The AFRINIC Governance Committee was constituted for the first time following an election that took place on 30th November 2016 during the AFRINIC-25 meeting.
The GovCom’s role is to advise the AFRINIC Board, AFRINIC Membership, and the community, on matters of governance and consists of two (2) members appointed by the Board, three (3) members elected by AFRINIC Membership, one Board member (non-voting) appointed by the Board as a liaison, the AFRINIC legal adviser (non-voting) and one or more members from the Secretariat (non-voting).
The GovCom also maintains:
|Members||Country & Sub-Region||Tenure||Duration|
|Isatou Jah (elected by AFRINIC membership)||The Gambia, Western Africa||3 years||January 2017 – December 2019|
|Wafa Dahmani (elected by AFRINIC membership)||Tunisia, Northern Africa||2 years||January 2017 - December 2018|
|Abdalla Omari (elected by AFRINIC membership)||Kenya, Eastern Africa||3 year||January 2018 - December 2020|
|Mike Silber (appointed by the AFRINIC Board)||South Africa, Southern Africa||2 years||January 2017 - December 2018|
|Zeimm Auladin-Suhootoorah (appointed by the AFRINIC Board)||Mauritius, the Indian Ocean||2 year||January 2018 - December 2019|
|Seun Ojedeji (Board liaison)||1 year||January 2018 - December 2018|
|Ashok Radhakissoon ( Legal Adviser)|
|Guylaine Laiyra (Secretariat)|
These guidelines provide the ways and means which the GovCom shall follow/adopt in the furtherance of its mandate as defined in its terms of reference.
These guidelines shall at all times be applied in full and strict compliance with the principles laid down in Clause (2) of the Terms of Reference.
(B) Advisory Role of the GovCom
- The GovCom shall provide advice either when such advice is sought or when it decides to tender such advice Proprio Motu.
- Request for advice shall be made by any person or only specific people/groups of people in writing and submitted to the secretary of the GovCom by any written means but preferably by e-mail.
- Request for advice shall be precise, brief and adequately well referenced having regard to any document cited or data submitted.
- Request for advice may be submitted in English, French or Arabic. Submissions in any other language must be accompanied by an appropriate translation into one of the above languages. In the event of multiple language submissions, the submitted documents must indicate which version is definitive.
- Advice tendered by the GovCom shall be non-binding and shall represent the views of the GovCom and not that of any individual member of the GovCom. However individual GovCom members may elect to have any dissenting opinions included in the advice.
- The GovCom may provide clarification regarding a specific advice tendered upon request.
(C) Communication by the GovCom
In the furtherance of its mandate the GovCom may request information and documentation:
- Where such information and documentation is/are in the custody of AFRINIC, by submitting such request to the CEO of AFRINIC.
- Directly from any individual/institution/ organization who/which; including (without limitation):
- members of AFRINIC;
- users of INRs
- members and former members of the AFRINIC
- other RIRs
- Are an organisations/institutions interested/concerned with the use/management/governance of INRs; or
- AFRINIC committees
- If the information requested is confidential to a requestor or provider, the GovCom shall preserve the confidential nature of such information and, to the extent applicable, shall abide by all privacy, confidentiality and data protection obligations in terms of the laws of the Republic of Mauritius.
- Confidential information/data must be clearly labelled or indicated as such.
(D) The scope of the Advisory Role of GovCom
Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (3) of the GovCom ‘s Terms of Reference, the following issues may be included in the scope of the GovCom’s advisory mandate.
- Adherence by the AFRINIC members and their representatives to the AFRINIC Code of Conduct- in meetings/on the mailing lists or otherwise;
- Assessing the status and effectiveness of communication between the AFRINIC Board and Community.
(E) Responding to Request for Advice.
Requests for advice made in terms of clause (B) of the Terms of Reference:
- Shall be acknowledged within 3 working days from the date of submission:
- Shall be responded to within six weeks of the date of submission.
- Where the GovCom is of the opinion that the advice sought requires further probing and /or consultation/ or may require clarification, it shall so advise the requestor for advice:
- The GovCom shall establish, maintain and publish a register where requests for advice shall be serially recorded; and
- The register shall include a field where the outcome of such request is recorded, together with a link to any published version of the advice given.
