Friday, 20 June 2014

The AU-Western Africa Regional IXP and Regional Internet Carrier Workshop of the Internet Exchange System Project, 16-20 June 2014, Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria – 2014: Today marked the opening of the AU-Western Africa Regional Internet Exchange and Regional Internet Carrier meeting with the aim to foster regional discussions on how to support internet exchange points at national level to evolve and grow into regional internet exchange points.

Organised by the Infrastructure and Energy department of the African Union Commission(AUC) in collaboration with the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), the workshop made its debut with opening statements from  Dr Raphael Koffi from ECOWAS and Mr Moses Bayingana from the African Union Commission.

The workshop is a strategic follow up of the support already provided towards the establishment of internet exchange points in AU Member States to aggregate efforts at regional level to realize local exchange of intra-regional internet traffic.

“The Program on Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) has highlighted the importance of establishment of Internet Exchange Points in its priority action plan. Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange “local” (continental) traffic on our behalf. This is a costly and inefficient way of handling inter-country exchange of internet traffic in Africa. The African Internet Exchanges System project has been designed to address this challenge and contribute to the reduction of cost and enhance quality of service of the Internet in Africa,” said Mr. Moses Bayingana in his opening remarks.

he presence of Regional Internet Exchange Points will be an indicator of the vibrancy of the Internet ecosystem in the region. This is the fact why Member States need to push for the evolvement of national IXPs to grow and become regional internet hubs on the continent. I am confident that the outcomes of this workshop on Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carriers will contribute to addressing the cost of Internet access in the ECOWAS region.”  said Dr. Raphael Koffi, Head of Telecommunications, ECOWAS

The workshop is attended by sixty participants representing Ministries of ICT, regulators and the private sector from the ECOWAS Member States of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.