Cybercity, Ebene, Mauritius.
The Board would like to share the following information with the AFRINIC community at large.
Completion of the CEO search process
After a rigorous recruitment process, the Board announced the appointment of Mr. Eddy Kayihura on 25 October 2019 as the new CEO to replace Mr. Alan Barrett who left the organisation in July 2019 after serving for almost five years. Eddy, 43, joined the company on 4 November 2019. The new CEO brings on board a wealth of experience acquired over a period of more than 20 years as a chief executive officer, chief information technology officer (CIO), a network engineer, software developer among other positions in the IT and Telecommunications industry. We request our members to offer Eddy the necessary support, space and autonomy he needs to successfully lead the organisation.
1. Strategic Plan
The life of the current Strategic Plan 2016-2020 is coming to an end and there is a need to develop the next one. AFRINIC has published an assessment of the current Strategic Plan. We also launched consultations on the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 during AFRINIC 31. The consultation phase will be closed on 30 April 2020. Please see the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 assessment, and time plan for the development of the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 at https://afrinic.net/strategy#2016-2020.
2. Election guidelines
AFRINIC has been holding public consultations on the Election Guideline. The deadline for comments was 13 December 2019. The Board will compile and incorporate the feedback in the final version of the Election Guideline.
3. Filling of casual vacancy for Eastern Africa (Seat 6)
The seat on the Board for Eastern Africa has been vacant since October. The Board has decided to fill the seat according to the process followed in the past. Those interested in contesting the seat should fill the form found at https://registration.afrinic.net/elections/board-express-of-interest-201912.
4. External Auditor for Financial Year 2019
AFRINIC has a statutory requirement to appoint an External Auditor. The External Auditor appointed for FY 2019 informed AFRINIC that it will be unavailable to conduct the exercise. On 28 October 2019, the Board received a resignation letter from PwC. In the letter, PwC stated that their resignation was based on their risk assessment without going into detail. On 5 November 2019, on behalf of the Board, the CEO wrote to PwC requesting further explanation. After waiting for over a month for feedback from PwC, the Board has decided to share the letter (accessible to members only) via https://afrinic.net/letter
Further, AFRINIC has identified a new External Auditor to fill the casual vacancy as per section 15.3 (v) of the AFRINIC Constitution. The name of the Auditor will be announced once contract negotiations are finalised.
5. Update on IP investigation
As mentioned in our previous announcement on the matter, AFRINIC has been addressing the issue of suspicious activities in the WHOIS database which affected some resources.
Further to the Board’s communication during the Community Engagement exercise at the AFRINIC 31 meeting, we hereby reaffirm that the Board initiated investigations as soon as it learnt of the matter. The issue was first brought to the attention of the Board after the resignation of the former CEO who informed the Board that there might have been some unauthorised changes in the AFRINIC WHOIS database and that internal investigations were on-going. The Board, in conjunction with the management led by the Interim CEO, decided to seek assistance from one of the RIRs. In order to ensure an independent assessment and internal investigation, APNIC was selected to lead the investigations. APNIC submitted a report which confirms some of the allegations. The matter was reported to the Central Criminal Investigation Division of the Mauritius Police Force on Tuesday, 10 December 2019 for further investigation and action. Unfortunately, we cannot, at this stage, add anything more on the matter so as not to cause prejudice to the on-going police investigation.
In the meantime, the CEO is tasked with instituting internal measures to limit access, and avoid manipulation of objects in WHOIS database and to suspend or revoke implicated and/or suspected parties who have access to infrastructure, services and other resources. The Board is considering what additional resources would be needed during the course of the investigation and action.
6. Board community engagement session
The Board held its second Community Engagement exercise during the AFRINIC 31 meeting during which participants raised several issues. The Board also introduced the new CEO to the community. It also fielded several questions from both those on-site and those attending the meeting remotely.
7. Budget 2020
The Board approved the budget for FY 2020.
The 2020 Operations budget take cognisance of the following factors:
- 2020 is the last year of the current cycle of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
- AFRINIC is hitting Soft Landing Phase 2.
As a result of the above, a very conservative approach was adopted in deriving the numbers and operational activities focused on objectives which appeared on the Strategic Plan but were yet to be achieved
2020 Fee Revenue target assumes that new membership shall continue to grow at a slower pace during the second phase of the Soft Landing.
The budgeted operating costs for 2020 reflects the continuing execution of the Strategic Plan while maintaining high standards of service level.
Human Resources budget includes reinforcing the structure to cater to increased expectations. A new area of focus was added to recognise the need for increased stakeholder engagement. In addition, special attention is being paid to strengthening the organisation’s infrastructure.
8. Ad-Hoc Reform Committee
The Board has formed an Ad-Hoc Reform Committee following community consultations that started in Kampala during the Africa Internet Summit in June 2019. The committee will assess the challenges facing AFRINIC and make a recommendation to the Board. The Committee is composed of:
- Past AFRINIC CEOs (Mr. Adiel Akplogan and Mr. Alan Barrett)
- Past AFRINIC Chair (Dr. Viv Padayatchy)
- Governance Committee representative (Dr. Alioune Traore)
- RIR representative (Mr. Paul Wilson, CEO APNIC)
- Board representative (Prof. Habib Youssef)
9. Fee Review
The Board concluded AFRINIC fee review discussions and decided that there will be no change in the current fee categories. However, with the Soft Landing phase 2 approach, the Board has introduced two new fee categories in order to make the Soft Landing phase 2 policy requirements fully implementable.
Dr. Christian D. Bope
Chairman, AFRINIC Board of Directors