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Assessment Due Date


Link to Trip Proposal
NPOC Trip Proposal 3

Trip Assessment Form

1) Describe the Trip in sufficient detail
that an interested reader could understand if/how
the original purpose(s) and outcome(s) were
realized (please be as expansive as possible):  

ICANN65 [CROP Funded Report]


Remmy Nweke

Lead Consulting Strategist, DigitalSENSE Africa Media

(ICANN certified At-Large Structure),

Vice President, African Civil Society on the Information Society (ACSIS)

Member, NPOC Policy Committee | Immediate past, NPOC Rep (NCSG-Finance Committee

... Remmy Nweke (second from right) flanked by some participants in a session @ICANN65.

RE: ICANN65 [CROP Funded Report] By Remmy Nweke


Allow me to take off by appreciating the Non-Profit Operational Concerns (NPOC) ExCom led by the chairperson, Joan Kerr, and the leadership of the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG), Stephanie Perrin; for this opportunity to participate in the ICANN65 which held in Marrakech Morroco, between June 24 and 27, 2019 under the Community Regional Outreach Program (CROP) and coordinating staff from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) especially the Vice President, Africa office, Mr. Pierre Dandjinou, for all their various supports.


Despite the special circumstances of Morocco having their embassy in Abuja-Nigeria and I reside in Lagos, the commercial city, which required me to fly into Abuja for submission of visa application and process, although arrangement was made for the pickup that eventually returned the passport to Lagos via courier, of course at a cost, uniquely noticeable in Marrakech-Morocco was the similarity in time zone with the city of Lagos-Nigeria, with a little change, when actually is the night but with longer days with shorter nights, because even at 8pm it was still very sunny.

About ICANN65:

The ICANN65 in Marrakech, Morocco, otherwise known within the ICANN community as a Policy Forum Meeting has become famous for being the first public meeting of the current ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Göran Marby, after assuming office a few years ago.

One thing about Policy meetings are that they are shorter in duration, and more focused on providing the community with time for meaningful discussions, robust debate, and policy work. Even as there is no “Opening Ceremony or Public Forums,” which makes it somewhat difficult for any new comers to know when it has commenced properly.

Marby in his welcome remarks to participants to ICANN65 on Sunday, June 23, noted a pleasant return to the site of his first ICANN Public Meeting (ICANN55), almost 10 meetings thereafter, especially considering how much changed since that time, stressing that ICANN has made some progress as a community, and ICANN65 is an opportunity to jointly plan for ICANN’s future.

And for those who joined the meeting remotely, ICANN65 was the first ICANN Public Meeting conducted using Zoom as the latest remote participation (RP) platform, so many feedbacks are expected to rightly situate between Zoom and Adobe Connect that was recently dropped, despite vulnerability of any of them.

Local Host:

The ICANN weeklong meeting held at the Palmeraie Conference Center Marrakech Circuit de la Palmeraie, Marrakech, Morocco, was hosted by the National Telecommunication Regulatory Agency (ANRT) created in 1997, to develop and enhance the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom of Morocco.

The ANRT is in charge, especially, to prepare and implement procedures for issuing telecom licenses, grant authorization for establishing telecommunications networks, receive declarations for selling the value added services, promote generalization of access to the telecommunications services, resorb digital dividend, develop high speed access and universal service access to telecoms services.

The ANRT is also in charge to propose to the government a legal framework related to the use of the domain name of internet "dot ma" referred as ".ma" and ".المغرب", that allows to identify the internet address related to the national territory, to grant domain name and to propose technical and commercial management rules.

2) Describe the details of your attendance
activities at the meeting (including sessions
attended, written or oral contributions made to
specific sessions, etc.):  

Agenda for ICANN65: 

I attended a number of meetings which in the overall were very interesting, although given that a new chair was instituted for NCSG-Finance Committee, whee I served until June 29, 2019, it was high on my agenda that as previously planned that FC will meet at ICANN65.

One had expected that ICANN65 will be a window to share some of the works of NCSG-FC to Africans who may be participating in the meeting and use the session to solicit membership and participation of Africans in FC activities and even by extension the Policy activities of NPOC and NCSG precisely. Moreso when the two members of FC were Africans in the previous year ending June 2019 as led by Thato Mfikwe. In addition, this should have afforded them to benchmark their roles so far.

... Some NPOC members at networking session.

