AFRINIC AFRINIC CEO, Eddy Kayihura, reaches out to the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), for potential Board Directors

The African Telecommunications Union is a specialised agency of the African Union set up to promote the development of info-communications in Africa. The Union comprises of 48 Member States and 54 Associate Members (comprising of telecom operators).

Ish Sookun

2 min read min read

Today, an email landed on the AFRINIC Resource Policy Discussion list, in which a subscriber accuses the CEO of AFRINIC, Eddy Kayihura, of trying to ask a governmental body to interfere with AFRINIC's independent procedure for electing Board Directors.

The email contained two attachments;

  • a letter sent to the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), signed by Eddy Kayihura, and
  • a letter by the ATU in response to E. Kayihura's request, signed by John Omo, the Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union.

The subscriber also copied the email to the global RIR community.

Context

Recent lawsuits against AFRINIC by Africa on Cloud (Pty) Ltd and Crystal Web (Pty) Ltd have caused the AFRINIC Board of Directors to be incapable of holding any meetings and make any decisions. Thus, causing an impediment to the organisation's proper functioning.

During the AFRINIC Annual General Members Meeting (AGMM) on the 3rd June 2022, the Board Election could not be carried out either because of a court order prohibiting the same. Eddy Kayihura sent an email to Resource Members on 16 May 2022 informing that AFRINIC was served an Interim Order of the Supreme Court of Mauritius on that same afternoon. The Order prohibited AFRINIC from proceeding further with the election of its Board.

Companies Act of Mauritius

Section 136 of the Companies Act 2001 of Mauritius stipulates —

136. Court may appoint directors
     
     (1) Where –
         (a) there are no directors of a company, or the number of directors 
             is less than the quorum required for a meeting of the Board; and
         (b) it is not possible or practicable to appoint directors in 
             accordance with the company’s constitution or under section 
             140(3),
             
a shareholder or creditor of the company may apply to the Court to appoint 
one or more persons as directors of the company, and the Court may make an
appointment if it considers that it is in the interests of the company to do 
so.

     (2)  An appointment shall be made on such terms and conditions as the 
          Court thinks fit.

In the letter to the African Telecommunications Union, Eddy Kayihura explained that a string of litigation, initiated by a handful of Resource Members, has temporarily deprived AFRINIC of a quorum at the level of its Board of Directors.

Eddy further mentions that he is writing the letter in the capacity of a Resource Member of AFRINIC and that he intends to apply to the Supreme Court of Mauritius to appoint directors of AFRINIC. He then requests the Secretary General of the ATU, to assist him by providing a list of four or more persons who would be willing to act as director on the Board of AFRINIC (should the Supreme Court of Mauritius direct so).

John Omo, the Secretary General of the ATU, responded with a list of four persons from Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Kenya.