VOTES “NO” to the Candidate Pierre Dandjinou for ICANN Board based on 8 counts:
At this moment, DCA wishes to express its strong objection to Dandjinou’s nomination and appointment to ICANN Board seat no. 15, on 8 counts.
Herewith below, we have submitted our report to your Esteemed group with references: These points are backed up by material sourced from websites, discussion groups and email exchanges. DCA has chosen to protect names of individuals used as sources. Nevertheless, it can disclose to the BCEC if required, with the permissions of the source.
1. Bias, Conflict of Interest: The Candidate in a meeting he Chaired in Lisbon in 2007 for AfriICANN meeting (an ICANN hosted African grouping), blocked DCA from presenting ihe dotAfrica initiative after DCA was invited to speak. This appeared to be an attempt to promote his own or favored parties dotafrica TLD application”. Email notice to an ICANN Board member: http://www.scribd.com/doc/41209177/Document-1-BCEC#fullscreen:on
Implication – This suggests that the Candidate’s judgment may biased and favored his own or others application despite being granted Chairmanship, with the impartiality that implied.
2. Not Transparent, Conflict of Interest: The following day, the Candidate sent out an email communique’ of a dotafrica proposal to DCA Principle via private email copied to others listed with names that supports his version of dotafrica TLD application, after blocking us from an audience above and using our governance model He did not acknowledge the source of his model.
Implication – This shows that the Candidate has a potential to misuse his supposedly impartial position and promote his own agenda. It also suggests that he could use others people’s idea and call it his own.
2007/8- AfriICANN Email Threads
3. Conflict of Interest. Subsequent group emails on AfriICANN (which is in public domain) demonstrates the Candidate, AfriNic and his “special interest groups” have expressed interest in applying for the dotafrica TLD:
Implication – It would be difficult to establish himself as an impartial Board Member when he has such close ties with groups that wish to apply for the .africa TLD.
4. Obstruction to other voices – The Candidate and his moderator colleagues at ICANN has since February 2010 blocked all and any participation of DCA and it’s members to the AfriICANN email list, which is being hosted under the legitimacy of “ICANN African Grouping” hosted forum. DCA has thus not been part of the discussion of AfriICANN mailing list since. AfriICANN reportedly has approximately, 280 members.
Implication – The Candidate is capable of blocking people’s legitimate right to participate in a forum to discuss related issues. He has blocked the voices of fellow Africans. This is not consistent with the open dialogue expected of an ICANN board member.
2010 – Kenya
5- Prejudice, Conflict of Interest: The Candidad on March 12, 2010, in a Kenyan newspaper (The Standard), claimed that his version of dotafrica bid has already been distributed to the benefit of Africa. In response to DCA’s early endorsement by the African Union he stated:
However, a few months after in April 2010, an email communication surfaced where the Candidate’ has requested assistance to drive a dotafrica bid as the African Union has lost support for Sophia’s bid, says “because she blocked AfriNic/Afnog training from taking place in Addis Ababa,” the email continues, “they are planning to have a non-profit for the delegation and a for profit (assisted by Affillas) for the operation” Email link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/41045398/Document-5-BCEC#fullscreen:on
Implication – The Candidate has a biased idea of what the gTLD for Africa should be and has been promoting it. Its not consistent for a board member to have such strong preconception that he would state them to the press and in writing. How is it possible for an equitable bid process to take place if a powerful board member is promoting a personal agenda.
6.Conflict of Interest, Attacking Competitors through email lists, misleading: During August 2010 there was a concerted effort on a Kenya-based email group re: KICTANET to destroy the credibility of the Executive Director of DCA. He participated in the email thread in which he promoted his own version of events – stating that the original concept was developed in 2006 but failing to mention the contribution of DCA stakeholders. He stated:
“…whatever ‘personal initiative’ is being pushed now is a ‘pure and pale copy’ of the original
Implying that the DCA initiative was “individual” and “a copy of his” both of which are incorrect. Points # 2 & 5 above proves the Candidate is following DCA’s lead.
- Apparently, these same interested parties – lobbied against DCA’s endorsement by African Union based on Afrinic/Afnog training issue in Addis Ababa (evidenced by point # 5 email link above). Then the second letter referenced in the link here was circulated, including discussion groups in an attempt to block further endorsements to DCA. Second letter Email link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/41347308/Document-6B-BCEC#fullscreen:on
- Amongst the parties quoted on the referenced KICTANET email thread were saying ” Yes, it seem that the AU likes the community approach we proposed”. implicating further that the AU has chosen their proposals over DCA’s weighing in to legitimize the intent of the second letter and disapprove of the letter by the AU Chairman.
Implication – Repeatedly, this evidences that the Candidate continues to promote his own version of gTLD for Africa. He is free to do this as an individual but not as an ICANN Board Member. His series of exchanges was abusive & an irresponsible use of an internet forum and set a bad example for the less experienced and younger members.
