#NewsUpdate The African Union invests in Internet exchange points

Yesterday, the face of internet exchange points in Africa moved to a more local scene as the African Union Commission through their department of infrastructure and energy.

The African Union, in collaboration with the ministry of technology, communication and innovation in Mauritius officially operationalize the internet exchange point in Mauritius for Africa.

The internet exchange point is part of the Africa Internet Exchange System project, a scheme that aims to facilitate the establishment of internet exchange points in 30 member states. Mauritius is the twelfth member state with an internet access point just after Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Liberia, Namibia, Seychelles and Swaziland.

Speaking at the official launch, Jugdish Phokeer – permanent secretary of the ministry of Technology Communication and Innovation stated that as the governments adopted vision 2030 as its economic blueprint  with the ICT sector driving the economy. “I therefore wish to thank the African Union Commission for supporting the operationalization of the Mauritius Internet Exchange Point,” he added.

The beauty of localizing Internet exchange points is that it boosts service and cost effectiveness, according to AUC Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner, H.E. Dr Elham M.A. Ibrahi. “Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange intra- continental traffic on our behalf.” She said, “ This is both costly as well as an inefficient way of handling exchange of local Internet traffic. I look forward to the advancement of the internet exchange point in Mauritius to be able to put its potential at the service of citizens in Mauritius and Africa.” she added.

Research conducted by the union pointed out that the installations in Nambia and Gambia have saved millions. In Namibia, an estimated cost saving of 1.8 USD Million and reduction of latency from 300ms to 2ms. In Gambia, an estimated cost saving of USD 100 000, ad reduction latency of 100ms to 2ms

With an Internet Exchange Point, Mauritius now owns a neutral physical infrastructure which facilitates the exchange of internet traffic between different ISP’s in a territory, in such keeping the local internet traffic localized to the area.