(F) Information Gathering
The GovCom shall
- Request for information via the mailing list request from AFRINIC, and/or AFRINIC related committees or the community for the communication of information which it believes are relevant to its activities.
- Expect that information which it has requested from a particular body shall be furnished within two weeks following the date of such request.
- In the event that information requested for is of a confidential nature, the GovCom warrants here that it shall preserve the confidential nature of such information and further that it binds itself to abide by all privacy, confidentiality and data protection legislation of the Republic of Mauritius.
- Not included in any of its communication to the community information which it has received in confidence.
- Require of any party, communicating confidential information/data to it to clearly label such information and data as confidential.
(G) Decision-Making Process
The decision-making process adopted by the GovCom shall always be subjected to clause 7 of the terms of reference. In addition, thereto the GovCom shall adopt the following process to ensure effective delivery on its mandate.
- GovCom members shall be given at least one full week notice of a meeting of the committee.
- The agenda for any meeting shall as far as is reasonably possible accompany the notice of the meeting.
- Minutes of an earlier meeting shall be circulated within 7 days of the previous meeting to remain relevant.
- Corrections and amendments from members shall be submitted to the Secretary at least 24 hours before a scheduled meeting.
- Minutes of meetings once approved, shall be communicated to the community.
Version 3.1 ‐ 5 September 2016
A Governance Committee was proposed by the AFRINIC community in 2014, and the call was reiterated at the AFRINIC-22 meeting in Tunisia in May 2015. The Board is creating this Governance Committee in response to the community request.
The AFRINIC Governance Committee is a standing committee whose purpose is to advise the AFRINIC Board, AFRINIC Membership, and the community, on matters of governance.
The Governance Committee should operate according to the following principles. Any ambiguity elsewhere in these Terms of Reference shall be resolved in favour of these principles.
2.1. The Governance Committee is intended to provide nonbinding advice, not to take any more direct action.
2.2. The Governance Committee may perform ancillary actions, such as obtaining input, engaging in discussions, reporting on its work, and conveying advice to the intended target.
2.3. The Governance Committee should not interfere in the detailed work or proceedings within any AFRINIC related committee or other bodies, although it may provide general advice about the activities of such a body.
2.4. The Governance Committee shall transparently carry out its activities, in consultation with the community whenever appropriate.
3.1. Matters on which the Governance Committee may provide advice include, but are not limited to:
3.1.1. The legal framework of AFRINIC, including the place and manner of company registration;
3.1.2. Bylaws of the company;
3.1.3. The election process for Board members, including eligibility requirements, nomination process, and voting process, but excluding the proceedings within any nomination committee, election committee, or similar body;
3.1.4. Election or appointment process for persons appointed by the AFRINIC community, Membership, or Board, to any committees or other bodies, but excluding the internal proceedings within any nomination committee, election committee, or similar body;
3.1.5. Creation, removal, and terms of reference, of any AFRINIC related bodies, including the Governance Committee itself, but excluding the Board, and excluding any bodies that are outside the Governance Committee’s scope;
3.1.6. The general performance of the Board or any AFRINIC related body;
3.1.7. Any matter referred to the Governance Committee by the CEO or the Board.
3.2. The following matters are explicitly out of the scope of the Governance Committee:
3.2.1. Development of policies for number resource allocation, because that is dealt with by the community under the AFRINIC Policy Development Process;
3.2.2. Specific internal proceedings within the Board or within any AFRINIC related body;
3.2.3. Any matter relating to staff or operations, unless such matter is referred to the Governance Committee in terms of section 3.1.7.
4.1. The chief duty and power of the Governance Committee shall be to advise the Board, the Membership, or the community, on any matters within its scope.
4.2. Advice from the Governance Committee shall be nonbinding, but shall be duly considered by the Board, the Membership, or the community, as the case may be.
4.2.1. The Governance Committee may provide formal advice to the Board, in any reasonable form; the Board shall timeously consider the advice, and if the Board chooses not to follow the advice, then the Board shall be obliged to publish reasons for its decision.
