Chairmans AGM Report 20045 by sofiaie

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									AfTLD Annual Report 2006-2007

I am pleased to present to you the annual report and AfTLD highlights for the year 2006 –
2007. It has been a short term for the AfTLD Executive Committee (Excom) with a
challenging task to turn around the organization to become more visible and active in the
region. The Excom has been invaluable in their efforts and support towards achieving the laid
out objectives and as a result several achievements have been realized in the last 10 months of
service. I wish to take this opportunity to mention that the AfTLD AGM initially scheduled
for 30th April 2007 during the AfNOG/AfriNIC meetings in Abuja, Nigeria did not take place
owing to the late issuance of the notice of the meeting as per the AfTLD constitution.

Consequently the Excom resolved to reschedule the meeting for 30th May 2007 at the end of
the AfTLD Workshop event having issued a 3 week notice in advance of the meeting. The
Excom takes this opportunity to extends its sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused
for those members who traveled to Abuja to participate at the AfTLD AGM. However, an
informal meeting with the present members took place and various issues were deliberated
upon.

ACHIEVEMENTS
During our last AGM held in June 2006, in Marrakech, Morocco, the General Assembly
attended by 32 ccTLD managers from the region elected eight (8) new members to the
Executive Committee to oversee the revamp of AfTLD activities in the region. In a
subsequent Excom meeting, the members created role positions and assigned them to 4 of its
8 members with specific tasks and responsibilities geared towards achieving these objectives.
The positions were as follows;
           o President – Mr. Michuki Mwangi (.KE)
           o Secretary & Treasurer – Mr. Vika Mpisane (.ZA)
           o Vice President Communications and outreach – Eng. Mohamed El Bashir
               (.SD)
           o Vice President Training and Capacity Building – Mr. Soulemane Oumtanaga
               (.CI)
           o Excom Member – Dr. Paulos Nyirenda (.MW)
           o Excom Member – Mr. Haja Ramboasalama (.MG)
           o Excom Member – Mr. Victor Ciza (.BI)
           o Excom Member – Ali Drissa Badiel (.BF)

The remaining 4 members were assigned a supporting role to specific positions.

To revive the online communications, the Excom under the directorship of the VP
Communications acquired the control of the AFTLD.ORG domain name. Hosting Services
for the website and mailing list services were provided through the sponsorship by the .SD
and .KE Registry respectively. Further, the AFTLD website was redesigned to include
French, Arabic and Portuguese translations. The French and Arabic translations have been
completed while a Portuguese translator is being sought for.

To enhance the new Excom’s cohesion and output, the members have been actively
participating in the Excom mailing-list and monthly teleconferences. Since their appointment
the Excom has successfully held nine (9) meetings with four of these meetings being face-to-
face. I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire Excom for their efforts and
contributions towards the success realized this far.

AfTLD stands to benefit its members from the information and technical exchange shared
between its members and other regions’ members thus the Excom renewed AfTLD’s
observership role at CENTR the European ccTLD Association. Collaboration between the
existent regional associations will contribute further to the organizations growth. In this
regard, at the just concluded ICANN meetings in Lisbon, Portugal AfTLD expressed its
interest to collaborate with LACTLD, APTLD and CENTR at an informal meeting.

In an effort to formalize collaboration with organizations that share similar visions with
AfTLD, the Excom has developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed
between AfriNIC and AfTLD on the 2nd of April 2007. The MoU outlines the obligations of
both organizations to enhance the collaboration efforts. On behalf of the Excom I wish take
this opportunity to thank AfriNIC for its continued support to AfTLD with provision
administrative and financial management services.

To promote African representation and participation at the global policy formulation arena,
the Excom has ensured through facilitation that AfTLD is present during ICANN, AfriNIC
and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings in the past year. At these forums, the
Excom members have used the opportunities to present the Africa perspective as well as
AfTLD issues and its agenda, stating positions on burning issues. Consequently, the AfTLD
Excom has stated and presented its position to the ccNSO on the ICANN review of the
geographic regions. A copy of the stated position is available on the AfTLD website. The
African participation at the ccNSO council has been consistent with the representation of Dr.
Paulos Nyirenda of .MW, Mr Bashir of .SD and Mr Victor Ciza of .BI. To ensure the
sustained momentum of participation and representation at the ccNSO Council, the Excom
notes with delight that ccNSO members from the Africa region, through consensus,
nominated Dr. Paulos Nyirenda to continue serving in this capacity for another term.

On the capacity building front, AfTLD has successfully held its first African ccTLD workshop
in Cairo, Egypt on a theme ‘Building local Internet Community’ with the support of the
Egyptian National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), ICANN, Internet
Society (ISOC) and AfriNIC. The event successfully brought together 32 participants from 13
African countries representing 12 ccTLD. Further, AfTLD member .CI has been actively
involved in the implementation of Côte d'Ivoire Internet eXchange Point (CIXP) and
facilitated a capacity building workshop on 15th to 16th May 2007 prior to its launch on the 17th
May

PLANNED PROJECTS
As we endeavor to engage the region in promoting ccTLD values and representing their
interests at both regional and international levels, the Excom has identified various projects
that will further enhance the ongoing efforts to realize AfTLD objectives.

