Eddy Kayihura, the AFRINIC CEO, spoke on the current position of AFRINIC during the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 75th AGM that is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Kayihura spoke during the welcome ceremony and at the Joint AFRALO-AfrICANN sessions of the meeting where he brought to light the current challenges facing the organisation which include the multiple legal cases as documented on the AFRINIC website.
Addressing the value of a multi-stakeholder model, Kayihura reiterated his appreciation of a working multi-stakeholder model at a global level that has seen AFRINIC through a myriad of challenges.
(TOP: Eddy Kayihura, the AFRINIC CEO).
“Let me stress that this is not only about AFRINIC as an organisation. This is about the Internet in Africa; this is also about a working Registry system that we all depend on, this is about a stable global Internet, this is also about ICANN and its community,” he said.
Concerning the different challenges AFRINIC has faced, Kayihura spoke of the two-and-a-half-month-long bank account freeze. “The level of pressure that we have faced could have paralysed the organisation and impacted the stability of the Internet. It was a very critical situation,” said Kayihura.
The CEO praised the existing mechanism at the Number Resource Organization (NRO) that came in handy during that time as a stability fund when a Regional Internet Registry is at risk. He added that this was the insurance that the system would be able to cope with this kind of pressure.
Regarding court cases, Kayihura emphasised the trust and respect of the court decisions accorded by the organisation.“However, there is no question that AFRINIC needs to continue operating and delivering services with no interruption…. that is essential for the Internet”, he said.
In addition, Kayihura called on the stability of the Internet ecosystem as a community matter. that is part of the global ecosystem and applauded the support from ICANN. With the world gradually moving online, more people depend on the Internet to conduct various businesses and activities making the development of digital infrastructure fundamental. The world continues to evolve, and so does our bottom-up ecosystem with new challenges. The pioneers of the Internet built this system in a manner that would prevent capture and we ought to strive to keep things as such.
In his concluding remarks, Kayihura said: “Our governance structure and processes can only improve and become stronger. The only way to achieve this is through community participation. On our part as AFRINIC, we commit to continue to provide the best quality service possible to our region, encouraging community participation towards a stronger Registry for the African region and the Indian ocean”.
AFRINIC is the Regional Internet Registry for Africa. Based in Mauritius, the non-profit organisation with more than 40 staff members, is responsible for the distribution and management of Internet numbers (IPv4, IPv6 addresses and autonomous system numbers) for Africa and the Indian Ocean. Serving more than 2,000 organisations in the public, private and academic sectors, AFRINIC contributes to the development of the African Internet through the equitable distribution of Internet numbers, technical support and capacity building of African engineers and policymakers in the field of Internet technology and governance.