7– Inconsistencies, Inaction, misleading, Conflict of interest: The Candidate in the above Kicktnet email also stated the following::
“The Candidate and his groups have been working on the dotafrica project since 2006 that which DCA has now talked about: http://www.scribd.com/doc/41349724/Document-6A-BCEC#fullscreen:on
- Additionally, The Candidat’s statement was countered however with a former Board member of ICANN during the AITEC Summit dotafrica panel discussions in Nairobi a week after, during a public statement that DCA brought the dotafrica project to ICANN Board in 2006 and pushed it through where it s now. This to add credence to # 1 & 2 above. Link to statement Press Release link: http://prlog.org/10916169
Additionally, the Candidate’s statement of Interest (SOI) for the current ICANN Board seat states he has been involved in ICANN since 1998. If he has such a foresighted vision, why did he not get it done since 1998 where as .”asia” and .”eu ” have already launched, theirs?
Implication: The Candidate’s involvement in ICANN doesn’t seem to have yielded results toward the dotafrica initiative, and he presents his own interpretation of events as fact.
8. Oversigting Governance issues, misrepresentation, conflict of interest:
The Candidate continued to promote a gTLD under the so called Afr* & AfriNic and few days ago under “augooglegoups.com”; As a former chairman of Afrinic he would realize the “Chinese walls” and boundaries under which AfriNIC, all these organizations and his conducts of behavior must operate. Yet under his leadership at AfriNIC, he continued to blur these lines to the extent that at one point the AU thought that AfriNIC would be responsible for the dotAfrica TLD – something which is contrary to ICANN process.
Ironically, the Candidate continues to misrepresent to the African leadership and African community and now ICANN saying neither AfriNic or himself is involved in the dotafrica project. Hence himself as a former Director of Afrinic and the Candidate‘s continuous email communications under his own name, locking and lobbying against DCA’s efforts in the above scenarios prove that he intends to apply for the dotafrica TLD one way or another. The following demonstarts AfriNic’s involvement in the dotafrica project:
- African Union issue: DCA’s letter of complaint to AU Chairman upon discovering African Union assigning AfriNic to be responsible for dotAfrica TLD in November 2009, after AU had already given endorsement to DCA in August 2009. This document which was later amended by the African Union because of a “consultant error” to be restated as “advise by African Internet agencies” which DCA then used on its press release. Communications evidence below:
Implication: The Candidate continues to misrepresent AfriNic’s and his personal position to enable him to pursue the dotafrica TLD. Currently, his non-disclosure may have an objective of getting onto the ICANN board that is inconsistent with the impartial requirements of the position.
Concluding Remarks (overarching issues)
Without casting aspersions against the Candidate’s personal character, based on the above facts and findings the Candidate’s interest in Africa and the Pan African community is to only serve few African communities with “organized interest” and not the “At Large African community” that should be .The Candidate groupings suggest that they are reluctant to accept new comers that they feel threaten their territory.
Under the Candidate’s leadership, AfriNic (which was suppose to be IP addressing organization only) in the past year has been cross pollinating in areas that is NOT part of their mandate including “going after the bid for dotafrica“, presenting “public policy” platformsto name a few. These are not their core competency or mandate, When asked by Kenya Computer world, 2010, , why Afrinic for the past five years, resisted taking on assignments outside its scope – (in other words has now started to do so) AfriNic responded “not much is getting done”, http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=9F731CE0-1A64-67EA-E4917BC660028BD2 This was severely embarrassing to the African Internet and technical community that are accomplishing a lot. It’s clear that AfriNic was trying to justify their monopolistic stand in attempting to control the African critical internet infrastructure.
Additionally, as per the above interview with Computerworld, AfiNic “currently hosts the AfTLD secretariat, manages their accounts and sponsors their events:” They reportedly do the same for AFnog, which is a membership of network operator workgroup. Now, the Candidate is proposing to create another organization for his dotAfrica venture (as in point#3.above) in a musical chair of Board of Directors. This is clearly all too close for comfort. The whole idea of ICANN is to separate Domains and Numbers but under the leadership of Dandjinou, its become all under one roof – is this the approach a prospective board member should take?
Its seems that there is a move promoted by the Candidate’s leadership to exclude newcomers like DCA with intense aggression when new initiatives are simply trying to contribute their part. DCA has been a victim of misrepresentation of our initiatives and efforts. It must not happen.
Generation.africa, the following DCA has created needs to be part of ICANN, however, it also needs to see a leadership that is inclusive, crosses the aisle and resolves conflict, encourages performance based competition, education & mentoring, not “special interest groups” and a captured audience.
Therefore, we Africans should NOT vote for our candidates just because they are “from Africa”; we African should learn to vote because our candidates “represent Africa” and its wider community. Africans need leadership based on good governance, which carry the ideals of transparency, equity and accountability.
ICANN should take heed of developing economies governance structure. Africa is a young economy and its political structure is reforming. Conflict of interest issues are not always understood even by those engaging in them and more so by the technical communities.
Instead Africa needs assistance and advice on oversight of an appropriate internet and organizational policy framework that is to be adapted by the very African internet community it nurtures. ICANN should monitor and ensure these checks and balances exist and continue to function relative to policy and institutional governance and listen to ALL the African community, not only the established AfriICANN groupings.
Therefore, his appointment should not be supported by ICANN and the larger Pan-African community!.
DCA thanks the At-Large Board Candidate Evaluation Committee (BCEC) for listening to our voices