Ethiopia workshop on Internet Exchange Point concludes successfully

The African Union commission, in collaboration with the Internet Society, conducted best Practices Capacity Building workshop from 24-25 June 2014 at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop was attended by participants from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.

The Opening Ceremony which was attended by twenty nine participants was officiated by the acting head of information society division, Mr. Adil Suleiman, African Union Commission and Dr. Dawit Bekele, Director, Internet Society-Africa Bureau.

The workshop was part of the African Union (AU) and African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project to support the establishment of IXPs across Africa. The AXIS project aims at keeping Africa’s local Internet traffic local to the continent by providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of IXPs in Africa.

Mr. Kayihura Mabano conducted the workshop and aired his desire to see countries establish their own IXPs. He pointed out the benefits the countries will experience; local Internet traffic will be routed locally rather through exchange point, there will be downward pressure on costs and the economy of the countries will grow and distribution of local Internet content will multiply.

Theforum also provided participants with the required knowledge to enhance better understanding of the benefits of IXPs and plans to establish IXPs in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen which was invited as an observer.

During the workshop, participants decided to form a taskforce to enhance the establishment and management of Internet Exchange points (IXPs) in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. The stakeholders of the respective Countries were urged to establish IXP and the African Union in collaboration with the Internet Society will offer a five day technical aspect workshop to impart technical and administrative skills needed to set-up, operate and administer an IXP.

Other participants at the workshop include representatives from Djibouti Telecom, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Ethiopia, Ethio-Telecom, Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Somalia, Ministry of Telecommunication and Postal services of South Sudan, MTN- South Sudan, RCS –Communication South Sudan, Zain- South Sudan, Bilpam Telecommunication-South Sudan, ISOC Yemen Chapter, Yemen Telecom, and Tele Yemen ISP.