4.2.2. The Governance Committee may provide formal advice to AFRINIC Membership in the form of public statements, or in the form of proposed resolutions; the Members may vote to accept or reject any such resolution, in the same way as they vote on other resolutions.
4.2.3. The Governance Committee may provide formal advice as input to any community process; the community is expected to consider such advice in the same way as it considers advice from other sources.
4.3. The Governance Committee may request any qualified person to forward any formal advice on its behalf, including in cases where the Bylaws or any other procedure appears to prevent the Governance Committee from providing advice directly.
4.3.1. By way of example, if the Governance Committee wishes to propose a resolution in terms of section 4.2.2, but if the Bylaws require that resolutions be proposed by AFRINIC Members, then the Governance Committee may request an AFRINIC Member to propose the resolution.
4.4. The Governance Committee may gather information, consult the community, the Board, the CEO, or any AFRINIC related body, and consult external experts or advisors.
4.4.1. Other AFRINIC related bodies must respond in a reasonable time to any information requests from the Governance Committee.
The Governance Committee will consist of five (5) voting members, and two (2) nonvoting members, and will have a secretariat, as more fully described below.
5.1. Board appointed members:
5.1.1. The AFRINIC Board shall appoint two (2) members of the Governance Committee.
5.1.2. All of the Board appointed members shall have their principal place of residence in different subregions of the AFRINIC service region.
5.1.3. The Board appointed members shall ordinarily serve for terms of two (2) years in duration, which may be renewed any number of times.
5.1.4. Appointments shall be arranged in such a way that, ordinarily, one (1) of the two (2) Board appointed members are replaced or renewed every year.
5.1.5. Terms shall ordinarily begin on 1 January and end on 31 December.
5.1.6. As a transition measure, the first time there is an appointment, the two (2) Board appointed members shall have terms that expire in two (2) consecutive years.
5.1.7. None of the Board appointed members may be an AFRINIC Director, a member of the AFRINIC Council of Elders, or an AFRINIC employee.
5.1.8. Each of the Board appointed members shall have an equal vote.
5.2. Elected members:
5.2.1. The AFRINIC Membership shall elect three (3) members of the Governance Committee, using a procedure similar to that used for the election of Directors to the AFRINIC Board.
5.2.2. All of the elected members shall have their principal place of residence in different subregions of the AFRINIC service region.
5.2.3. The elected members shall ordinarily serve for terms of three (3) years in duration, which may be renewed any number of times.
5.2.4. Elections shall be arranged in such a way that, ordinarily, one (1) of the three (3) elected members is replaced or renewed every year.
5.2.5. Terms shall ordinarily begin on 1 January and end on 31 December.
5.2.6. As a transition measure, the first time there is an election, the three (3) elected members shall have terms that expire in three (3) consecutive years.
5.2.7. None of the elected members may be an AFRINIC Director or an AFRINIC employee.
5.2.8. Each of the elected members shall have an equal vote.
5.3. Board Liaisons:
5.3.1. The AFRINIC Board shall appoint one (1) member of the AFRINIC Board of Directors as a liaison to the Governance Committee. For the avoidance of doubt, the Board may appoint the CEO as the liaison.
5.3.2. The Board liaison shall serve for a term no longer than one (1) year in duration, which may be renewed any number of times.
5.3.3. The Board liaison shall have the right to participate in all matters but shall not have a vote.
5.3.4. The Board liaison shall report to the Board on all matters discussed by the Governance Committee.
5.4. Legal Adviser:
5.4.1. The AFRINIC Board shall appoint a Legal Adviser to the Governance Committee.
5.4.2. The Legal Adviser to the Governance Committee shall be a suitably qualified person who is engaged in providing regular legal advice to AFRINIC.
5.4.3. The Board shall review the appointment at least once per year, or whenever there are material changes to the way AFRINIC obtains legal advice.
5.4.4. The Legal Adviser shall have the right to participate in all matters but shall not have a vote.
5.5.1. The CEO shall appoint one or more persons as a secretariat to the Governance Committee.
5.5.2. The secretariat shall provide administrative assistance, but persons who are part of the Secretariat shall not be members of the Governance Committee.
