We might not be meeting in person in 2020 but virtual handshakes and peering agreements are still happening.
Share your experiences with the community!
By Kyle Spencer
My journey with AfPIF began in 2013 in Casablanca, Morocco, a meeting that improved my knowledge on peering, routing, and opened new social and corporate connections.
I was managing the Uganda Internet Exchange Point (UIXP) but had no previous experience with IXPs, had limited knowledge of Internet routing, and was relatively isolated within East Africa’s nascent Internet ecosystem.
AfPIF gave me an opportunity to overcome these challenges; to meet colleagues from other countries, learn from their experiences, and bring that knowledge back home. I applied for sponsorship from the Internet Society, was accepted, and have attended every year since along with others from our organisation.
By Nico TSHINTU BAKAJIKA
The first two times the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) tried to set up an Internet Exchange Point (IXP), it failed to take off as expected, but the third time worked like a charm.
The first attempt was in 2003, second one in 2012 and the third in 2016.
By the time the Internet community came together in 2016 and vowed to revive the IXP, they had held meetings to understand the value of an IXP to the ecosystem, attended training and had better understanding of BGP, cybersecurity, and best practices in IXP operations and management.
By Muhammed Rudman
I was invited to the second African Peering & Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) which took place in Ghana in 2011 to present a paper on the topic “Building critical mass at an IXP: The IXPN case study” by the organizers. It was quite a memorable event that exposed me to relatively new peering concepts and knowledge.
I am indeed amazed at how the community rally round towards making AfPIF an internationally recognized event well beyond the borders of Africa. This significant growth was achieved based on the passion and commitment of the stakeholders towards the development of the African Internet ecosystem.
Over the years, AfPIF has made a significant impact on the operations of IXPN. The AfPIF meetings offered me the opportunity to meet with folks from a diverse section of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry from all over the world; such as data centers operators, content providers, ISPs, Telcos, Equipment vendors, and IT enthusiasts. These individuals have become friends and allies towards making IXPN one of the largest peering points in Africa.
By Geoffrey KAREGEYA
I first got to know about the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum when RICTA, my institution was selected to host Africa Exchange Point Association (AF-IX) Secretariat.
I was happy to get a place where Africa’s technology experts exchange ideas on how to grow connectivity and make it accessible to more people. My first Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) experience was at AfPIF 2019 held in Balaclava, Mauritius.
It was one of the most remarkable meetings I have ever attended, with over 367 participants; my colleagues and I made new connections with other participants; we made use of the meeting tool and had handshake agreements with global CDNs- Akamai, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Microsoft.
By Mamothokoane Tlali
Lesotho Internet Exchange Point (LIXP) was developed in 2011, the same year I just completed my tertiary education and joined a telecommunications company.
During the establishment of LIXP, the Internet Society Lesotho Communications Authority (the regulator), held a week-long workshop to equip the local engineers with the necessary skills to maintain and administer the IXP going forward.
I joined the training and that was how I first got to know about the peering community, the online resources like mailing lists, and the annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF). I also got to know about various ways to participate in the meeting sessions.
By Silvio Almada
In 2005, I participated in the AFRINIC and AfNOG training in Mozambique, and as part of the event, we visited the MOZIXP hosted at Eduardo Mondlane University.
We had extensive technical explanations of how the IXP infrastructure works, and the benefits to the technical community, the business case and the contribution to overall network resilience.
After that training, I went back home and contacted the technicians of the main Internet Companies in Angola and talked to them about the advantages of an IXP and the benefits to the community. They all embraced the idea and communicated to their Directors, who also supported the set up of the IXP in Angola.