Enmeshing Africans in ICANN activities:

 In preparing for  ICANN65, one thing stood out since it’s a Policy Meeting, was for me to enmesh myself more on policy related issues, especially around Africa so as to encourage more African participation and openly attract some participants to NPOC and NPOC Policy Committee precisely. So I engaged with some students during the networking and tea breaks, especially from Morocco, Nigeria and other Africans who were leveraging the fellowship programme to participate and learn more.

Also of interest was the ongoing work of the NomCom Review Implementation Working Group which activities was shelved, just before ICANN65, but given that it’s a Policy Meeting, there was lots of policy related meetings happening around.

On arrival Monday, July 24, I made inquiries on a number of activities to reconfirm my agenda and was able to join NPOC EC meeting with time table to review the final part of the NPOC charter, while I made a number of inputs seeking clarifications where necessary and advising to the best approach possible.

For me it was an opportunity to share a few notes in the valedictory as the outgoing NPOC representative to the NCSG Finance Committee in the last one year and briefly gave account of what we have done whilst there and propose new lines of actions required to move NPOC participations in NCSG forward, including the first-ever Operating Procedure which was under review at the time of ICANN65.

And considering how important the ongoing review of NomCom Implementation Working Group for NPOC to leverage that exercise by collaborating with other stakeholders for a visible rebalancing of NomCom representations within ICANN community.

Joint AFRALO AfrICANN Meeting:

Considering that this meeting held on an African soil, I saw it as an opportunity to attend the joint AFRALO AfrICANN session held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at Toubkal Room on the official day 2 of ICANN65, where the chairman of AFRALO, Mohamed El Bashir, underscored a number of issues worthy of deliberation by the ICANN community which have the capacity to inhibit the participation of Africans actively, mostly with the theme: “Evolving the ICANN Multistakeholder Model”.

The session which was opened to all At-Large members of AFRALO, AfrICANN and any interested member of the public, saw El Bashir playing host to the ICANN President & CEO Göran Marby, ICANN Board Chairman Cherine Chalaby, ICANN Board Director selected by At-Large, Leon Sanchez, and presented a copy of the AFRALO Hot Policy Topics to them. Highlight of this session was the public presentation of the Hot Policy Topics as compiled by AFRALO leadership to engage and involve more focused participation, which AFRALO beliefs is possible in a multistakeholder environment, despite some challenges, underpinned in “Trust, Cultural consideration, regional challenges and realities, identifying the real representatives of the community, inadequate representation, complexity of policy development processes and demographics.

According AFRALO chair, “Trust is an important element to achieving consensus; The world is a global community made of different cultures and diverse communities. It is of utmost importance that the peculiar cultural differences be taken into consideration; The high cost and low quality of Internet connectivity is also a reality in many developing regions, many of which are African countries, that are a part of the ICANN community; And for a multistakeholder model to be fully effective, the relevant stakeholders must be represented by someone who is appointed by the stakeholder group.”

In addition, El-Bashir noted that apart from the connectivity problem, a lot of participants from African countries cannot attend the face to face meeting because of visa denials, calling for Policy Development Processes (PDP) especially on public interest issues to be simplified; while noting the need to ensure that leadership is balanced, youths, women and people with disabilities must be taken into consideration.

L-R: AFRALO Chair, Mohamed El Bashir; ICANN Board Chairman Cherine Chalaby; Tijani Ben Jemaa, AFRALO and ALAC Member; ICANN President & CEO Göran Marby, ICANN Board Director selected by At-Large, Leon Sanchez, at the public presentation of the AFRALO Hot Policy Topics.

African Strategy Meeting:

*African Strategy Meeting at ICANN65 with Göran Marby, President and CEO of ICANN, Cherine Chalaby, ICANN Board Chair, Sally Costerton, Senior Advisor to President & Senior Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement and management team from ICANN GSE Africa Office in attendance.


The Africa Strategy Session was held on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 as a tool for helping effective participation of the African community in ICANN and its policy development processes with a conversation on participation of the regional community in implementing the Africa Strategy were jointly presented by Pierre Dandjinou, Yaovi Atohoun, and Bob Ochieng at Marrakech.

As said by the presenters, the African Strategy thrives currently on a two-pronged approach, namely awareness and building of capacity; so as to promote awareness and meaningful participation of Africa in ICANN and the wider Internet Governance (IG) ecosystem in partnership with other Internet and African organizations.

Specifically on building capacity, they said that help transform the Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet industry in Africa by facilitating capacity development and cultivating an environment for an Africa grown domain name industry and business.

