the Internet. Within that goal, assistance efforts to developing regions is very important. This linkage should be exploited by the program in bringing significant additional technical and policy assistance to Africa.

While the working group is expected to complete its work by the Toronto meeting next month, I hope that there will be some continuation through an oversight/advisory group for the foreseeable future. IMO, ICANN would benefit from some continuing assessment and opinion regarding the success of whatever efforts are put into place. Changing circumstances imply that the program should evolve to best meet regional and national needs.

I think that your identification of your main stakeholders is correct. However, I'd push the interpretation a little further. In terms of long run public interest, eery potential registrant of a domain name is a stakeholder in what we do and how well we do it. In the long run, that will include the majority of Internet users, a very large stakeholder population indeed.

Your research questions are relevant. I would ground them in a larger setting of how the INternet and ICTs in general can be used to effectively further economic and social development in Africa, i.e. making the Internet and ICT the means, and the development goals the ends. I suspect that you are implicitly doing this in your thinking, but doing it explicitly allows you to identify overall needs and how the various organizations that have the capacity to help can do so, or might be approached to do so.

Your methodology and process seems straightforward, and I'd like to add a perspective. I was struck by how useful our one hour meeting was in Dakar between the Board and Adiel and Mouhamet. This was the first time in my ICANN experience that the Board listened to an informal presentation of regional needs by representatives of the region. The discussion was direct and informative, and dispelled some of the inaccurate perceptions that were held by some. I think that we need to have meetings like this periodically so that we stay informed of each others' option and that our decisions are made on the basis of hearing the real needs from the bottom up.

Your draft strategy matrix and SWOT analysis are very detailed, and I simply cannot type fast enough to record all of my reactions. I will say this: The strategy matrix is the key to your program, and I hope there's a lot of discussion about (and that I am part of that discussion). The SWOT analysis is most useful to those who do the analysis; reading it, I find myself nodding to almost all of it, but not getting excited about it -- whereas the strategy and proposed activities are things to get excited about. I hope that there will be discussion around it in Toronto and elsewhere.

There is one very important theme that I can sense that runs through the strategy. It is that this is a strategy designed from the bottom up, that reflects the real needs of the continent because it is written by people in the continent who are knowledgeable regarding their problems. Some of you know that I was against the JAS effort almost from the beginning, and your strategy document made me realize why that it was for the most part a top down program, with a domain name industry based for the most part in developed countries telling people in developing regions what would be good for them.

I'm not opposed to the growth of registries in developing countries, but as I argued when I voted against the new gTLD resolution in part because of the inclusion of the JAS program, developing regions need a balanced mix of assistance, not just new gTLDs. The people who supported the JAS program were surely well-meaning, but they were naïve, even those who had been involved in development. n contrast, the strategy that you are in the process of shaping will respond in that balanced way to needs, is likely to offer a number of ways in which sustainable progress will be made. In the long run, I am sure that there will be gTLD registries in Africa, and they will rely on a more sustainable base of both infrastructure and more widespread knowledge.

I enjoyed going through the facts and figures presentation. Some of you may know that John Mack and I tried to convince our National Science Foundation to fund a project in 2004-5 to extend broadband Internet2-style networking to Senegal and Ghana so that we could build research and education networks in those countries linking universities and research organizations. We were not able to convince them to approve the project, because one of the major costs was the SAT-3 circuit cost to Portugal, leaving insufficient funds for significant national build-outs. At the time SAT-3 was a monopoly and charged very high pries. I'm glad to see that the monopoly is broken and that there is now both significant competition in the submarine cable market as well as increasing interior penetration of capacity.

I hope that the above comments and reflections will be of use to you. There is a lot to be done. Your timeline is good as far as it goes,but the real work starts later. I wish you luck, and I hope to involve myself in ways that are helpful.

 

Katim S. Touray

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Gideon Rop

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Emmanuel Ogbodo

Having gone through ICANN srategy plan and the Strategy Matrix, I am quite in support of the current ICANN strategy for the development of framework for dotAfrica.

