Some comments inline.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeffrey Cochrane <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2000 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: ccTLDs: What role for African governments?
> Greetings Afrik-ITes!
> Eberhard Lisse writes from Namibia:
> > It is outright WRONG to involve ANY government in the
> > running of the Internet. Look at the PTTs. And
> > liberalization thereof.
> That is certainly a clear and unequivocal view. Is this a
> majority view in Africa?
This is more an issue for the local Internet community to determine by
consensus. Governments are a stakeholder and are expected to be active
participants but not as an operators or those running the Internet. There
are other stakeholders as well.
> > GAC doesn´t matter.
> Perhaps GAC does not matter, as Dr. Lisse suggests,
> but do Nii Quaynor and Calvin Browne (both nominees for
> the Africa seats on ICANN) believe this?
In Nii's response he states that Governments are important enablers in
developing countries and those influences should be exploited in building
the African institutions. GAC's view matters in the operation of ccTLD
registry but not necessarily by running services on the Internet.
> In response to the question of roles for governments,
> neither Nii nor Calvin address the endorsement by GAC
> that governments should control the assignment of ccTLD
> administration. (Alan Levin, the third nominee from
> Africa, did not reply to the question.)
The GAC communique does not say exactly that. This is what the GAC
"With regard to principles for the delegation of management for country code
top level domains:
1. The GAC reaffirmed its May resolution that the Internet naming system is
a public resource and that the management of a TLD Registry must be in the
2. Accordingly, the GAC considers that no private intellectual or other
property rights inhere to the TLD itself nor accrue to the delegated manager
of the TLD as the result of such delegation.
3. The GAC also reaffirmed that the delegation of a ccTLD Registry is
subject to the ultimate authority of the relevant public authority or
government. The GAC discussed the development of best practices for the
administration of ccTLDs and agreed to continue this discussion. "
Notice that GAC is committed to continued discussion of the best practices
for the administration of ccTLDs. The GAC and the ccTLD community are
working together to create the "Best Practices and Re-delegation Guidelines"
and we should support the on-going consensus process. Currently, the GAC and
the ccTLD constituency have different proposals under discussion. In short
the jury is still out and we should remain open, agile and work for
consensus. The most important thing to remember is that the stability of the
Internet is paramount and hence do not support any policy or program that
may lead to instability of the Internet eg. the disappearance of ccTLD
domain name space from the Internet.
> Yet both Nii and Calvin point to the GAC as the forum for
> governments. (And Alan remains silent.) The position of
> Africa on this issue thus remains unclear, at least to me.
> One of these three gentlemen will be elected on October
> 10 as Africa's at-large delegate to ICANN.
Governments, members of GAC, are partners in the definition of the Local
> Are you one of the 321 people who will determine the
> Africa winner? Will you be voting?
> As a matter of related interest, Nii and Alan were named
> by the ICANN nominating committee to be on the ballot.
> Calvin was named by 51 of the 321 at-large African
> members themselves (like a floor nomination).
> Calvin administers the commercial domain name space
> for South Africa. Alan cofounded the Telkom South
> Africa owned ISP Intekom. Nii is an ISP owner and a
> member of government regulatory boards in Ghana. You
> can find all this information and more on the ICANN Web
> site http://members.icann.org
> On this subject I did write a question to my own (North
> American) region's candidates for at-large positions with
> ICANN. You may find their answers informative. See
> Jeff @ Nairobi