[AfrICANN-discuss] African Union (AU) Selects the Internet Society to Support Establishment of Internet Exchange Points across Africa

Wilson Abigaba abigabaw at gmail.com
Thu Aug 23 13:55:59 SAST 2012

- African Union (AU) Selects the Internet Society to Support
Establishment of Internet Exchange Points across Africa
- Project includes 60 capacity building workshops in 30 countries

[Johannesburg, South Africa --23 August 2012] – The Internet Society
today announced that it has been selected by the African Union (AU) to
conduct community mobilization and technical aspects workshops to
support the establishment of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in AU
Member States as part of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS)
project. The AXIS project aims at keeping Africa’s Internet traffic
local to the continent by providing capacity building and technical
assistance to facilitate the establishment of National Internet
Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa. The
project is funded by the Euro-Africa Infrastructure Fund and the
Government of Luxembourg.

The Internet Society is committed to organizing 60 community
mobilization and technical aspects workshops in 30 African countries.
To this effect, the Internet Society will also contribute its own
resources for the implementation of this component of the AXIS

Currently, much of Africa’s Internet traffic is routed through
Internet exchange points external to the African continent. As
countries establish their own IXPs, Internet traffic will be routed
locally, creating a downward pressure on costs and stimulating growth
in and distribution of local Internet content. Through the AXIS
project, the interests of the AU and the Internet Society, working
with other African Internet organizations such as AfriNIC, AfNOG, and
AftLD, will be realized in this collaborative effort to assist in the
development of a more locally operated and, hence, more robust and
economically accessible pan-African Internet.

Moctar Yedaly, Head of Information Society Division, African Union
Commission, commented,“Africa is paying overseas carriers to exchange
‘local’ (continental) traffic. This is both a costly as well as an
inefficient way of handling inter-country exchange of Internet
traffic. Independent analysis has shown that Africa pays over US$600
Million to developed countries every year for inter-African traffic
exchange that is carried outside the continent. We are therefore
pleased that the African Internet Exchange System project will address
this challenge by facilitating optimization of Internet traffic to
support intra-continental traffic flows in Africa.”

Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa,
stated, “We are very excited to be selected by the African Union to
support the growth of IXPs throughout Africa.  We believe the AXIS
project is extremely important to the continued health of the Internet
ecosystem in Africa, and building the technical infrastructure and
training the people to sustain it are fundamental to extending the
Internet in Africa. Partnering with the African Union on the AXIS
project is central to the Internet Society’s mission to ensure the
open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit
of people everywhere.”

The Internet Society has provided technical training in Africa since
the early 1990s, and supports the development of human and technical
capacity to build reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure in
Africa and around the world. The organization’s African Bureau was
started in 2006. With 24 Chapters, the Internet Society African Bureau
works to promote capacity building and the responsible development of
the Internet throughout Africa. Its principle focus is improving
interconnection and traffic exchange within the continent through the
implementation of IXPs, network training, and capacity building.

Link: http://www.internetsociety.org/news/african-unionau-selects-internet-society-support-establishment-internet-exchange-points-across

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