Members of the Governance Committee shall serve on a voluntary basis, without remuneration, except that the Legal Adviser and Secretariat may be paid for their work.
7. Working methods
7.1. The Governance Committee shall meet via teleconference or in person at least four times per year.
7.2. The Governance Committee shall endeavour to make decisions by consensus, in preference to voting.
7.3. All voting members of the Governance Committee shall have equal votes in all matters.
7.4. Voting may be by secret ballot, roll call, or show of hands during a meeting, or by email or other electronic methods at any time.
7.4.1. The method of voting shall be at the discretion of the Chair or acting Chair, but any eligible voting member shall have the right to insist on a stronger method of voting. Show of hands shall be considered the weakest method, and secret ballot or its electronic equivalent shall be considered the strongest method.
7.5. The Governance Committee shall elect a Chair and ViceChair at the first meeting every year, or whenever there is a vacancy in those positions. They shall serve until the next election.
7.5.1. The Chair and ViceChair shall have their principal place of residence in different subregions of the AFRINIC service region.
7.6. The quorum for any meeting shall be fiftyone per cent (51%) of the voting members.
7.7. If the Chair is not present at a meeting, then the ViceChair shall serve as acting Chair for the meeting. If the ViceChair is also absent, then those members present may elect an acting Chair for the meeting.
7.8. If at any time there are fewer than four (4) voting members of the Governance Committee, then no formal advice may be given until such time as the number of voting members is increased to at least four (4).
7.9. Newlyappointed members whose terms have not yet begun may attend meetings, but they will have no vote.
7.10. The Governance Committee shall consult the community whenever this would be reasonable.
7.11. The Governance Committee shall duly consider any advice from the Legal Adviser.
7.12. The Governance Committee shall regularly inform the community of its activities, shall publish minutes of meetings, and shall promptly publish any formal advice as well as the reasons for the advice.
7.13. Members of the Governance Committee who have a conflict of interest, or who could reasonably be seen to have a conflict of interest, shall recuse themselves from voting on issues in conflict, and shall not be
counted in the number of eligible voting members for the purpose of such votes.
7.13.1. By way of example, any members of the Governance Committee who are also members of the Nomination Committee shall recuse themselves when the Governance Committee votes on advice relating to elections.
7.14. Formal advice from the Governance Committee should preferably be approved by perfect consensus, but may be approved by a vote in which there is at least sixtyfive percent (65%) approval, no more than
twenty percent (20%) dissent, and no more than thirty percent (30%) abstention or failure to vote.
7.14.1. These voting thresholds shall be calculated from the number of eligible voting members of the Governance Committee, which number shall exclude members who recuse themselves due to
conflict of interest but shall include members who are absent from a meeting.
7.14.2. By way of example, if there are five (5) eligible members of the Governance Committee, then there shall be at least four (4) YES votes (which is more than 65% of 5 members), no more than one (1) NO vote (which is exactly 20% of 5 members), and no more than one (1) abstention or failure to vote (which is less than 30% of 5 members).
7.15. In matters other than formal advice, actions of the Governance Committee may be approved by consensus or by simple majority vote.
8. Removal of members of the Governance Committee
Any member of the Governance Committee, including any liaison or nonvoting member, who is absent from two consecutive meetings without good cause, may be removed by the same body that appointed or elected that member or liaison, or by a vote of a two thirds (⅔) supermajority of other voting members of the Governance Committee.
9. Filling of casual vacancies
When a vacancy arises for any reason other than the ordinary expiry of a term, the same body that appointed or elected a member to the vacant position shall appoint or elect a replacement as soon as convenient. Such replacement member shall serve only until the end of the original term.
10. Dissolution of the Governance Committee
The Governance Committee may be dissolved by resolution of the Board, but only after an ordinary resolution of AFRINIC Membership at an Annual General Members’ Meeting requests the Board to take such action.
|Changes from V3 to V3.1
||5 September 2016|
|Version 3||12 May 2016|
|Changes from V2 to V3||12 May 2016|
|Version 2||24 November 2015|