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Accessibility, local content at the core of Africa's internet challenge

By , ITWeb
Mauritius , 07 Feb 2019

Accessibility, local content at the core of Africa's internet challenge

The Internet Society and African IXP Association (AFIX) will host the 10th annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Port Louis, Mauritius from 20-22 August, 2019 in collaboration with the local host, Rogers Capital Technology.

AfPIF is an annual event that serves as a platform to develop the African internet, with a specific focus on improving network interconnection, lowering the cost of connectivity, and increasing the number of users in the region.

Michuki Mwangi, Senior Development Manager for Africa at the Internet Society said, "Removing barriers to content availability and distribution will have significant impacts on the internet in Africa. It will help to make existing international content more accessible."

Kyle Spencer, Co-Coordinator of the African IXP Association said, "Our target is to localise 80% of Africa's internet traffic by 2020, and I believe we're well on our way. Packet Clearing House reports that Africa currently sees the highest growth of domestic bandwidth production in the world, registering a 92% increase from 410 Gbps to 786 Gbps within the last 12 months - and our internal industry benchmarking data corroborates this. It's an exciting time for Africa, and we look forward to building on this momentum in Mauritius."

Dev Hurkoo, Managing Director, Rogers Capital Technology, added that Mauritius could offer delegates new business perspectives.

"We are pleased to host AFPIF 2019 in Mauritius especially with the special privilege that this year's event will coincide with the celebration of its 10 years of existence. As a diversified and sophisticated business hub for the region, we believe Mauritius may help open new business perspectives for the AFPIF delegates."

AfPIF was first held in 2010 and established to address the realisation that most of Africa's internet traffic is sourced or exchanged outside the continent.

Over 400 participants attended last year's AfPIF in Cape Town, South Africa.

Safer internet

This week social network Facebook announced its collaboration with on-profit organisations representing over 15 African countries to mark Safer Internet Day 2019 today, and drive an awareness campaign together for a better internet.

Several countries are involved in the campaign to promote safer internet and draw attention to concerns such as cyber bullying and cyber crime. They include Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said of the campaign: "The early concept of the internet as a tool for bringing the world closer together is being eroded, with pressure on companies and governments to shore up their defences in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats from multiple actors. With increased attacks against government organisations and infrastructure, as well as against supply chains and individuals, nations are going to want to protect their citizens and industries, and the easiest way to do that is by shutting the door. As a result, our industry – cybersecurity – faces being broken up and separated along geopolitical and regulatory lines, making it much harder for us to protect anyone and everyone."

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