[ppml] Policy Proposal 2003-15: IPv4 Allocation Policy for the Africa Portion of the ARIN Region

Gregory Massel gregm at datapro.co.za
Wed Sep 24 16:21:11 EDT 2003

Owen wrote:
> Right.  That's why I think AfriNIC is vaporware for now and we should
> not set ARIN policy exceptions based on the theory that eventually AfriNIC
> (whatever it may become) would possibly adopt said policy.  If ISPs in
> Sub-saharan Africa want to be handled by the Afri-mini registry within
> RIPE, I don't see a problem with transferring that responsibility from
> ARIN to said mini-registry.  However, until that happens, I still don't
> see justification for creating an exception instead of fixing the policy
> for everyone.

I'd like to address your misconception that AfriNIC is vaporware.
- AfriNIC was formally proposed in 1997 at Kuala Lumpur
- Numerous AfriNIC meetings were held in the following years
- AfriNIC is now a recognised organisation with numerous sponsors from
around Africa (including private sponsors and government)
- AfriNIC is in the process of setting up offices in four countries (Egypt,
Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa)
- AfriNIC has an elected board (in fact it has had for many years)
- AfriNIC has two hostmasters (who are in training)

It is true, however, that AfriNIC is not yet able to operate as a
self-sufficient NIC. That will only happen once the offices are all
operational, additional staff have been hired and trained and policies and
fees have been formalised.

The reason AfriNIC will operate as a mini-registry within RIPE initially is
so that the organisation can draw on RIPE's expertise, learn from an
establised NIC, and keep startup costs to a minimum.

Mury wrote:
> This brings up a new question for me.  When AfriNIC becomes a reality are
> they going to implement this policy any way?  If so, we may as well do it
> now.  I don't agree with it, but if it's a future reality why wait.

When AfriNIC first starts making assignments/allocations (???), it will draw
strongly on RIPE and ARIN's existing policies, especially where there are
similarities. Given the almost unanimous support from the African community
for 2003-15, I think it is obvious that AfriNIC will take this into

I agree with you wholeheartedly - why wait? The reality is that supporting
2003-15 is very similar to supporting the formation of AfriNIC. Both
ackowlege that the region needs to influence its governance.

Mury wrote:
> Is ARIN allocating IPs to African countries out of the same blocks?

Yes -
There have been allocations from other blocks, but by far the bulk are from
the aforementioned.

Owen wrote:
> I'm hoping that you can see that by keeping 2003-15 on the table both
> policies
> are being jeopardized to non-consensus or long timelines.  If 2003-15
> effect, it could create more of an uphill battle for 2002-3.  Afterall, if
> Africa gets what they need, they would have no reason to support what we
> need in North America, even though we're asking for the same thing.
> In 2002-3, we ask for everybody to get what is needed.  In 2003-15, Africa
> asks for what Africa needs while ignoring that everyone needs it.

Owen, I don't see how 2003-15 would compromise 2002-3. If anything, I
believe that if 2003-15 is passed, it will create a strong precedent for the
passing of 2002-3.

Where the two proposals differ fundamentally, is that one establishes a
fundamental acceptance that the African region needs to be strongly
acknowleged in the setting of policies that affect it. This is why I support
both 2002-3 and 2003-15 and believe that they should be evaluated

I also find it alarming that you think that Africa will not back 2002-3 as
well. The reality is that we have felt the pain first hand and accordingly
are immensely sympathetic to our colleagues world-wide. We understand that
in order to gain the support of the global Internet community, we need to
support it too. At the same time, I'd strongly discourage alienating the
African Internet community, because we are your strongest allies with
proposals like 2002-3.

Yes, we have been rather silent in the past, but the reality is that until
recently most Africans were unaware that ARIN was interested in what they
had to say. The time devoted to AfriNIC and ARIN presence at the iWeek
conference in Johannesburg has created a lot more awareness than there was.
In the future, you will see more of us both on this list and at ARIN

Owen wrote:
> I don't know if I can do this on the list or not, but, I hereby formally
> propose that proposal 2002-3 be amended to include both allocations and
> assignments.

I support this suggestion.

Finally, I want to address what I see as one of the concerns that 2003-15
may introduce - what happens when a North American ISP asks, "Why am I being
treated differently?"

My answer (assuming hypothetically that 2003-15 is accepted) would be: ARIN
members have afforded Africa the right to influence the policy that is
applied to their region. Similar proposals (eg. 2002-3) are on the cards and
apply to the North American region; We strongly suggest that you voice your
support for these proposals.

Gregory Massel
co-chairman: ISPA (South Africa)

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