African IP address body exec half-apologizes for 'Whites are taking over' race-row email

Sorry you read my private message

Man looks suspiciously over his shoulder while working on laptop. Photo via Shutterstock
Photographer's impression of what email sending may have looked like

The former CEO of African regional internet registry Afrinic has apologized for claiming that there was a race-related conspiracy to take over the organization.

Adiel Akplogan responded to his original email noting that he had intended it to be a private message. He then apologized "to my many friends and colleagues globally who have supported and worked with me over the past 20+ years and who may have felt targeted by its content ... I hope you will not see in this private message anything malicious."

Akplogan stunned the internet community when he responded to concerns that if a certain board candidate was selected, it would mean there would be two members from the same company on the eight-person board.

While some saw a corporate conspiracy, Akplogan claimed something else was afoot: "It is in fact not about a particular company trying to take over, but a clear racial fight for the white to take over," he wrote.

"They have always claimed that we Black cannot run an organization like Afrinic."

Akplogan clarified that the target of his race-related ire was not the prospective board candidate (who subsequently withdrew his bid), which suggests his outburst was aimed at existing (white) board member Andrew Alston. Alston has become unpopular with existing board members in part by pushing strongly for transparency reforms.

While Akplogan apologized for his email being made public, he did not apologize for its contents. "Even though I do not deny my frustration, I should have exercised a bit more control and not allowed it to burst publicly," he wrote. ®

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