Whenever there is meeting taking place in Africa, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is always jittery. If the meeting is in South Africa….well…. its much more comfortable. But anywhere else…. a myriad of issues crop up.
If you are wondering what is ICANN…. here are some interesting articles I have dome in the past.
For the latest episode, let us just call it western paranoia against Africa. Please read the statement here and it doesn’t even give a reason. But we all know its because of Ebola. Apparently, ICANN has no faith that by next February, the three West African countries will have contained the spread.
Yes, ICANN has a right to decide where they hold their meetings but why pretend to care about Africa while you lead the chorus of those feeling that Africa has nothing to contribute in the whole ICANN agenda?
The argument is that Americans feel that they will be quarantined in February next year, if they make a point of visiting morocco. The insurance companies will also not cover them, if the meeting is held in any African country.
“Community concerns that would prevent maximum participation at its next global meeting (ICANN 52, 8-12 February 2015), a critical one given the ongoing discussions around the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability, has prompted ICANN to postpone the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco and to relocate to Singapore on the same dates,” says the statement from ICANN.
Ahead of the statement, Fadi made a call to selected ICT and ICANN big wigs in Africa, explaining the decision and how the meeting will coincide with the internationalisation of ICANN, if you believe Africa has anything to benefit from that.
Aside from ICANN bias, I think it serves Morocco right. They can’t refuse to host CAF Nations Cup for fear of Ebola, then they were ready to host ICANN, yet there will be participants from all over the region.
Its bad for West Africa, a region of 17 countries that has been banded together as carriers of Ebola virus but you would expect more. But again, if the West boycotts, then the meeting may not take place at all because African voices at ICANN are generally missing.