Statement Regarding AFRINIC Bank Account Freeze

Below (and attached) is our statement regarding the freezing of AFRINIC's bank accounts in response to litigation initiated by Cloud Innovation Ltd.

The Arabic, French, and Portuguese translations were voluntarily drafted by members of our community.

To whom it may concern,

We, the African IXP Association (Af-IX), are writing in reference to the freezing of AFRINIC's bank accounts in response to litigation initiated by Cloud Innovation Ltd.

Our membership consists of 47 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in 35 countries that collectively function as the core of Africa’s Internet ecosystem which approximately 452 million people use on a daily basis.

The African IXP Association recognises AFRINIC as the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa. AFRINIC has served our region since 2005 through a community-led “bottom-up” process. As the RIR, it manages key technical resources and services that are essential to the development and operation of the critical Internet infrastructure that our members provide. This includes, but is not limited to, the delegation and management of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; the WHOIS service; and the publication of Reverse DNS zones.

The freezing of AFRINIC’s bank accounts prevents it from paying its own staff and operational costs including third party services which include, but are not limited to, data center colocation and Internet bandwidth.

If AFRINIC’s bank accounts remain frozen, it could be evicted from third-party data centers, disconnected from the Internet, or otherwise rendered incapable of delivering the services which our members and the regional Internet depend on.

While our members’ infrastructure, and the Internet more generally, is engineered to endure brief outages of these services, a protracted outage would have a significant impact on the security and stability of Africa’s telecommunications ecosystem as well as the region’s short and long term economic, social, and political landscape.

We are also concerned that this action has severely limited AFRINIC’s ability to defend itself against litigation which could potentially destabilize or even bankrupt the organization.

In light of the above, we urge the courts of Mauritius to allow AFRINIC to access its bank accounts in a manner that addresses these concerns and reasonably protects the interests of all stakeholders during the legal proceedings.

We hope that the above contributions prove useful in your deliberations. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of this letter in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The African IXP Association (AFIX)