There are many African governments and citizens who do not understand the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
For some, ICANN should operate in the bottom later ensuring that we have internet access and that the pipes are faster. Others think that ICANN should be involved in the running of domain registries, which are in shambles and in some cases fighting over petty issues. Others think that ICANN is there to fund them; talk of reliance on aid.
Of course ICANN has no role in all these things and what it points is that more outreach is needed and maybe ICANN should have an office in Africa.
But how? According to Rod Beckstrom, 90 percent of ICANN contributions come from North America, so that may be the reason why we have 3 offices in the US and none in Africa.
That makes sense; if Africa does not contribute anything, how will the office be supported? So, for Africa to be on level terms, then we must also be willing to contribute, but am not sure how when our registry operations are still manual.
I was chatting with Rafik Dammak, who accuses me of complaining or whining too much but then, what do I do?
Rafik told me of how the various constituencies within ICANN are always looking for participants but what do you do when they dont contribute to those meetings and in some cases stay outside within the coffee houses instead of meeting rooms?
Yes, its good to have geographical representations but we also need to start bringing something on the table and contributing to the debate more than we do currently.
Regarding the financial contributions, I have no words; will leave it for the others.