Yes2dotAfrica Campaign says “NO” to the AU “EOI”

The African Union Commission Addis Ababa in a recent Communiqué issued to clarify its position on DotAfrica stated that it will float an Expression of Interest process to short-list bidders to be endorsed for DotAfrica, and as of Week 20 of 2011 commenced this rather unwarranted and unnecessary effort. AU Expresstion Of Interest

DCA believes that the African Union cannot be neglectful of the serious sentiments it as expressed in the above Communiqué of 12th May 2011, inter alia: “The African Union Commission takes this opportunity to again reassure the people and governments of Africa of its commitment to a transparent and accountable process in the selection of the winning candidate”. The keywords are transparency and accountability – for these have a bearing on credibility, and institutional reputation. AU Clarification on dotafrica.

First, any talk of transparency and accountability now sounds hollow and unbelievable.  DCA believes that the EOI process is a red-herring designed to manipulate international opinion and public regarding AU’s commitment to transparency and accountability, whereas the clarification itself falls short of telling the truth.  The clarification is untruthful to the extent that it does not acknowledge that DCA was given an endorsement by the AU. Therefore, the very EOI process on DotAfrica is now discredited, and considered a surreptitious ruse that would be employed to unfairly endorse AfTLD.

Second, it is quite evident that the present EOI process is a ruse to officially hijack the DotAfrica Initiative using supposititious African Union official machinery and imprimatur, now termed ‘AU-led’-process, to favour AfTLD.

Third, on what basis would one participate in a process that is founded on untruth and erected on an altar of injustice? Therefore, DCA will not give any credence to a discredited, iniquitous and inequitable process which evidently does not satisfy the basic canons of probity. .

Accordingly, DCA would like to again stress the following points for the record:

1.   The DCA therefore will not give credence to a process that lacks probity, and hereby serves notice that it would not participate in the current process which has no credibility.  The DCA already expressed interest by proposing the DotAfrica initiative to the African Union Commission in 2006 and again in 2008, and after a rigorous process of making technical presentations, meetings, clarifications and exchange of correspondence with the Commission, the AU in 2009, issued DCA with an official endorsement of the Initiative proposed. DCA Endorsment.

2.   Since the AU Task Force members have already expressed interest on DotAfrica, and have also openly supported AfTLD, it is therefore clear to one and all that the AU Task Force on DotAfrica is tainted, AfTLD Press Release-Ghana, because its members who are in a sinister confederacy with AfTLD are manifestly leading the organization astray by floating wrong and unworkable proposals, whilst pushing an opaque and illegal agenda that is aimed at victimizing DCA in order to favour and reward AfTLD.

3.  So it is quite clear that the EOI process would simply be a procedure that has been solely contrived to ‘evaluate and award’ the bid to themselves; to wit, why should DCA bother to participate when the odds are already stacked against it?

4. It is already recognized that the AU is supposed to be an endorsing partner on DotAfrica, and cannot participate directly in the ICANN process. The African Union Commission is not in the business of Global Internet Domain Governance, so on what basis would it be applying directly to ICANN after already endorsing DCA to participate in the same bid?  How come the AU now aims to become a competitor in the same process that it was simply supposed to endorse?  Where is the equity in the AU choosing to sideline DCA, after the DCA proposed and clarified the DotAfrica Initiative to AU in the first place?   AUC Briefing note on .Africa

Thus, whilst DCA believes that transparency and accountability are important, probity, truth, honesty, justice, fairness, legality, equity, and other related ethical and justicial norms cannot, and should not be ruled out and ignored as if these are not imperative.    How could one therefore accept an EOI process that is based on a willful suppression of the truth? Where is the credibility of the African Union?

Unless acceptable answers are provided, the institutional reputation of the African Union is now at stake, and this apex African organization might suffer irreparable harm and acute embarrassment unless it takes immediate and reasonable steps to correct the injustice that has been committed against the DCA.

The African Union  should be seen as the Custodian of the high ideals and sacrosanct values that we all strive for to enable us build the Africa of our dreams; as envisioned by all those leaders who sacrificed so much for the freedom of our peoples. A lot is therefore expected of, and from the African Union, as we all try to establish the grundnorm of a Renascent Africa.  Therefore, the  EOI process is the ‘invention’ of the AU Taskforce, and should be rejected.  It would be a huge and total disaster and become a proverbial byword for African inability to perform and coordinate.

Finally, the DCA hereby warns individuals, firms, registries and such organizations to shun the EOI process and not to participate in it, since this may become a legal minefield and quagmire that will land them in trouble.

In view of all of the aforementioned, DCA hereby requests the AU Commission to stop the unjustifiable EOI process immediately, acknowledge and reinstate DCA’s original endorsement forthwith, between the DotConnect Africa and African Union Commission (as endorsing partner).   Only the immediate discontinuation of the EOI process will help everyone come to knowledge of the profound truth so as to restore confidence and fairness in the service of justice, and help avoid this looming catastrophe

Anything short of this will be a travesty that would not only damage the hard-won reputation and institutional credibility of this respected Pan-African organization, but also shatter Africa’s DotAfrica dreams.

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