26 January 2011: DCA has been compelled to make a commentary on this subject matter and has presented its views as follows:
African Union and the .Africa debate
by Thomas Kamanzi,
Our attention has been drawn to a recent article on computerworld.co.ke re: African Union joins the .Africa debate, by staff writer Ms Rebecca Wanjiku who inadvertently revealed a rather disturbing influence-peddling activities coupled with evidence of abuse of office. Article link: http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=EFAAA1C0-1A64-6A71-CE3979187410031B
The article makes it quite evident that there is an attempt at high-profile influence peddling that pervades the on-going debate and 'fights' on how the management of the .Africa TLD (Dot Africa Top Level Domain) should be handled between and amongst the various contenders, and what role is expected of the African Union as one of principal Pan-African organization. The article also attempts to give the public an impression that AU is and/or should be the arbitrator instead of ICANN in selecting the dotafrica registry, against international rules and procedures.
Following the recent rejection and failed electoral bid by a certain cabal to enable their own candidate Pierre Dandjinou (quoted in the article) gain a seat on the ICANN Board, this 'cabal' has again constituted its into an influence-peddling ring which somehow managed to inveigle the Ghanaian ICT Minister to write to ICANN, simply with the intention of steering and/or manipulating the ICANN Leadership to behave in a certain manner.
It is therefore important to ask some pertinent questions: "What or who pushed the Ghanaian ICT Minister to write to ICANN? What inspired him to write to ICANN to portray another contender in somewhat negative light? What further proof do we now need to reveal to one and all that the 'influence peddlers' have pushed a government Minister of Ghana to abuse his office? Why the overt involvement in a matter that is of no direct concern to the Government of Ghana? Does the Government of Ghana now speak for the African Union, as to warrant this unnecessary intervention, yet evidently willful manipulation that was simply aimed at pushing ICANN in a certain direction? How come only the Ghanaian ICT Minister and not the ICT Ministers of the rest countries of Africa wrote to ICANN? If all African ICT Ministers write to ICANN, and this important body gets pulled in different directions, how could ICANN function independently without undue interference in its affairs and internal policy-making machinery? The questions are indeed many.
Even though we are not pointing any accusing fingers at anyone, it is well-known that Nii Quaynor has high-profile friends and contacts within the Ghanaian Government and Ghanaian contacts in intergovernmental organizations, and that "dotafrica.org" which is registered to him wants to be a contender in the dotafrica bid. Additionally, Nii has recently in public email accused DCA of wanting to privatize the dotafrica TLD, to which the Ghanaian Minister seem to have implied in his letter to ICANN; This following another untruthful accusation Nii threw in the same public note, on plagiarism of dotafrica model from his own, as well as registration of "connectdotafrica.org" domain in 2007, stating "look who is copying who" which is now proved to be bogus, an empty accusation without merit. The community has learned as of his accusation date, that "connectdotafrica.org" was not registered to anyone, however DCA has now registered it to protect our domain portfolio from such empty claims so as not to confuse the public. Another question to ask here is, how come then the ICT Minister of Ghana did not raise the same concern of privatization and self interest to the other proposal? How does Nii's model inadvertently become a "community" model, Mr. Vika has referred to in the same article.
Therefore one would not be overtly speculative in deducing that those who have constituted themselves into a nexus of opposition against DCA now seem to have entangled themselves in a web of confusion, influence-peddling, and blatant abuse of office. We would therefore like to strongly urge ComputerWorld Kenya, to act in the spirit of investigative journalism to dig deeper into the matter and help uncover the underlying truths behind this entire saga. Stop this negative campaign of traducement against DCA.
Now to the other issues we have with the report.
It is unbalanced, non-factual, and perhaps due to inexperience of the writer, and her apparent unjustifiable haste to go to press, she forgot to verify information from the AU, and also forgot to include the opinion of alternate stakeholders so as to present a balanced, and factually-accurate report that adheres to the cannons of journalistic integrity, ethical principles, sanctity of public information, and fairness to all parties.
Therefore, overall, even though the report was somehow presented unfairly in order to damage our corporate interests, we feel victorious and encouraged that our enduring moral position has been again bolstered and vindicated.