The African Union Commission (AUC) has selected the Internet Society to host workshops under the auspices of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project, to build capacity for the establishment of national and regional internet exchange points in Africa.
The Internet Society will be responsible for carrying out workshops focusing on best practices and the benefits of setting up regional internet exchange points and regional internet carriers over the coming 18 months.
The AXIS initiative aims to establish internet exchanges on the African continent to handle intra-African internet traffic, as currently the majority of internet traffic is routed through international exchange points, which is both costly and inefficient.
It is hoped the establishment of local internet exchanges will provide cost and performance benefits, while also spurring growth and the boosting the development of local content.
“The award of this contract reflects the success of the Internet Society’s work to date on AXIS, and we are very thankful to the African Union for this recognition and trust,” said Dr Dawit Bekele, regional bureau director for Africa at the Internet Society.
“The AXIS project is instrumental in developing a reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure in Africa. The Internet Society has provided technical training in Africa for nearly 20 years, and we are very pleased to continue this important work.”
The Internet Society was selected for a previous AXIS project in August 2012, which saw the society awarded the contract to host 60 community mobilisation and technical aspects workshops across Africa, 30 of which have been completed to date.
The first workshop under the new contract is currently being conducted in Botswana in partnership with the South African Development Community and the African Union Commission, with more than 100 attendees from ministries, regulatory agencies, internet exchanges and the private sector from countries spanning Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.