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27 May 2020


13Y, 0A, 0N

AFRALO statement

Note: The AFRALO Leadership Team has also ratified the statement.

01 May 2020

26 May 2020

01 June 2020

04 June 2020

27 May 2020


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See 25 May Google Doc of AFRALO Statement (copied below as text)

See 01 May Google Doc of AFRALO Statement (comment only)

AFRALO Statement on ICANN Africa Regional Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025



We, members of the African Regional At-Large Organisation (AFRALO) community have been closely following the development of the plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025. First, we would like to commend all those that worked  on  the development of the draft, especially the 25 individuals member of the African Strategy Working Group (ASWG) 2020 and ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) team for Africa. The regional strategic plan development which was initiated by the GSE team from our region has become a standard that is applied in other regions and we are particularly happy to note that this has brought about improved visibility within our region and more importantly we are happy to be part of the development as a community. In view of this, we would like to present the following views about the draft proposal on ICANN Africa Regional Plan for the Fiscal Years 2021-2025 that is currently up for public comment, with the hope that they will be considered when finalising the draft plan:

  1. Security: - It has been predicted that the next generation of Internet users will be from developing economies, many of which are in the African region. It is, therefore, important to continue to promote open Internet standards and we are glad to see that this has been included. However, we hope that this will not just be limited to the Internet engineering standards but also to other efforts that contribute to free and open Internet such as the open data, open government, etc. We believe that ICANN can contribute towards this while staying within its  mission.

  1. ICANN Governance: A true multi-stakeholder environment can be achieved when there is equal opportunity to participate. However, we recognise the challenge that it may not be possible to fully achieve this but we are happy that there is a plan to further bridge the gap. In implementation of the goals stated in section 3.2.2 of the draft plan, we once again offer to the GSE team AFRALO membership, which consists of At-Large Structures (ALSes) and individual members spread across the continent who can serve as a resource towards improving ICANN governance through community engagements within their communities. We encourage the GSE team to continue to leverage upon the existing resources within the ICANN community who are in our region whenever a need presents itself. ICANN meetings have only held in  3 countries in the entire continent of over 50 countries, yet the benefit of hosting such meetings in mutual; in order to improve participation, we encourage the GSE team to look into how they can realistically support other countries who express interest to host such meetings to become a reality.

  1. Unique Identifiers System: As has been rightly noted, a significant number of upcoming Internet users will be from Africa,with an increased need to rely on the Internet for daily sustenance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important to actively ramp up efforts on improving the unique identifiers system. We appreciate the regional goals enumerated in the plan which already cover areas of importance but we would suggest that this particular objective be prioritized as it will be more required than ever going forward.

  1. Geopolitics:  As we know, there have been cases of partial or total Internet shutdowns in certain parts of the region and this has negative impacts on the entire economy, including the Domain Name System (DNS). While we understand that this is outside ICANN mandate and  do not encourage ICANN to be involved in country government decision making, we encourage ICANN to use the existing governmental platforms (some of which have been listed in the plan) to create awareness and education with the goal of reducing such occurrences. We, therefore, support and look forward to the outcomes listed in the plan.

  1. Financials: We observed that increasing the number of registrars/registries within the region is no longer on the plan, while this was the case in previous plans. We, however, believe that this is still work in progress and should continue to be in the plan to better improve the DNS economy and business within the region.

In addition to the comments above, we suggest that the 5 overall strategic objectives be assigned weighted priority and expected timelines to enable proper understanding of the focus and better tracking.

Finally, we would like to inform you that the AFRALO/APRALO collaborated to respond to the public comment request on Middle East and Adjoining Countries (MEAC) Strategy 2021-2025. We suggest that there is continued coordination between the team and sync among the strategies.


  1. I volunteer to work on this Statement. 

    Having interacted with both Seun and Raymond, I wish to observe as follows.

    As cyber threats multiply, efforts to establish international norms for cyber activity have created a disjointed ecosystem. Is the fragmentation being rapidly caused by gTLDs a cause for concern or an opportunity for "Geopolitics"?

    1. Hi Gopal, please feel free to contribute directly into the document here.