AFTLD Registration
AfTLD was incorporated as a non-profit organization on 19th December 2002 in Mauritius. In
order to diversify and enhance its operations the AfTLD registration in Mauritius will require a
review to reflect its regional status and representation. The process will involve changing the
current members of the organization, its address and appoint a contact person. AfTLD has a
legal advisor Mr. Neil Pillay based in Mauritius who initially registered the organization with
the Registrar of Companies and is facilitating the process.

Membership recruitment program
AfTLD will soon be embarking on a membership recruitment drive aimed at formalizing its
membership relationship with ccTLD managers in the region. The membership subscription
process is aimed at strengthening and legalizing the relationship between AfTLD and the
ccTLD managers. In addition to having voting rights at AGMs subscribed members will be
incorporated into various projects and initiatives like capacity building workshops, technical
support services, outreach, research and development programs. Subscribed members will be
encouraged to contribute towards supporting AfTLD related events. A membership policy will
soon be published for comments and regional ccTLD managers are invited to give their
comments on the document prior to adoption as policy.

Capacity Building events
The availability of competent technical capacity is a critical element to ensuring the growth and
stability of registry operations in the region. AfTLD will endeavor to initiate and facilitate
capacity building opportunities to enhance the technical and administrative competence of its
members in the region. The capacity building programs will focus on best practices for
ccTLDs and emerging technologies related to Domain Name System (DNS) implementations.
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are a critical infrastructural component in the operational
stability of a national ccTLD. As a result, the AfTLD excom is in deliberation with the South
African Department of Communications (DOC) amongst others ccTLDs to host the second
AfTLD workshop in 2008. It is the Excoms hope that the annual workshops will impact
positively on the development of ccTLDs in the region.



Communication and outreach
A ccTLDs is considered as a national resource that can be utilized to promote growth and
development in ICTs. However, many countries and governments are unaware of the existent
potential created by a stable and operational ccTLD. Notably, there are many myths related to
ccTLDs that undermine their competitive advantages against gTLDs. In such circumstances
AfTLD would play a significant role in engaging the relevant authorities in discussions aimed
at creating awareness and demystifying the role of ccTLDs in society. AfTLD has been active
in promoting the organization objectives resulting in well-established communication channels
with various African ICT Organizations. Consistency and active participation of its members
in the ICANN and ccNSO policy development process on Internationalized Domain Names
(IDNs) is evidenced by representation on the ICANN IDN Standards committee and ICANN
President’s Advisory committee on IDNs by the Vice President Communications and Out-
reach.

Regional out-reach activities in coordination with other African ICT organizations in on top of
our agenda for 2007-2008. To this effect, an AfTLD monthly Newsletter focusing on African
ccTLD community, exchange of best current practices, global news and events will be
introduced soon after recruitment of the Administrative Manager.
Hiring an Administrative Manager
Currently, the Excom is comprised of volunteers who offer time outside their formal
responsibilities. Despite their commitment to AfTLD, busy schedules prohibit the ability of
the members to deal with issues in a more conclusive manner. As a result, the Excom
proposed the hiring of an AfTLD Administrative Manager to bridge the gap felt as a result of
the member’s commitments. Terms of Reference (ToR) for the role have been developed and
distributed to the region. It is expected that the manager shall be hired by the beginning of
June 2007.

FINANCIAL POSITION
AfTLD is in its infancy stages and requires financial support to realize its objectives. In this
respect, the AfTLD Excom initiated a fund raising campaign to offset its operating budget
deficit. As a result, AfTLD received USD $15,000 from the Internet Society (ISOC) towards
the hiring of a full time administrator for a period of one year. Formal commitment on
financial support has also been received from NEUSTAR towards meeting operational aspects
of the budget.

The funding received from ISOC was deposited into AfriNIC’s bank account as a temporary
measure until AfTLD manages to hire a manager to run its daily operations. The money has
not been utilized up to date and is earmarked for the employment of the manager.

In addition, AfTLD expects to receive member contributions on the commencement of the
membership recruitment drive to complement the funding received from sponsoring
organizations. The Excom will in due course table recommendations to African ccTLDs on
suitable membership fees. This will take into consideration the fact that some African ccTLDs
already make payments to ICANN and the ccNSO.

THE FUTURE
Evidently, AfTLD has a significant role to play in presenting as well as representing the
African view on ccTLD community interests at the regional and international level and
promoting the use of ccTLDs in the region. We expect that with the hire of the full time
administrator the AfTLD operations will be intensified and proposed projects will commence
in earnest. As a result, AfTLD will steer towards being a self-sustaining organization capable
of meeting its financial obligations as increased member subscriptions are realized. With the
increased communication and outreach, we expect to see improved participation of African
Internet stakeholders at regional and international forums and greater involvement in policy
development discussions at the global level. It is in the interest of AfTLD to see all 54 African
States with stable and operational ccTLD registry’s over the next 5 years. There are ongoing
deliberations with regards to the proposal for a sponsored top-level domain for Africa – dot
Africa. In this respect, the Excom is closely observing the developments in order to carefully
consider its involvement in the process and its terms of engagement.
I also wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who have tirelessly given their time and
resources towards the success realized so far and humbly request all of you to continue with
your unwavering support as we seek to steer AfTLD to greater heights of serving the African
region in the Internet arena.



Michuki Mwangi
President, AfTLD ExCom
May 2007.

								
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