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Internet Exchange Point Launched on 10 April 2014 in Mbabane, Kingdom of Swaziland

10 April 2014

IXP launch supported by the Internet Society

[Mbabane, Swaziland – April 10 2014] The Mbabane Internet Exchange Point (MB-IX) was successfully launched on 10 April 2014 in Mbabane, Kingdom of Swaziland. The IXP was formally inaugurated by Hon. Dumisani C. Ndlangamandla, Minister of Information, Communications and Technology of the Kingdom of Swaziland and Mr. Moctar Yedaly, Head of Information Society Division, African Union Commission. Also present at the opening were Mr. Sikelela Dlamini, Principle Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Mr. Andreas S Dlamini, Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy Research Engineer, Ministry of ICT, Mr. Ralph Nkambule, Chairperson IXP Committee, Mr. Francis Dlamini, Telecom General Manager of SPTC and Mr. Michuki Mwangi, Senior Regional Development Manager for Africa, the Internet Society.

It is envisioned that the IXP will serve as a catalyst for innovation and development of Internet services and applications in Swaziland. The Internet Exchange Point will support Government efforts towards the implementation of E-government services, and lower the cost of developing local hosting and application development. The presence of the IXP will improve local Internet resilience by eliminating the dependence on international connectivity for local Internet services and Internet-based communications.

“I am delighted to note that the exchange point seeks to keep locally generated content within the country. This resonates well with government’s motto of the BUY SWAZI campaign. This then should and must translate to the other areas of the internet, that is, it must be generated locally and be kept locally. By this, I mean, the creation of websites, the hosting of websites, the design and creation of adverts – if we do all these, we will be growing our own ICT industry,” said Hon. Dumisani C. Ndlangamandla, Minister of Information Communications and Technology during the launching ceremony of the first Internet Exchange Point in Swaziland.

The Head of Information Society Division of the AUC, Mr. Moctar Yedaly, added that “the African Union initiated the African Internet Exchange System project to promote the keeping of intra-Africa’s internet traffic within the continent by supporting the establishment of National Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa…therefore it is a pleasure that the collaboration between the Ministry of Information and Communications Swaziland”.

In his remarks at the IXP launch, Mr. Michuki Mwangi, Senior Regional Development Manager for Africa the Internet Society, noted, “The Internet Society is pleased by this major accomplishment which has been achieved in a truly multi-stakeholder fashion. The establishment of the Swaziland exchange point marks yet another milestone towards achieving the national and regional interconnection goal for Africa by 2020. We look forward to continue supporting the Internet community in Swaziland in the days ahead, to grow the traffic exchanged at the IXP, for the mutual benefit of the people of Swaziland and the region as a whole”.

“For Swaziland, this is the first major step towards realizing the goal of 80% local and 20% international Internet traffic by the year 2020. On behalf of the local stakeholders, we are grateful for the support that we have received from the Ministry of ICT, African Union, Internet Society and its partners. The support has been pivotal to the success realized thus far”, said Mr. Ralph Nkambule, Chairperson IXP Committee of Swaziland.

The ISPs connected RealNet, Posix Swaziland and Swaziland Post & Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC).

The IXP was established with the support of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS), a project of the African Union implemented by the Internet Society. AXIS organized an IXP best practices workshop in Mbabane from 4-5 February 2013 where higher officials from the Ministry of ICT as well as more than 35 experts participated, followed by a hands-on technical training to 20 specialists, from 30 September- 04 October 2013. The Ministry of Information, Telecommunications and Technology hosted the workshop and AfriNIC (Nishal Goburdhan), AfNOG/Uganda (Patrick Okui) and Kasiria Kipng’etich (Kenya) facilitated the capacity building workshops. The subsequent collaboration between interested parties has led to this successful initiative, which is expected to lead to positive results for the sector and the country.

The Internet Society’s Africa Interconnection and Traffic Exchange programme has been actively supporting the development of IXPs to boost local and regional interconnection. The programme aims to have 80% of Internet traffic exchanged in Africa by 2020, keeping local traffic local. This objective has been boosted by the appointment of the Internet Society to implement the African Union’s African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) programme.

For more information on AXIS, visit http://pages.au.int/axis

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org

Media Contact: Betel Hailu, hailu@isoc.org