June 13, 2019 — The African IXP Association, in partnership with the Internet Society, has signed an agreement with the Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) to establish an administrative secretariat in Kigali, Rwanda.
The African IXP Association was established in 2012 in order to address the growing need for collaboration among operators of Africa’s Internet exchange points (IXPs), key communication hubs which enable networks to efficiently exchange data traffic within the region. The core interconnection services they provide are a primary driver of affordability and quality of service within the Internet ecosystem, and their industry has experienced rapidly accelerating growth since the launch of Africa’s first IXP in 1997. There are now 44 IXPs in 32 countries that collectively carry over 725 gigabits per second (Gbps) of inter-network traffic on a daily basis.
This agreement follows the successful completion of a call for proposals designed to help the African IXP Association develop its governance structure and administrative capacity in order to more effectively manage its growing portfolio of activities. These include bi-annual membership meetings, training workshops, regional benchmark reports, and an annual conference known as the African Peering and Interconnection Forum; one of Africa’s premier Internet industry gatherings.
Kyle Spencer, Co-Coordinator of the African IXP Association, believes that the agreement represents a significant milestone in the development of Africa’s Internet ecosystem. “It clearly reflects our industry’s extraordinary growth and our community’s strong spirit of cooperation”. He added, “We look forward to working with RICTA on this project. They have proven expertise that is complemented by Rwanda’s central geographic location, business friendly market environment, and fluency in multiple regional languages.”
Grace Ingabire, Ag CEO of RICTA expressed similar sentiment. “I am convinced that establishing the AF-IX secretariat is a great achievement to develop, strengthen and improve the IXP community in Africa. RICTA, an active AFIX member, is committed to go an additional mile in its contribution and provide a strong administrative secretariat that will offer an enabling environment for Internet Exchange operators in Africa.”
Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Bureau Director at the Internet Society said, “this is a major milestone for Af-IX to create a truly interconnected Africa. RICTA is an excellent choice to host the administrative office since, throughout the years, it has shown its commitment to promoting IXPs around Africa. The Internet Society will continue to support Af-IX and RICTA to make sure that no local Internet traffic has to leave Africa”.