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African IXP Association to set up head office in Rwanda

African IXPs.jpg

The African IXP Association, which represents owners of 44 internet exchange points across the continent (see map above), has decided to base itself in Rwanda.

One of its main aims is to ensure no intra-African traffic has to leave Africa, said Dawit Bekele, Africa regional bureau director at the Internet Society.

The association, set up in 2012, said it took the decision in partnership with the Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) – which will host the secretariat – and the Internet Society.

Kyle Spencer, co-coordinator of the association, said 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. We look forward to working with RICTA on this project.”

There are now 44 internet exchange points (IXPs) in 32 countries that collectively carry over 725Gbps of inter-network traffic every day.

Grace Ingabire, CEO of RICTA, said: “I am convinced that establishing the AF-IX secretariat is a great achievement to develop, strengthen and improve the IXP community in Africa.”

The agreement followed 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.

Bekele said: “RICTA is an excellent choice to host the administrative office since, throughout the years, it has shown its commitment to promoting IXPs around Africa.”

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