* Original to aig ([log in to unmask]) Enter * Dated <Wed 10 Apr 96 03:48>
from area 'NetMail - The Matrix (Private Messages)'
* Forwarded by ada (5:7751/1.1)
Below is the first posting.
Dear "INET'95 African Meeting Participant",
Accept Season's Greetings from Cameroon.
Today is December 29, 1995. It is exactly six months since we met in Honolulu,
to discuss on African Internet Connectivity. I am writing this message because
I believe that there exists a deadlock concerning the larger issue of
African connectivity, as was expressed at a number of informal meetings at
INET '95, and OTHER efforts preceeding.
Reading my message, you would identify yourself to one of three categories:
Disagree, Agree and Donot know/Don't Care
To the recipients of the first category:
I am mistaken; you had previously agreed/committed to follow through on
actions that were placed forward for the general interest. YOU HAVE DONE SO.
Everything is going on as expected BUT I am not informed. Therefore, an update
from you would make the difference; as many others who could contribute to
expedite the process may not be informed as well; and activities are not
To recipients of the second category (where I belong):
I am not miskaten; this is the bitter truth about the reality, which many
would not like to admit. Definitely, you are not willing to have this
deadlock continue. PURSUING THIS MATTER NOW is very imperative as the
is being LEFT BEHIND on a daily basis; as Technology and technology related
advances are expediting developments in this arena at a MUCH FASTER rate
elsewhere. Therefore, suggestions from you would help us out of the deadlock.
To the recipients of the third category:
You might probably think you need to sit on the fence and wait to see what
happens -- I must suggest you get off the fence now. If you had previously
agreed/committed to follow through on actions that were placed forward, and
have then NOT done so, if you are capable of doing something for the larger
issue of emerging African connectivity, but are NOT doing it, there is greater
harm in this behaviour than any other. This holds back progress and degrades
the work that others are attempting to do. So, your decision to sit on the
fence - so to speak, needs to be explained if you could. So, please state your
reasons. They could be illuminating to others.
During INET'95, many of us interested in African Connectivity "INET'95 African
Meeting Participant" (INET95AMP) met in a number of informal meetings to
exchange ideas and discuss ways on how the process can be best achieved.
African Meeting Participants (AMP) at various conferences prior to INET'95 had
in one way or the other manifested the same feelings and desire.
The last two international conferences which I attended: Telematics Symposium
in Addis Ababa (April 1995) and Internet Society Conference in Honolulu (June
1995) did play a major role in our pursuit for African Connectivity.
The Addis Meeting came up with a declaration, in which one of the major points
made was a call to funders, urging them to fund projects collectively and not
in isolation. The Honolulu Meetings formerly brought together for the first
time two parties concerned: Funders of African Connectivity Projects (FACP)
the African Internet Service Providers (AISP).
As of INET'95, the FACP were already operating under a formalized structure
known as the "Africa Internet Forum" (AIF).
AISP on the other hand had no formal structure. In Honolulu, prior to the
two meetings bringing together the INET95AMP, the AISP met on two occasions,
and decided to create a group. An interim committee, (see list of members
below) charged with formalizing the group, amongst many things was formed.
interim committee subsequently proposed the name "Africa Internet Group" (AIG)
List of AIG interim committee members:
Chairman (Spokes Man) : Shem Ochuodho
Vice Chairman : Nashwa Abdel-Baki
Secretary : Derek Ajesam Asoh
Vice Secretary : Chris Kalyamba
Treasurer/Marketing : Thomas Musa
Vice Treasurer/Marketing : Iyabo Odusote
GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY TO AFRICA IN DEADLOCK
Never has there been so much interest and attention given to African
Connectivity as was at Honolulu. Besides members of AIG and AIF, present were
also many well-wishers. Together, 58 people participated in at least one of
the meetings. Discussions were open and intensive; and most people left with
lots of hopes concerning the larger issue of emerging Africa Connectivity. It
was evident that participants would not have to wait for future conferences in
order to pursue the ideas discussed.
Six months later, as a participant in all the informal meetings, I believe
there is a deadlock, concerning the larger issue of emerging African
Connectivity, which can be qualified by the following events/facts or trends,
which so far have occured after INET'95:
1. The AIF released a Policy Statement, through Robert Schware.
2. The AIG released a Proposal for African Connectivity, through Shem
3. After the AIF release and the AIG Proposal, there is no clear strategy of
advancing the pursuit for Continental Connectivity. There is no indication
of any communication between AIG and AIF.
4. A ListServ was also set-up for AIG, but was short-lived.
5. Connectivity Trend: A few countries have achieved full Internet
Connectivity, following INET'95. There is no indication of whether this is
being done with a global view of an inter-country connectivity or not.
Consequently, it would seem the process is that of rivalry between
countries, rather than collaboration. If the former is the case, then
continental connectivity will NOT be a reality in the nearest future.
If it's the latter case, then it would be timely, if everyone knew who
is collaborating with who; and what are the basis for such collaborations,
so that those unconnected could take advantage of the experience gained by
those connected, instead of trying to invent the wheel.
6. There is no communication between the members of AIG, particularly the
interim committee members on matters of global interest. Through the
meetings at INET '95, and the subsequent formation of AIG, the wish to
initiate, maintain and flourish communication amongst participants, has
If as a member of the AIG interim committee, I am not able to say exactly
where we are in terms of interaction with AIF and other bodies, and
Continental Connectivity, then I think the situation may be worst for some
one not in the committee, and the question on the MANDATE of AIG must be
answered right now.
7. Evidently, we'll be looking forward for new conferences, where we'll gather
to talk again (the same old story, as some one, already dissapointed with
similar actions in the past remarked to me in Honolulu) for individualistic
interests but keep saying we are out for the Pan African Interest. This is
is an endless loop, which I call the DEADLOCK.
8. Respectful an INET'95 AMP as you are, you would understand I am not writing
this message because I have nothing to do. But rather because I know
CONTINENTAL connectivity cannot arise from SILENCE/INACTIVITY or
PARTIAL/SELECTIVE ACTIVITY and that it can only come through from within,
and through collective action.
9. This message is not intended to offend or ridicule anyone; and
consequently, your input is highly appreciated, even if you do not fall in
any of the three categories mentioned above.
I wish you and every member of your family a very Happy and Joyful New Year
Derek Ajesam Asoh
HealthNet/CamFido/RIO Networks Yaounde, CAMEROON.