African Internet Exchange System (AXIS)

African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) Project Overview

Following adoption of the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE) framework, the Second Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers in charge of Communication and Information Technologies (CITMC) requested the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to mobilize resources to accelerate the implementation of the selected ARAPKE flagship projects.

The African Union Executive Council Decision EX.CL/434 (XIII) further endorsed the eleven (11) flagship projects of the African Regional Action Plan on Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE); one of these projects is the African Internet Exchange System.

The Program on Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in its priority action plan has also highlighted the need to establish Internet Exchange Points.

Furthermore the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, meeting in the Fourteenth Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly adopted a declaration that undertook to strengthen national programmes and regional cooperation for the development and interconnection of broadband infrastructures and the deployment of Regional Internet Exchange Points.

The African Internet Exchange System project aims to keep Africa’s internet traffic local by providing capacity building & technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa.

Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange “local” (continental) traffic on our behalf. This is both a costly as well as an inefficient way of handling inter-country exchange of Internet traffic.
Lowering communications costs by facilitating the establishment of the African Internet Exchange System will reduce the cost of financing trade and ultimately the price of the goods. Affordable and accessible bandwidth will encourage regional trade integration and new "think work" industries like business process outsourcing (BPO) and call centers will emerge and create employment, reduce poverty and generate wealth.

It is therefore in the interests of all countries in Africa to find ways of optimizing internet traffic, to support intra-continental traffic flows and create opportunities for private sector investment in these areas.

Having regard to relevant AU decisions related to the African Internet Exchange System project, the African Union Commission signed an agreement with the Lead Financier (Luxembourg Development Agency) to support implementation of the African Internet Exchange System project funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and the Government of Luxembourg.

Objectives
➢ To support the establishment of;
• Internet exchange points (IXP) in Member States of the African Union
• Regional Internet Hubs
• Regional Internet Carriers
➢ To develop a certificate curriculum on Internet Exchange technologies

Expected results
➢ IXP Capacities in AU Member States built
➢ Internet Exchange Points In AU Member States
➢ Regional Internet Hubs
➢ Regional Internet Carriers
➢ Certificate Curriculum on Internet Exchange Technologies