AFRALO comments regarding the draft Strategic Plan 2011-2014

 

 

AFRALO thinks that together with key routine activities, new actions must be undertaken in each of the work areas to make the strategy “action-oriented”

 

  1. DNS stability and security

 

AFRALO acknowledges that the stability and security of the DNS is an important element for ICANN and the global internet users. Therefore, it thinks that ICANN should prioritise the support for the implementation of DNSSEC.

 

It highly appreciates the ICANN’s initiative to perform training for TLD operators.

 

AFRALO argues that ICANN should come up with a plan for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity for its own operations.

 

  1. Consumer choice, competition and innovation

 

AFRALO argues that in line with one of ICANN’s core values, which is introducing and promoting competition in the delegation of Top Level Domains where practicable and beneficial in the public interest, ICANN should make the application fee for new TLDs within the reach of each applicant alike. Levying high application fees for all applicants creates the disparity between the have and have-not’s. Therefore, we urge ICANN to review the applicant guide book to reflect the almost unanimous wish regarding the application fees expressed in all public comments on the previous versions, in the Working Group 3 (at-large summit, Mexico ) report approved by ALAC, and in the JAS working group milestone report.

 

We note the positive initiative to provide effective program management for the successful deployment of IDNs trough the new gTLD and ccTLD programs.

 

Conducting education and training programs in partnership with ISOC, local operators and local internet communities is an excellent approach. However, AFRALO believes that part or all of those programs could and should be conducted by ICANN constituencies, such as At-Large structures and regional organizations for the part related to Internet users.

 

 

  1. Core operations including IANA

 

AFRALO takes positive note of the ICANN willing to provide the international Internet community a transparent and collaborative model for root server operations.

 

It acknowledges the ICANN commitment to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of policy development and implementation processes and the multi-stakeholder model that engages the global community.

 

 

  1. Healthy Internet eco-system

 

AFRALO agrees that continued internationalisation of ICANN is crucial to maintaining a single, global interoperable Internet and a single Internet zone file used globally.

 

It takes positive note that ICANN will formalize a cross-stakeholder model, and will also formalize input from the At-Large community into Board discussion.

 

While recognizing the ICANN effort for a multilingual working environment, AFRALO considers that for an international organization, more commitment is needed to translate the most of the ICANN documents, and to implement simultaneous interpretation for the most of the meetings (face to face or telephonic). This interpretation is urgently needed for the fellowship program which is now restricted to the English speakers only.  

 

AFRALO highly appreciate the commitment to provide Internet governance education to an expanding group of international participants and to promote programs that enhance global participation. The AFRALO ALSes really need this kind of education to reach an effective participation in the ICANN policy development process.

 

The ICANN participation in the Internet Governance events such as IGF and WSIS forum is of high importance. AFRALO thinks that this participation shouldn’t be limited to nice formal speeches, or an ICANN parallel event, but needs to be more effective by organizing substantial workshops addressing actual subjects and involving the large population of the forum. This kind of participation will give ICANN more visibility and better credibility. The impact of the so-called substantial workshops will be greater if they are organized by the ICANN constituencies rather than the ICANN staff and/or Board.