Controversy over new CEO for AFRINIC

A dispute has erupted among members of the African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) following the leak of the name of the person who was tapped to become the next CEO of the organisation.

AFRINIC is the Regional Internet Registry for the African region. It is responsible for managing the assignment of Internet Protocol addresses in the region.

Alan Barrett resigned as AFRINIC CEO earlier this year, and the organisation has been searching for a replacement since May.

AFRINIC said in a statement that the leak of its preferred candidate for CEO occurred shortly after its CEO Search Committee concluded its interviews with potential candidates.

The leak was a tweet from AFRINIC board member Robert Ford Nkusi, who congratulated fellow Eddy Kayihura, a fellow Rwandan, for being chosen as the next CEO of AFRINIC.

Nkusi was the board member for the Eastern Africa sub-region and vice chairman of the AFRINIC board.

He has since deleted the tweet, but responses to his original post are still available. He has also subsequently retweeted one of these responses.

Twitter post congratulating Eddy Kayihura on being tapped as the next AFRINIC CEO

During an emergency meeting of the AFRINIC board the following day, Nkusi admitted to his mistake and offered his resignation. The board accepted his resignation, AFRINIC stated.

AFRINIC also said that the board met again on the same day and resolved to accept the recommendation of the CEO Search Committee.

“The Board of Directors selected the next possible CEO based on the highest aggregate score. The name of the next CEO will be announced once contractual negotiations are finalised,” AFRINIC said.

Controversy

Following news of the leak, an objection was raised to the AFRINIC board regarding the process followed to select the next CEO.

The current AFRINIC bylaws state that the board may not hire someone who is from the same country where AFRINIC is headquartered.

MyBroadband understands that this restriction was written into the bylaws to guard against one African nation being able to take full control of the organisation.

AFRINIC is headquartered in Mauritius, which means that Mauritian nationals can’t be appointed as the CEO of the organisation.

However, this appears to be in contravention of the Mauritian Equal Opportunities Act which states that employers may not discriminate according to a person’s place of origin.

AFRINIC members discussing the issue have suggested that the organisation’s bylaws must first be amended and that the current CEO search process is invalid. Others have suggested that AFRINIC should be relocated out of Mauritius entirely.

MyBroadband asked AFRINIC about the conflict between its bylaws and Mauritian law. It did not respond by the time of publication.

Now read: ISPA serves legal letter on AFRINIC over board election

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Controversy over new CEO for AFRINIC