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African Peering and Interconnection Forum 2010

African Peering and Interconnection Forum: Unlocking Africa’s Regional Interconnection

11-12 August 2010
Nairobi, Kenya

Why it happened: The African Interconnection Challenge

Gradual ongoing policy and regulatory changes have positively impacted a region that is heavily dependent on satellite connectivity for its main regional and global means of communications. Major investments have recently been made on submarine, terrestrial fiber infrastructures, mobile and wireless data technologies. These developments appear to be addressing some of the challenges that have contributed to the slow Internet growth in the region.

Despite the growing regional infrastructure, most of African cross-border Internet traffic exchange is exchanged, in Europe and North America. This is a clear indication that the satellite routing policies are still predominant in a submarine fiber setting.

A visible example is a trace of the path followed by an Internet packet from Nairobi, Kenya to Kigali, Rwanda. The packet from Nairobi will go to Europe then back to Kigali. The anomaly is that Rwanda is a landlocked country, and has its international fiber connectivity terrestrially connected via Uganda and the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.

The scenario is replicated across the entire region and serves a barrier to growth, innovation and operational efficiency.

The Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum: Unlocking Africa’s Regional Interconnection addressed the key Interconnection opportunities and challenges in Africa and provided participants with global and regional insights on maximising regional opportunities. As a multi-stakeholder forum, the event facilitated robust discussion on cross-border interconnection approaches and challenges by encouraging participate by a range key players such as; infrastructure providers, Service Providers, IXPs and regulators.