African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC), the Mauritius based Regional Internet Registry for Africa is heading towards membership elections following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Mauritius appointing an Official Receiver to oversee, amongst other pertinent matters, elections for the AFRINIC Executive Council.

A Judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Mauritius on 12 September 2023 provides the pan-Africa Regional Internet Registry much needed stability after a series of failings by its former management.

AFRINIC has been mired in scandal for a number of years including corruption and allegations of mis-management. The former CEO, Eddy Kayihura left his post in November 2022 following a ruling in June 2022 by the Supreme Court of Mauritius to suspend him as CEO. BTW Media understand that all positions of Directors of AFRINIC are now vacant leading the way to elections.  Under Mauritian law, AFRINIC is being managed by the official Court Appointed Receiver, Mr. Vasoodayven Virasami who is tasked with securing the organization and running it until elections can be held.

Elections have been made possible by the legal case brought by Seychelles based, Cloud Innovation. The organization, led by tech entrepreneur Lu Heng, welcomed this “landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of Mauritius to appoint an official receiver to preserve AFRINIC’s assets and to hold elections for AFRINIC as quickly as possible.”  Ruling in favour of Cloud Innovation application to appoint a Receiver and to hold elections, the Supreme Court judgment stated: “Cloud Innovation Limited, is fully justified, reasonable, and fair”.

In a statement issued to BTW Media, Cloud Innovation Chief Executive Officer, Lu Heng said:

“I welcome the Judgment of the Supreme Court of Mauritius agreeing to our request to appoint an Official Receiver so that elections can be held for AFRINIC within six months. This provides must needed stability for Africa’s regional internet registry. It is important for the stability of AFRINIC that all members follow the Judgment and work with the Official Receiver to ensure elections can take place. The RIR community must come together and join Cloud Innovation in protecting the interests of Africa’s internet users”.

Lu Heng added: “The Judgment makes clear that the action sought by Cloud Innovation was “fully justified, reasonable and fair” and our focus now must be on supporting the staff and members of AFRINIC and delivering the Court Ordered elections so that AFRINIC can look to the future with confidence focused on its core services as Africa’s internet registry.”

The judgement in favour of Cloud Innovation was welcomed by John Curran, 2023 Chair Number Resource Organization (NRO) on behalf of the NRO Executive Council (NRO-EC) who posted an open letter on the NRO website stating: “The NRO welcomes recent developments in the legal proceedings affecting AFRINIC. With successful execution, these developments will restore AFRINIC to functional governance with the election of an Executive Board and appointment of a CEO. These developments will further allow AFRINIC to continue to function with stability and certainty as the African continent’s Regional Internet Registry and also to resume its full participation in the NRO.”

In the Judgment handed down on 12 September 2023 by Supreme Court Judge Honourable M J Lau Yuk Poon, ruling in favour of Cloud Innovation who had argued that AFRINIC was not a properly constituted organisation after the terms of previous elected and appointed Directors and CEO had expired. In addition to tasking the Official Receiver to hold elections within six months, the Court ordered that:

·      AFRINIC is prohibited from relocation, takeover, merger or restructuring

·      The assets and value of business of AFRINIC are preserved

·      That a CEO is appointed by the new elected board

The deadline for AFRINIC holding elections is 12 March 2024 – unless otherwise extended by the Court.

Person in the News: Who is Lu Heng?

Lu Heng is a global entrepreneur, technologist and Internet governance activist over the past decade from his bases in Hong Kong and the UAE. According to CEO World Magazine, Heng is “driven by a vision of the Internet as a vehicle for inclusive, sustainable development and opportunity.” Educated in The Netherlands, Lu Heng advocates for ‘One World, One Internet’ governance model in which the “voice of all members, in all countries who are striving to build a fair and equal Internet for the world” are put at the “very heart of…decision-making.”  He is CEO of LARUS Limited and Cloud Innovation. LARUS is an IP address solutions company covering both the prospect of IPv4 leasing and its management services. It is also the first-ever organization to focus on IP leasing allowing businesses to expand their IPv4 needs efficiently. He established LARUS Foundation in 2019 to promote youth awareness of internet governance by imparting internet education all across the world.  

Organization in the news: What is AFRINIC?

The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is a nonprofit and member-based organisation registered and operating under the Corporate Legal Frameworks of Mauritius.

As the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa and the Indian Ocean region, AFRINIC is responsible for the distribution and management of Internet number resources consisting of:

Internet Protocol (IP) address space (IPv4 and IPv6);

Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs). 

AFRINIC’s mission is to provide professional and efficient distribution of Internet number resources to the African Internet community, support Internet technology usage and development across the continent, and strengthen Internet self-governance in Africa through a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder Policy Development Process (PDP).

Internet number resources are allocated to AFRINIC and the four other RIRs by Public Technical Identifiers (PTI). PTI is responsible for coordinating the Internet’s unique identifiers and performing the IANA functions, including coordination of domain names, Internet number resources, and protocol parameters.  

There are four other RIRs worldwide: 

APNIC, serving the Asia Pacific.

ARIN, serves Canada, the United States, and many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands.

LACNIC, serves Latin America and the Caribbean.

RIPE NCC, serves Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia.

Organization in the News: Cloud Innovation

Established in 2013, Cloud Innovation Limited specialises in IP address management and is headquartered in Seychelles.  It partners with Hong Kong based LARUS Limited to delegate IP addresses to customers, such as, global telecommunication companies and Internet service providers (ISPs).

Organization in the news: Number Resource Organization

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) was established in 2003 as a coordinating body for the world’s Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). The RIRs manage the distribution of Internet number resources (IP address space and Autonomous System Numbers) within their respective regions.

The mission of the NRO is to actively contribute to an open, stable and secure Internet, through:

Providing and promoting a coordinated Internet number registry system.

Being an authoritative voice on the multi-stakeholder model and bottom-up policy process in Internet governance.

Coordinating and supporting joint activities of the RIRs.

NRO’s 2023 Chair is John Curran of, the President and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN).


Flavie Du

Flavie Du was a senior writer at BTW media focused on blockchain and fintech investment. She graduated from King’s College London.

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