“FIFA reminds us of ICANN” : Sophia Bekele & Fadi Chehade’s resignation analysis

Sophia Bekele, founder of DotConnectAfrica.

Sophia Bekele, founder of DotConnectAfrica.

Sophia Bekele, founder of DotConnectAfrica and the Yes2DotAfrica campaign does not mince her words.

In an article that offers an analysis of Fadi Chehadé’s resignation as president and CEO of ICANN – effective next year – Ms. Bekele invites more ICANN officials to resign.

Cauterizing Fadi Chehadé’s departure as an indication of “mixed leadership record“, Bekele states that Fadi Chehadé took his own approach to several ICANN programs already in existence, and gave them his own direction.

By suddenly ending his scheduled 5 year tenure, Fadi Chehadé is thus most likely creating structural and procedural issues for these pending policies.

“In a nutshell, Fadi Chehade attempted to consolidate his professional legacy at ICANN based on achieving internationalization, completing the IANA Transition, and causing a paradigm shift in Global Internet Governance by introducing the NMI as ‘a new kid on the block’ that would help strengthen the structures of Internet Governance.

The non-completion of some of these programs and initiatives that Fadi Chehade started before deciding to step aside as ICANN CEO would cause his leadership achievements and professional legacy at ICANN to remain mixed and incomplete.”

Taking her analysis ever further, Sophia Bekele states that the FIFA scandal that recently broke reminds her of ICANN, in reference to its self-regulation status:

“Only proper regulation by an independent agency with full Congressional mandate will ensure that a ‘FIFA-Mafia type’ organization of systematic corruption does not emerge. ICANN should not be trusted by Congress to regulate itself.”

Bekele suggests that now it’s the time for fresh thinking and new beginnings at ICANN and NTIA; her proposal covers these points:

  • Need to Investigate the Conflicts of Interests of ICANN Board Members: Fadi’s resignation as CEO should also cause ICANN to be re-evaluated and its Board Members numerous Conflicts of Interest to be thoroughly investigated by the US Department of Justice and the pertinent Congressional Judiciary Committees.
  • We need not remind ourselves once again that there is still no governing legal framework for the IANA Transition.
  • ICANN should first of all be given a clean bill of health before the IANA Transition is allowed. A US-centered organization like ICANN must not become like FIFA.
  • Only the establishment of a proper regulatory environment would help avoid any potential criminal mismanagement of funds generated from the governance and technical administration of the Internet.

Lastly, Ms. Bekele calls for accountability across the board, calling for others to resign from key positions at ICANN and NTIA:

“I personally think that in addition to Fadi Chehade, the ICANN Board Chairman Dr. Stephen Crocker should also probably resign; and the NTIA’s Hon. Larry Stickling too — so that both ICANN and NTIA will benefit from fresh thinking regarding the IANA Transition. Only new people that can inspire and win the full confidence of the U.S. Congress should now take responsibility for the IANA Transition at ICANN and the NTIA; and at the same time ensure that the mandatory ICANN Accountability Improvements that are now being sought will not just be a pro-forma effort.”

Sophia Bekele’s statements are important and raise valid concerns within the governing body of the Internet; the FIFA scandal analogy is a strong attempt at bringing awareness to the issues existing at ICANN for a very long time.

For the full article by Sophia Bekele, titled “Fadi’s Resignation, Sepp Blatter’s Resignation – Others Should Consider Resigning as Well…click here.


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One Response to ““FIFA reminds us of ICANN” : Sophia Bekele & Fadi Chehade’s resignation analysis”
  1. Kevin Murphy says:

    What is “the Yes2DotAfrica campaign”?

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