The election for AFRINIC's executive board has been delayed yet again. It is clear that something amiss is happening in AFRINIC.
AFRINIC has been in a status of a lack of quorum. This means that AFRINIC does not have enough number of people to function as an organization. The situation calls for a sense of urgency, yet is met with repeated delays.
The most crucial piece in the organization is missing.
AFRINIC has neither board nor CEO. This means that they are not legally allowed to take decisions. Without a board or CEO, they are unable to spend money (apart from paying staff salaries) or take any action.
This delay is creating doubts as to what really is happening behind closed doors in AFRINIC.
Organizations like the Number Resource Society (NRS) are calling for an end to these avoidable delays. NRS believe AFRINIC's election needs to happen as soon as possible: for the sake of AFRINIC and Internet development in Africa.
A new election will help AFRINIC resume its normal operations. The lack of a registry to manage the Internet assets of Africa is dealing hurtful blows to businesses.
AFRINIC has been provided with multiple opportunities to hold an election. So why do delays keep happening?
Is it because some people in AFRINIC would rather hold on to their power instead of doing the greater good? Are they unfairly using their position to delay a much-needed election until it is forgotten by the public?
The actions of AFRINIC's ex-management are casting doubts on their intentions. Let's recall the events:
1. A member of AFRINIC has filed an application with the Mauritius court in May 2022, seeking a lawful election under the company act. NRS has obtained a motion paper from the Supreme Court of Mauritius. Despite their efforts, the previous management of AFRINIC rejected all possibilities for a peaceful resolution, including a mediation attempt. As a result, the application is still awaiting a decision from the Court.
AFRINIC's previous management refused to seek a solution to the issues they were facing.
2. Instead of trying to resolve the situation through elections, the previous management of AFRINIC attempted to submit an application for the appointment of directors. However, the only legitimate and democratic method for appointing directors is through an election. The courts in Mauritius have provided a way for this to occur without the need for directors.
Furthermore, the previous management even attempted to pass written resolutions despite the absence of a quorumed board, but their actions were halted by a court injunction.
Evidently, AFRINIC's previous management is doing everything possible to avoid holding an election. Are they fighting to keep the wrong individuals in power for as long as possible?
The application to hand-pick directors, as if they were elected and mandated, by the chair of AFRINIC Benjamin Eshun, has been rejected by court.
The judge advised AFRINIC's former management to seek alternative solutions that involve its members, rather than resorting to potentially unlawful methods, such as filing an illegal application.
These desperate actions seem to be an acknowledgement that the community no longer supports AFRINIC's current leaders. They are making every effort to evade the rightful exercise of members' voting rights by avoiding a lawful election.
NRS firmly believes that an election is urgently required for the sake of AFRINIC's stability and to maintain a reliable Internet service worldwide.
For complete transparency, we have included the unlawful written resolution attempted by the remaining board members, including Mr Eshun, as well as the motion paper requesting an election since May 2022, in our blog post.
Your involvement is crucial in making this election a reality. Your voice can be the catalyst Africa needs at this critical juncture.
We implore our members to take action by spreading the message about the urgent need for a lawful, free and fair election and ensuring every member's voice is heard.
NRS is dedicated to fighting for a democratic Africa's Internet, free from corrupt and authoritarian leaders. We need your support to secure victory in this battle for democracy.