New coalition aims to strengthen five African IXPs

New coalition aims to strengthen five African IXPs

Sally Costerton and Africa.jpg

The Coalition for Digital Africa, set up in December 2022, is to work with leading internet organisations to strengthen the digital infrastructure across Africa.

The coalition said it wants to enhance five existing internet exchange points (IXPs), to improve internet access by making it faster and more affordable.

Sally Costerton (pictured), interim president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said: “Well-managed IXPs open new worlds of possibilities, with modest investment, by improving local Internet services and reducing their costs.”

ICANN created the Coalition for Digital Africa in a move to bring more Africans online by supporting the development of a robust and secure internet infrastructure across the continent.

The IXP initiative is supported by a grant from ICANN and will be implemented by the Internet Society (ISOC).

Using an assessment tool developed by the Internet Society, five IXPs will be identified, based on their potential to make a high impact on the respective local and sub-regional markets.

Each IXP will be run by a local, to be responsible for implementing the action plan and achieving measurable project targets, while receiving training and support from the Internet Society.

The Internet Society said its research shows that IXPs improve the end-user experience through lowering the costs of internet access and stimulating the development of local internet ecosystems and cross-border interconnection.

“IXPs make internet access cheaper and more reliable. They are a critical resource in making sure the internet is for everyone,” said Andrew Sullivan, president and CEO of the Internet Society.

He said: “The Internet Society is grateful for this investment by ICANN that will help bring internet access to more people throughout the continent.”

The Coalition for Digital Africa comprises governments, regional and international organisations, and the local internet community.

Costerton has been involved with ICANN since 2012. She previously was CEO for EMEA of US-based public relations firm Hill & Knowlton.

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