[discuss] Academic sector appointments to the 1net steering committee

Mawaki Chango kichango at gmail.com
Mon Dec 23 20:54:52 UTC 2013

Dear Seun,

I had spent sometime around Giganet in recent past and I know about Milton
and his activities in this domain, so I am allowing myself to say I find
parts of your latest message quite unfair. I appreciate Milton offering to
consider any name of a suitable candidate from Africa but not even member
of Giganet anyone might want to put forward. You mentioned collective
entities a lot: Africa, Africa community, Research education networks, etc.
but what is needed here most directly is an individual's name, or two (yes
from Africa but) nobody can put 'Africa community' on a list of candidates!
So if you know of a suitable candidate or those Research/education networks
you mentioned that could have provided candidates, I'd suggest you take the
message to them and ask them to do so. It is no one particular's issue to
go around looking for stakeholders that are not involved in this space or
aware of this process at this point in time; it is incumbent upon any one
and all of us to so, if we are so inclined.

Milton made it clear from the get go that he was speaking for Giganet and
that Giganet was going to provide candidates from academic affiliation,
which they did. It's a pity there was no volunteer from Africa, but still
there is the possibility to propose a name from outside Giganet and it's up
to anyone who's willing to do so to go ahead and do that.

>From what I know and understood from the exchange, what was meant is that
the academic types often are reluctant spending time on academically
unproductive stuff... things that do not advance their research,
scholarship. That was in fact to explain why within Giganet they didn't get
that many volunteers. Again, nothing to do with presuming Africa unable to
handle this or that. In fact, while we further need a lot of capacity
building in Africa, I don't think we're still at that point where anyone
(even the most ignorant person about Africa  among us in this space) would
think the whole continent lacks of capacity to field a candidate for the
kind of work the /1net  SC is supposed to do. I wonder if you are not
yourself unwittingly underestimating Africa (my turn to talk collective,)
at least by the implications of your line of arguments. For apart from the
names you mentioned, there were other early African players in the IG space
who have chosen to retire from it (so you might not know them) such as
Prof. Clement Dzidonou of Ghana and others from Senegal (am forgetting the
names) and I'm sure from a number of other countries.

It would be helpful that any candidate at this point be fairly familiar
with aspects of IG and with the actors, given the nature of the decisions
they will be participating in (unless they take time to go to other people
to enquire and inform their decision every time.) I see you're affiliated
to a university. If your profile is academic (as opposed to, say, IT
support service at the university), I would encourage you to be candidate
on the Giganet list and I'd be happy to support your candidacy.


-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
*Mawaki Chango, PhD*
*Founder & Principal, DIGILEXIS Consulting*
m.chango at digilexis.com
Skype: digilexis

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM, Seun Ojedeji <seun.ojedeji at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:
>>  Seun:
>> No Giganet member from Africa volunteered for the task. I suspect no one
>> from Giganet (certainly not me) would object if a suitable academic
>> candidate from Africa, not a member of Giganet, surfaced and asked to be
>> considered. Suitability, I would insist, involves more than simply being
>> from Africa however. They have to know what is going on, be reasonably
>> familiar with the network of people involved in IG, aware of the diverse
>> positions.
> This is the point and where we may always have some lapses. What is it
> that is going on that you think the Africa community may not know. Even if
> there are some experience that Africa does not have, shouldn’t that be the
> expected, afterall Africa is the most recent continent that got exposed to
> Internet so yes there may be some learning to do, however it does not mean
> there ain't knowledge that can be contributed otherwise Nii will not be
> recognised by ICANN, Nnenna will not be spotted by web foundation, and even
> the current leader(administrative)  of 1net (Adiel) will not be assigned
> this role.
>>  So if you or anyone has specific recommendations to make, and that
>> person(s) wants to be considered, I’d be happy to take this back to the
>> GigaNet steering committee for modification. Unlike our friends in the ICC,
>> we’re not too proud to make improvements in our work.
> Was the call for volunteer shared with the academic communities in Africa
> OR just within Giganet?. I believe there are Academias who will definitely
> be interested and willing to serve if they are aware of this early enough
> and if they understood the nominating process. However, I am still
> wondering the role of GigaNet steering committee in this selection
> process....
>>  Regarding volunteering, we made a point of noting that this 1net
>> coordinating committee was not going to be a cute little feather one can
>> put in one’s resume, but was going to be a lot of work that would not be
>> related to the things academics specialize in: substantive proposals,
>> scholarship, research or teaching; it would, instead, be a lot of email
>> traffic and tedious reviewing of candidates for other positions that the
>> 1net group will appoint and a lot of struggling and discussions to reach
>> consensus among a large group. Possibly the low number of volunteers
>> reflected a realistic attitude toward the nature of the committee.
> Again this is not rocket science and if those on the list have flesh and
> blood then anyone who is willing from any part of the continent can do
> this. I don't want to think you are insinuating Africa will not be able to
> catch up because of the traffic demands? that should be the least of the
> reason and infact no reason at all. Yes Africa is still lagging behind with
> other part continents in relation to bandwidth, however its not as bad as
> not been able to handle non-relatime communications. There will ofcourse be
> low response if the information does not get to the right community list,
> its not an indication of access to Internet.
>>  As for why Giganet, I would say, what other academic organization is
>> focused on Internet governance, is aware of what is happening, and is ready
>> to respond to the need in the time frame required? I doubt you can find
>> any.
> Just because Giganet is based on IG does not mean that it be used as an
> umbrella for all especially as it does not have its representation in most
> of the continent(Definitely not Africa). Also noting says that it must be
> an IG based organisation that provides nominees. There are research
> education networks which are continental based that can do the same and if
> an IG based organisation must do the presentation then it should be an
> organisation that has connection with relevant sectors. Just like DIPLO has
> great link with the civil society community and does a good job at ensuring
> good civil society representation in 1Net
>>  Regarding US-centric, tosh! only one of the people on that list
>> actually lives in the US, and he is an Indian native. Only one is a US
>> citizen. One other has a temporary job affiliations to a US institution,
>> but has strong ties to Tunisia as a result of his research. This is a
>> highly transnational group, and scholarship and academia is one of the most
>> globalized arenas.
> You have mentioned 3 out of 5 that has strong US affiliation, so how many
> do we have left ;) Nevertheless i am not all about the numbers, but about
> fair representation.
> Cheers!
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