Press Release: Coalition for Digital Africa Announces Internet Exchange Point Initiative
ISTANBUL – 1 February 2023 – The Coalition for Digital Africa announced another major initiative aimed at strengthening the Internet infrastructure across the continent. This latest initiative will focus on enhancing five existing Internet exchange points (IXPs), to improve Internet access by making it faster and more affordable, thus positively impacting Internet users in the regions they are placed in.
The Coalition for Digital Africa is an initiative created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that aims to bring more Africans online by supporting the development of a robust and secure Internet infrastructure in Africa. IXPs enable the exchange of Internet traffic locally and are essential for any region aspiring to participate fully in the global Internet economy. The initiative is supported by a grant from ICANN and will be implemented by the Internet Society (ISOC).
Using an assessment tool developed by ISOC, five IXPs will be identified based on their potential to make a high impact on the respective local and sub-regional markets. ISOC will work to create a clear plan for growth and development, tailored to the regions' interests to strengthen the Internet in Africa. A local manager will be identified and recruited for each IXP, to be responsible for implementing the action plan and achieving measurable project targets while receiving training and support from ISOC.
"Well-managed IXPs open new worlds of possibilities, with modest investment, by improving local Internet services and reducing their costs," said Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO of ICANN, which launched the Coalition for Digital Africa in December 2022.
Research from ISOC 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 ISOC. "The Internet Society is grateful for this investment by ICANN that will help bring Internet access to more people throughout the continent."
Details of the IXP project were announced during a webinar on 30 January. The initiative is another in a series of initiatives aimed at improving accessibility to the Internet under the auspices of the Coalition for Digital Africa.
The Coalition for Digital Africa comprises governments, regional and international organizations, and the local Internet community. Conceived by ICANN, the Coalition for Digital Africa is an alliance of like-minded organizations committed to building robust and secure Internet infrastructure to bring more Africans online. More information is available at www.coalitionfordigitalafrica.africa.
ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique, so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.
About the Internet Society
Founded in 1992 by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society is a global non-profit organization working to ensure the Internet is for everyone. Through its community of members, special interest groups, and 130+ chapters around the world, the organization defends and promotes Internet policies, standards, and protocols that keep the Internet open, globally connected, and secure. For more information, please visit: Internetsociety.org.
Communications Director, EMEA
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
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Allesandra de Santillana
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