 

Meshack Emakunat Oriama Bertrand de la Chapelle argues in his paper “Principles and Challenges of an Innovative Political Paradigm” that features in the co:llaboratory discussion paper MIND, that1 the recent way of governance is through the Westphalian model whereby policy making is conducted on the basis of a fundamental distinction between state regulated activities inside national borders on the one hand and on the other hand trans border interaction governed by international arrangements negotiated between governments only. In my view the ICANN for Africa can have a political paradigm shift in the governance of the internet through having centralized governance for the internet affairs of Africa. The launch of the AFRICAN Internet Governance Forum in Cairo 3rd and 4th October may serve as an indicator that Africa is off the idea for centralized governance rather than having sub regional forums that discuss policies that are border limited. On the other hand cooperation between the IGF’s especially the upcoming African IGF and the ICANN should work hand in hand and hence through this cooperation the AFIGF will get a way of authority through the ICANN since it is argued that the IGF’s is a non decision making mechanism (Waudo Siganga in his response Bertrand’s paper in MIND series no. 1). The ICANN can benefit from such a relationship since the IGF’s have a well established network in the sub regional Africa. Through this the ICANN can benefit from the relationship through capacity building program.

Arguing on the basis of participation, the historical disinclination of private sector players to participate in public policy formulation needs to be considered. Dr Waudo Siganga argues that bringing such players to participate will require a culture shift and in my own view this is shifting from a principle of representation to principle of participation and constituencies were the most common representatives are from the governments and very little from the private sector. Therefore through the participation of Africans in ICANN (IGF’s) constituencies meeting and stepping up outreach programs in the continent will create the much needed awareness among the technical and business people in Africa. Although to achieve this the organization will have to show reason for participation of the private sector especially the SME’s who are the major contributor to the gross domestic product of any particular economy in Africa i.e. the SME’s is one of the key economic driver in Africa, through the provision of employment and market for locally produced goods and utilization of information communication technology (ict). It was recently reportedthat the economies of sub Saharan African countries wee experiencing the best period of sustained growth in Africa since their independence . A contributing factor to this growth lies in information communication technology (ICT) so argues Daryl Blundell of the sage pastel international. Africa was rated fourth for broadband expansion, ahead of Latin America and Asia Pacific, among six regions that were sampled by the economist’s intelligence unit in 2007. We can only positively guess the growth that Africa has had since 2007. The African connectivity landmarks2 has fundamental changed over the past 10 years with over 3000% users growth with 1000% internet users growth in 4 years, over 500% IPV4 address distributed200% growth in gTLD and ccTLD registration. It’s not just big business that’s driving the growth-a new generation of free- thinking 3African entrepreneurs is taking the lead. (It’s clear that the desire is to get ahead and compete, not only in Africa but also in the global economy add to this the increasing requirements for all businesses, including SME’s to be complaint with new financial regulations and with corporate governance). Hence the evolvement issue of mobile banking in africa-most Africans do not have credit card and therefore m banking has made it possible to access services similar to PayPal on the internet. Through IGF’s and the ICANN working hand in hand in Africa will and address the policies proposed through the regional IGFs in the continent then encourage or facilitate the establishment of active sub regional IGF hubs where ICANN and IGF involves the business community from a grass root level and build capacity from a ICT consumer level rather than from a provider level. This will also address the economic development of African region in a more devolved way i.e.:

Through suggesting homegrown solutions to African reality and issues as they may rise within ICANN processes.

Development of a permanent communication platform on ICANN policies with Africans.

Present ICANN to African governments and more particularly business and hence participate effectively in all ICANN constituencies working groups and contribute to the work of ICANN.

WSIS in Tunis in November 2005 defines the IG as the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms rules, decision making procedures and programs that shape the evolution and use of the internet new approach to policy making for a global community of billions of people: a political paradigm shift known as multi-stakeholder governance. The idea of ICANN setting up camp I a particular African country is not of the for the best considering that the African continent is on the ICT revolution and that therefore every country would want to have this camp set up in their backyard. ICANN can still utilize the positive relationship it has with the regional IGF’s and use these forums to conduct its affairs in Africa.

 

1 MIND Multistakeholder Internet Dialog, Co:llaboratory Discussion Paper Series No. 1, a publication by the Internet & Society Co:llaboratory

2 Adiel .A. Akplogan CEO, Afrinic ICANN ASWG retreat, Mauritius, 27 August 2012,Fact about Africa in relation with ICANN mission.

3 Daryl Blundell, September 2009, Africa continent of opportunity, not despair, The Accountant Journal of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya ,Nairobi Kenya, Institute of Certified Public Accountants Kenya p23