Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 14:03:16 PDT
Sender: "African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List" <AFRIK-IT@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE>
From: Edward Addo-Dankwa <addo_dankwa@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: AN S. O. S. CRY (ISOC-AFRICA CHAPTER)
Comments: To: firstname.lastname@example.org
An S.O.S. cry (ISOC-Africa Chapter)
From Edward Addo-Dankwa, 24 June 1999
There has been several attempts and discussions about uniting Africa. Politicians all over africa have failed woefully in their efforts at this unity. I have been having a secret vision that IT is going to achieve this. Contributions from all, on various Africa issues give me hope that this can be achieved. Current discussions on Afrinic have generally been frank and quite interesting.
I am now begining to have serious doubts about the success of African unity. Some POLITICS is now creeping into our system and if we are not careful, it will destroy us.
We are PROFESSIONALS, not POLITICIANS when it comes to IT. This Francophone-Anglophone divide is going to kill us if we are not careful.
Over a month ago, there was a posting from Tarek Kamel that Africans at the INET'99 would meet on Thursday, 24th June to discuss Internet in Africa (AFRINIC), etc. - A very good idea towards the formation ISOC Africa. Yesterday, Wednessday 23rd June, French speaking Africans were call to a meeting at the Hilton Hotel, and I felt sorry when I heard some of the decisions taken at there. In short, they agreed that they are not coming for this all-important meeting.
They are claiming that at the Developing Countries Symposium held on the Monday, Dr. Quaynor, in responds to Dr. Wawa Ngege's contribution that there should have been simultaneous translation of the proceedings into the major langauges (French and Spanish), said that CANNOT be. Well I think those of you who were at the meeting will agree that he did not say that. I think Dr. Quaynor will have to explain again what he said in answer to that contribution.
My concern is that if even he did say that, do we sacrifice our chance of uniting because maybe some few among us do not like Nii Quaynor ?? I am very worried because this same problem came up in INET'98 at Geneva last year, where a few Fancophones created so much confusion in our attempts to form the ISOC Africa. I believe these same people are behind this too.
I think honourable people in Africa like Dr. Wawa Ngege, who is both Anglophone and Francophone, Tarek Kamel, ISOC Board of Trustee member, and all Africans should bring their weights and influences to bear and help solve this problem ones and for all. Let's bear in mind that France cannot support Francophone countries for ever. A time will definately come when they will pull out.
Africans, we need each other, whether Francophone or Anglophone.
I wish to appeal to our Francophone brothers who have decided not to attend this meeting today, to change their minds and come help in shaping Internet, and IT in Africa. We need it.