Africa Strategy Review Team in Mauritius
On November 22, the ICANN Africa team travelled to Ebene, Mauritius, the home of AFRINIC to participate in the 21st AFRINIC meeting as well as the 2nd Africa School of Internet Governance (AfriSIG 2014) jointly organized by NEPAD and APC.
Indeed it was an incredible experience especially with AFRINIC celebrating 10 years of existence while looking ahead to a new era of opportunities and bidding farewell to the founding CEO – Adiel Akplogan. Though the Africa strategy review took particular focus, the week saw the team busy organizing and participating in meetings and two key panels, including a tour of the AFRINIC offices.
Africa Strategic plan ver 2.0
Last month, we brought to your attention the need to review the current Africa Strategy to make it more responsive to Africa's needs as per feedback from the community. During this trip we did just that
The Africa Strategy Review team, composed of representatives from SO / AC leaders, AFTLD, AFRALO, AFICTA, AFRINIC, NEPAD, GAC, African Registrars Association, AU and others – nominated based on their personal experiences, convened in Mauritius on November 24 – 25, 2014 alongside the AFRINIC 21 meeting.
A revised document, ICANN Africa Strategy Ver 2.0 2016 – 2020, resulted, which will be shared amongst the African community for additional input before the final Strategy is released during the first quarter of 2015.
Identified also, was the need for the establishment of an independent steering committee, to work closely with ICANN staff in supporting and monitoring the implementation of the strategic plan.
Moderated by Dr. Nii Quaynor the panel comprised of ICANN's Pierre Dandjinou, Bob Ochieng, Yaovi Atohoun and AFRALO's Tijani Ben Jeema and Aziz Hilali. The Panel discussed the key focus areas of ICANN in Africa, from the Africa Strategy Review to the new gTLDS. Good discussions resulted, including the relevance of the new gTLDs for Africa, the dotAfrica delegation status, the prohibitive prices for African ccTLDs compared to gTLDs as well as low African participation in ICANN tech days.
IANA oversight Transition Panel
Generating as much debate and interest, panelists included Mouhamet Diop, Seun Ojedeji (CRISP – Africa Region), Paul Rendek, Elise Gerich (ICANN), Dr Nii Quaynor, Andres Piazza, Daniel Karrenberg. Moderating the session, Adiel Akplogan started with a brief presentation on the background of the IANA functions and the status of the African Region Number Community process (CRISP)
The rich experience and mix of panelists was reflected on the quality of debate that followed. Elise while encouraging and appreciating the collaborative model displayed by the African community in an effort to come up with a proposal to the ICG was keen to point out that the NTIA has never interfered in the operational work of IANA and referred the audience to IANA's reports. Overall, panelists agreed on the need for more aggressive and sustained awareness efforts by all stakeholders including ICANN to ensure proper understanding of the IANA functions especially by governments.
Participants also noted the critical need for the Names and Numbers communities to work closely with the Protocol community as they developed their responses to the ICG since protocols actually determine how names and numbers are administered.
Africa School of Internet Governance
During our trip, we also participated in the second Africa School of Internet Governance (AfriSIG2014), building on its success in Durban last year. The event attracted over 40 participants selected from across Africa, most new to the Africa Internet Governance-specific debates, and very eager to learn.
The team also visited Mauritius Telecom, who are currently processing their L-Root hosting request
Overall, this has been a very successful trip on all fronts for ICANN's continuous engagement with the continent.
VP, Stakeholder Engagement, Africa