During the just ended ICANN 50 meeting in London, several domain issues came to the fore. Hot in the heels of a disappointed .Wine opposers about how ICANN managed the decisions of the domain with the EU and specifically France showing the deep disappointment with ICANN.
The .africa delay was also part of the GAC meetings as well as the Public Forum. Recently in what seem like a preparation for the ICANN 50, AUC’s Dr. Elham had written a letter demanding to know why ICANN was delaying the delegation of .africa to ZACR. This especially comes after ICANN tied its hands by signing a contract with ZACR before the independent review process filed by DCA determines the concerns why DotConnectAfrica’s applications did not finalize its application.
An AUC rep’s embarrassing demands about a speedy (almost dismissive) conclusion betrayed the tyrannical nature that is non-multistakeholder. The Rep said
“ But I think it is time for me to express also the African and African Union Commission’s frustration with regard to the domain name .AFRICA. And then we get into this process which we haven’t understood yet and would love to understand. But what I would like to see here is the accreditation of .AFRICA was based on a decision of the board following a recommendation from the GAC”
It is to be noted that the GAC has been called a corrupt arm of ICANN where conflict of interest is rife, the Rep continued that
“Is the IRP something reviewing the bylaws of ICANN, or will they be ‐‐ is it something a big brother watching the board, what they are doing? We so far don’t understand….But let me tell you something about people, frustration. When they don’t understand what is going on, that most of the time leads them to do something or to take positions because, simply, they don’t understand what’s going on….The issue of .AFRICA is making Africans so frustrated that at any point of time any decision for the further that would be taken or anything else could be ‐‐ could not get the African support.”
Even the arch opponent of DCA, and close observer of ICANN process Kevin Murphy tweeted in a surprise note on AUC’s complaint on the IRP, noting…
African Union complaint about .africa IRP is going to take the gloss off of any accountability discussion in this session. #ICANN50
— Kevin Murphy (@DomainIncite) June 24, 2014
Africa Union Commission went ahead to appoint Uniforum without properly advising governments on ICANN’s processes, the reason could be shrouded in the fast manner to which a few interested persons lobbied within themselves without asking for the multistakeholder model to be used, this therefore did not give African’s an adequate time to question the AUC RFP process.
Its clear that its coming to an inflection point, a time of reckoning when AUC is seeking the right answers when it stifled the opportunity to do so by allowing fair competition for .africa.
“And I’m assuring you that many other institutions outside are waiting for this frustration to be used for something else. And we don’t like to have Africa being used by other institutions. We as a government most of the time we feel very comfortable in something ‐‐ governments wanted sit in a place where they have a voice, where they have their flags, where they can vote, where they can veto…”
…said the Rep without remorse that as much as governments want to veto, this should be an Africa resource that cannot be under government control.
Such demands and threats show the way AUC would treat the .africa resource and it’s a wakeup call to the fact that Governments should not be allowed to manage the domain resources for the public, especially how the AU has handled the .africa decisions in the past, including blocking the Competition’s presence to speak at an ITU organized meeting in Addis Ababa.
It will be very embarrassing to show ignorance of ICANN procedures when initially there was no regard in following the stipulations of the Applicant Guide Book.