The Engagement Center in Nairobi, they said remain central to supporting works in Africa, hence the Africa Strategy remains a living document, with regular reviews to make sure it is aligned with not only the ICANN vision and mission, but also, the ever evolving community needs and realities on the ground.

Africa Strategy, number of initiative:


An overview in numbers 2013 – 2018:

There have been a total of three ICANN meetings held across the African region, namely Morocco – ICANN55, South Africa – ICANN47 and ICANN59 as at the end of December 31, 2018, over 18 interviews granted.

The ICANN African office also reported that within the period under review, that African community participation as at November 2018 recorded the following:

  • 128 Africans in several working groups under the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group including (NCUC and NPOC);
  • 39 participated in the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO);
  • 10 in the Cross-Community working groups;
  • 30 Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) and
  • 51 playing actively in the At-Large Community.

State of African DNS Market:

On the State of the African DNS Market based on the DNS Market Study - 2016 –

Registries: • 52 functioning ccTLDs

Registrar Market: • 27 countries have only one Registrar:

The Registry • 13 countries have a fully competitive Registrar market

Registrant Market - • Approximately 5 million African domains (ccTLD & gTLD) in total

  • 4.4 domains / 1000 population with a value of $52 million per annual.

As part of the efforts of aligning with the new ICANN Strategic Plan which is under examination by the ICANN Board at ICANN65, the African Community will be invited to contribute to the process of updating the current Africa Strategy.


In a feedback to the ICANN GSE-Africa, I pointed out the need to have the GNSO data broken down within the supporting stakeholders to drive home the data sequences, in addition for Africa leadership training on ICANN engagements, due to peculiarities of the continent, as well as to identify Africa ICT-media entities for precise engagement on reporting African DNS industry for more collaboration, among others.

GNSO - NCSG Open Meeting:

For a start, the Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) is a supporting organization of the ICANN Generic Number Supporting Organisation. And it came to pass that on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at Oliveraie Hall, there was GNSO - NCSG Open Meeting, which aligns with the purpose of NCSG, of course, is to represent, through its elected representatives and its Constituencies (Noncommercial Users Constituency and Not for Profit Operational Concerns Constituency) respective interests and concerns of noncommercial registrants and noncommercial Internet users of generic Top level Domains (gTLDs).

Thereby NCSG provides a voice and representation in ICANN processes to: nonprofit organizations that serve noncommercial interests; nonprofit services such as education, philanthropies, consumer protection, community organizing, promotion of the arts, public interest policy advocacy, children’s welfare, religion, scientific research, and human rights; public interest software concerns; families or individuals who register domain names for noncommercial personal use; and Internet users who are primarily concerned with the noncommercial, public interest aspects of domain name policy. 

However in the agenda was a very interesting issues including the “Metric” “Engagement Survey” led by Louise Hurrel and Bruna Santos, while “Charter Drafting - Open discussion with board member” was led by Avri Doria.”

Between Metric and Engagement Survey:

On these subjects I made some interventions on the role of data which is a very important role when it comes to trying to do the metrics, because very often if you look at the African setting, for instance, with their data, access to data where they have it. So, many times, even if you are active by the time you try to log in, one or two other items that require attention, maybe, a decision to be made may have come and gone and there’s nothing you can do about it because it has been accepted or rejected by the meeting or stakeholder, so to say. So, it’s a very dicey situation, especially for those coming from Africa and should be factored in.

Noteworthy was the intervention of NPOC chair, Joan Kerr, who said she interfaced with a lot of developing country participants who said they will go on the calls and not say anything and listen to learn. That’s not counted because they haven’t said anything. On the other part she pointed out that people who are participating, often repeat what the other person have said before in a slightly different ways. These, she said are should be noted to make the metric and engagement survey worth the while.

Further, Remmy commended the concept, though it has some areas where we initially thought that it was NCSG project, so to say and wanted to find out if the survey organizers, for instance intended to share the outcome to the mailing list and went ahead to suggest continuous engagement or mentorship on the process of PDP, and maybe every two years revisit the survey to see how we are faring and then encourage more hands to get on board, because what happens often is that some people think that since a set of people always volunteer, “then carry on and go ahead. I can only support.” So, it doesn’t give encouragement to those who often step in to lead the process. Hence he attributed this to actually we having problems with pen-holding. But if we continuously engage ourselves in terms of mentorship, it shouldn’t be one-off [inaudible]. Then there will be reason for people to find need to, “Okay, let me try this at this point in time.” Simplifying all the technicalities, that is, because this is where people get to be afraid of engaging in policy process.

