home Uncategorized Chairman of ICANN Africa Strategy caught heckling DotConnectAfrica to withdraw its bid

Chairman of ICANN Africa Strategy caught heckling DotConnectAfrica to withdraw its bid

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When I first read DomainIncite’s blog titled .africa applicant caught using fake identity which some list members were referring to event as  a high class gossip, I got curious to click on the links his blog cited, and was unbelievably surprised to read one of the the most active assault and hackling on DCA and its Principal was coming from Nii Quaynor.  Notably a respected leader of the current ICANN Africa Strategy Chairman “appointed by his community“, according to a recent press release by ICANN.  Nii Quaynor was also Vice Chair of the African Union Dotafrica Task Force and associated with registering the dotafrica.org project, which domain now points to africaonespace, certainly no less conflicted with .africa issues, than other members of the ICANN Strategy Group in the Uniforum bid to ICANN, named under the africaonespace url.

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Undoubtedly, Nii’s active interest and influence on the whole .africa project can be established by his early support to his own project and as member of the AU Task Force when he used his influence with his Minister to endorse AFTLD, also as a member of AFTLD which was interested in a bid for .africa at the time, despite Quaynor’s claim to the contrary on his ICANN Wiki.  His actions, reasonably enough to cause an upheaval of another competitor’s participation in .africa  for which reason DCA endorced by the African Union at the time run a No to Nii Quaynor Campaign.

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Few months later after his appointment, the Chair of ICANN Strategy Group is still heckling DCA to withdraw its bid in a public forum such as AfriICANN dominated by the African ccTLD communities and recently regular supporters of Uniforum.

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The rest of his commentaries on the list if backread, with due respect cannot really be attributed to that of a leader or consensus builder by any margin.  I can only relate  this to his partisan position, however simply his engagement has no decorum or an appropriate code of conduct and so the rest of the list.  I am glad I am not alone in expressing this.  DomainIncite  above has already noted that.   The bigger question I have is NOT why Nii was selected by his community to a position that would compromise DCA’s bid continually – as that is what the community that elected him wants, but why ICANN has promoted his position as  “Leader”  representing Internet community, yet the conflict of interest of Quaynor continuously evidenced by his actions as assaulting and heckling yet another bidder.

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DotConnectAfrica has written various communiqués to the ICANN expressing concerns on  lack of transparency of the formation of this ICANN Africa Strategy and the possible conflicts of interest and bias towards its .africa bid,  stating “ICANN should not be seen as promoting one bidder group over another”.  The letter went on to say “The publicity provides for unbalanced and unfair action by ICANN to the bidding and the members that support it.”

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Members of DotConnectAfrica seem to have been long and active members of the ICANN community with substantial contributions in support of the ICANN gTLD program and the multi-stakeholder framework of ICANN, since the program started.   Some members have  their also expressed their grievances of this lack of inclusion, in the ICANN Africa Strategy publicly as well as DCA urging ICANN to uphold its multi-stakeholder model at the  public forum in ICANN Toronto.

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It is interesting to compare in a recent announcements,  Fadi, CEO of ICANN stated the qualities of leadership he expected at ICANN.  Baril will serve as a neutral chair of the working group. He has no direct professional involvement in domain name services, and brings extensive business, standard setting and consensus building experience to this role . “Jean-Francois’ abilities to bring together stakeholders representing divergent interests to find common ground are unparalleled,” and there is more info on what ICANN’s leadership selection criteria on its site.

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It is therefore for this reason that I continue to highlight to ICANN to take heed on what Africa and Africans are doing.   ICANN should not keep shooting its foot with the African grouping that is conflicted or exclude representation of divergent interest.   This is an indicator to Africa watchers that ICANN does not care about African publics, rather is allowing itself to be hijacked by a self-selected special interest grouping, who are acting as mouth piece for ICANN Africa.  This will compromise ICANN’s accountability and  transparency, this its credibility.

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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