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ASWG - Terms of Reference


1. Background and purpose

1.1. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) founded in 1998 coordinates and administers core resources of the Internet globally. Africa is one of the five regions of ICANN and Africans have been active members of constituencies in ICANN since 1998. Africa is an emerging Internet economy and has the fastest growing networks but its participation in ICANN is not commensurate where the few number of African Registries and new gTLD applications is the popular example


1.2. The ministerial meeting held alongside the ICANN Dakar meeting in October 2011 issued a communique that called on ICANN to increase its presence in Africa and to be more relevant to needs of the region.


1.3. Towards the conclusion of the tenure of the outgoing CEO of ICANN there were new hires of Vice Presidents for some regions. A group of concerned Africans suggested in a public communication to ICANN that hiring of senior staff for Africa would be better guided by a strategic plan for Africa.


1.4. At the recently held ICANN meeting in Prague a section of African participants met with members of the board and the incoming CEO together with the acting CEO. The CEO requested that the group assist in developing a 3 year strategic plan with clear goals for Africa. The CEO also asked the group to nominate a special advisor for this assignment however the group decided to form a working group instead to lead a community process to develop the strategic plan.


Click here to download the
ICANN Strategic Plan 2012-2015



2. Objectives

2.1. Develop a strategic plan for ICANN activities in Africa addressing the needs for presence in Africa, African participation and representation in ICANN.


2.2. Determine how best to reach out to governments, private sector, civil society, academia and others from Africa for increased participation of Africans in ICANN. Governments have a significant influence in Internet development in Africa.


2.3. Identify education and technology needs of the region that ICANN may be able to assist with.


2.4. Formulate an ICANN regionalization program to Africa and why, when and how to accomplish it.


2.5. Develop a clear 3 year strategy and a concrete plan for the first 12 months – with clearly stated objectives, timelines, roles/responsibilities, governance, and metrics by which we can measure success



3. Membership

3.1. The initial membership were Pierre Dandjinou, Tarek Kamel and Nii Quaynor however after some considerations Maimouna Diop Diagne and Palesa Legoze were added. There was also identified the need to include regional representatives to enrich the working group. Furthermore as a result of a request from the new CEO, Tarek Kamel withdrew from the working group to undertake other assignments for ICANN.


3.2. The current membership are Maimouna Diop Diagne, Palesa Legoze, Pierre Dandjinou and Nii Quaynor.


3.3. Five regional representatives will be nominated to join the working group.


3.4. Two experts from the region will be co-opted to join the working group.



4. Scope/ constraints

4.1. The working group to complete its work by the ICANN meeting in Toronto in October 2012.


4.2. Receive support of the African community in constituencies.


4.3. Work within the budget.



5. Main Users/ Stakeholders

5.1. The key stakeholders are the African community in ICANN

5.2. Constituency interests of AfrICANN

5.3. Larger public interest community in Africa particularly governments and other new entrants



6. Evaluative Research questions

6.1. What has ICANN done right in eyes of the African community in ICANN


6.2. What has ICANN not done right by the African community in ICANN


6.3. What do you wish the most for ICANN to do in interest of Africa


6.4. How can the African community in ICANN best help ICANN


6.5. What are barriers to ICANN in Africa


6.6. How best to improve African participation in ICANN



7. Available Knowledge

7.1. We will make use of the vast experience of key African participants in ICANN to gain insight on best strategy


7.2. The ICANN strategic plan will be invaluable



8. Methodology & process

8.1. Review ICANN strategic plan to identify core elements in order to pin point the elements that address developing country needs. Any deficiencies or enhancers will be examined looking to extract strategic priorities


8.2. Consult Africans in the different constituencies on their perceived needs, prioritize the needs and evaluate the resource requirements of the needs. This will assist in developing a catalog of needs and opportunities that can be pursued


8.3. Consult Africans on perceived benefits to ICANN and rank them based on potential impact. This will produce a catalog of benefits to be explored by ICANN


8.4. Analyze needs and benefits; relate the needs and benefits to develop a SWOT for ICANN in Africa


8.5. Consult ICANN on needs and benefits with a view to extract goals and objectives in interest of ICANN


8.6. Develop strategic options for consideration by ICANN


8.7. Evaluate impact assessment of options and rank these into what may be accomplished in first year action plan and what fits into a 3 year strategy


8.8. Develop recommendations to ICANN



9. Reporting

9.1. Bi-weekly email reports to the community and request for inputs and comments


9.2. Monthly teleconference call with ICANN staff



10. Deliverables

10.1. The process of the strategy working group to engage the community is an important result by itself


10.2. A three year strategic plan


10.3. Action plan for first 12 months


10.4. Success factors to evaluate the implementation of strategy



11 Success Criteria

11.1. Community engagement and support are very important for the success of developing the strategic plan


11.2. ICANN adopts key recommendations from the working group



12. Assumptions

12.1. An existing ICANN strategic plan will be made available to guide the development of the African strategy


12.2. A liaison from among staff of ICANN will be appointed


12.3. A budget for the project will be authorized by ICANN



13. Timelines and Key Milestones

13.1. July:

13.1.1. Conclude ToRs through any further discussion with ICANN and interactions with the African community

13.1.2. Email consultation with African community

13.1.3. Review ICANN's strategic Plan (2013 - 2016)


13.2. August:

13.2.1. Retreat at AfriNIC

13.2.2. develop presentation and roadmap

13.2.3. More community consultation on needs and benefits

13.2.4. Integration of regional IGFs recommendation

13.2.5. Consult ICANN for alignment


13.3. September:

13.3.1. Publish a presentation for general feedback

13.3.2. Review presentation

13.3.3. Prepare summary presentation (30min) for ICANN Toronto


13.4. October:

13.4.1. Present at ICANN Toronto (CEO, Board, African community)

13.4.2. Start draft report



14. Governance

14.1. The working group has a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a spokesperson that manage the process of developing the strategy


14.2. There is a larger African community in ICANN that are the principal stakeholders and co-owners of the strategy



15. Communications

15.1. Mailing list for working group members


15.2. Mailing list for larger community


15.3. Public website to communicate with larger community





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