Charter Drafting - Open Discussion:

It was gladdening to have this on the agenda as it offered avenue to chat on the issues surrounding NCSG Charter which was on front burner prior to ICANN65 and a welcome back home for our NCSG veteran, Avri Doria, to throw more light. This was enlightening and reassuring to others as it was to me, hence, I very well commended NCSG chair, Stephanie, for having this on the agenda, after all, the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a step put forward.

Hear Avri:  “So, the charter. I’ve been watching. I’m still on the NCSG list …. I was probably the primary pen-holder at the time that the current charter everybody has been arguing about was written. And that was a long time ago, so I certainly feel no remorse that people want to change it. I understand that completely.

“Ironically, in a sense, as the current chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), I would actually be the one that would be working with a group that would have to review the changes that were made to the charter. So, first, let me talk about that whole sequence. The charters have to remain consistent with the bylaws. There is a board approval step, which means after you guys have gone through it and have what you want and what you’re happy with, it goes out for review. We just finished one. I don’t know if you all noticed. You may have written a comment – I actually think you did – on the Registrar Stakeholder Group did an update to their charter, so it went out for review. It was reviewed by Legal in terms of its consistency with the bylaws. Legal actually found some issues that they felt were problematic. They were negotiated with the registrars. Just so you know the registrars insisted on their point of view in terms of that review.

“After that, basically the OEC discussed those changes, discussed the disagreements and then passed it onto the board for approval. In fact, it went through. I don’t know that whether it has been published yet, but, it was just in our last meeting. So, there is a long process. If it’s not consistent, if there are comments that cause it to be considered problematic then it can go through iterations back and forth.

“In fact, when the charter you’ve got now was being written, it went back and forth many times. It was, at the time of creation of NCSG and there were whole lots of concerns. So, what NCSG has at the moment is an incredibly negotiated charter. It was negotiated at the same time that NPOC’s first charter was negotiated and those were negotiated at the same time,” she said.


For me (Remmy) it was not a disappointment at all, knowing that the like of Avri played vital role in what we see today as NCSG. Stressing the fact that when we are growing, there are tendencies for things to also have needs to be tweaked based on the test of time. And noting precisly on the mandate, for instance, on Finance Committee, the assignments include; One is financial secretary position. Two is internal auditor position. Three is external auditor position. Four is fundraising. By all, its complicated because FC cannot be putting down the records, then come back to audit itself, and at the same time, looking at the constituencies we have within the NCSG, for example, is the leadership willing to be audited by those they appointed into NCSG? These are some of things that have made NCSG/NCSG-FC not move at the pace we are supposed to be moving. So, looking at that, some of us now said, fine, there is need to take a second look at this document. It’s not necessarily the entire document. But when you are doing a review of a document such as this, it helps also to put up an update to also make some changes. There is also another end, reporting to ICANN Organization by FC, because this has been some kind of recurring dialogue in between us.

3) Explain the specific plans for follow-up activities
to enhance and continue the objectives of the trip for
the community structure through which you were
approved for the trip:
Specific plans for follow-up activities is to enhance my participation in the ICANN community across board of the generic Supporting Organisation, including NCSG (NPOC and NCUC), ALAC via AFRALO and encouraged to continue our annual Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa Media series on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) and Nigeria Ipv6 Roundtable among others.

We intend also to follow up with the Universal Access Working Group and in fact have commenced sharing of material on Universal Access with hope it will form part of our upcoming event on Internet Governance next year, to name a few things.

I also look forward working with other NPOC members to see that the charter draft gets to the ICANN board as well as commencing the review of the NCSG as we progress.

At AFRALO, I just joined the working group to review AFRALO bylaw to ensure democratic transparency is entrenched in all ramifications of activities under the watchful eyes of ALAC and drum more support for the RALOs and better At-Large Structures (ALSes) is enthroned through improved participation in the ICANN activities.
4) Please fill out the date when you have completed this form:
Acknowledgements Section

Note: To be completed by a Program Coordinator (PC) designated by this organization/structure.

AcknowledgementsConfirmed?Who Confirmed?Date of ConfirmationNotes
The Trip Assessment information has been gathered and properly entered into this form.
The ICANN Organization / Structure's leadership has authorized the submission of this Trip Assessment.


CROP Trip Assessment Template (June 2018)