[At-Large] Message for AFRINIC, AFRALO and spotlight on Tunisia

Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 20:21:32 UTC 2014

Dear AFRALO and its Executives (Aziz Hilali, Mohammed El Bashiri, and
Phillip Johnson), and AFRINIC - Adiel,

South Africa has just formed a new Network Operators Group called SAFNOG
and they will be holding their first operational and technical meeting on
22-23 April, 2014 at the Sandton Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg in South
Africa. See: www.safnog.org

*Brief Encouragement*
Secondly,  I just want you to know that as a fellow global citizen and
colleague  that Africa and its diversity and struggles is not forgotten. As
I hear and read reports of massive displacement, vulnerable communities,
religious wars, food crisis in some parts, civil war in Central Africa,
South Sudan, it makes me appreciate the various support structures such as
AFRINIC and all the ALSes in Africa all the more. No one country is more
important than the other in Africa and all are equally important. Thank you
for the work that you do!

 I continue to be impressed with the level of commitment and contribution
by your communities in global public processes despite the challenges in
your immediate environments.

*Tunisia and remembering the Fruit Vendor and Acknowledging our People*
 I am also very pleased to hear the good news of what is happening in
Tunisia and it is for this reason that I would like to shine the spotlight
on Tunisia to commend them and you AFRALO by extension for the amazing work
you continue to do in Africa.

 I would like to take this time congratulate Tunisia  for its ratification
of a new democratic institution and the installation of an independent
government to lead the country towards new elections. This month also
happens to be the third year anniversary when a fruit vendor sparked a
revolution that set the country on a path to democracy.

The installation of a new, independent government under the leadership of
Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa is an important step to ensure that the country
has competent and non-partisan leadership during the period leading to the
next election. As you transition to democracy, it will no doubt set the
tone for the environment in which internet governance and access issues for
the people of Tunisia. In the middle of extreme circumstances and
environment to see people like Tijani Ben Jemaa and Dhouha Bayassarou and
many others from Tunisia who continue to contribute to global public
processes by sacrificing their time, energy.  Tunisia and Egypt were among
the first countries in this decade to witness the Arab Spring and a massive
revolution. If it were not for the seedbed of that frustrated fruit vendor,
the masses in Tunisia would have still accepted the oppression. As Tunisia
celebrates its democratic transition let us not forget the fruit vendor and
people like Tijani who continue to strive to bring development to Africa.
Tijani is a fierce advocate for "access" for the people of Africa; he
continues to fight for meaningful participation and access. Special
congratulations to the Tunisian Association of Internet and Multimedia and
Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations.

This ALS like its counterparts, daily contributes to their national
development by facilitating trainings, creating awareness. The Tunisian
Association of Internet and Multimedia has been active in various forums
such as WSIS, IGF, ICANN, ITU etc. I would like to congratulate you on your
many achievements but more importantly on the great step to transitioning
to democracy so that the death of that one fruit vendor three years ago is
not in vain.

Wishing Tunisia and the whole of Africa well!

With every best wish,



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