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Internet Society hosts the 8th African Peering Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) bringing peers together to promote a thriving Internet ecosystem in Africa

22 August 2017

Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire-- 22 August, 2017 – The Internet Society today kicked off the 8th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF). The conference, taking place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 22-24 August, seeks to expand Internet infrastructure and services across Africa by bringing together key players to address the opportunities in interconnection, peering, and traffic exchange on the continent.

Internet Peering is a business relationship whereby two Internet service providers agree to provide access to each other’s customers at no cost. Internet users throughout Africa benefit from Peering, which enables faster and more affordable access.  

Africa is fast adopting the Internet, thanks to lower smartphone prices that are a key contributor in driving the digital revolution on the continent, allowing mobile phone users to access the Internet at unprecedented levels.  The estimated Internet penetration rate in Africa is 28.3% and is growing rapidly. According to GSMA Intelligence more than half a billion people across Africa now subscribe to mobile services, with the number expected to grow to 725 million by 2020.

The number of Africans getting online daily and those who are using this space for business shows the importance of having a peering and interconnection forum. The forum is set to provide a platform to share best practices and create partnerships that will benefit African Internet users as critical players in this space work together to expand connectivity throughout the region. 

“AfPIF presents a unique opportunity to explore Africa’s interconnection ecosystem from a policy, infrastructure and content perspective. This year’s forum is particularly exciting as we seek to highlight the benefits of an interconnected ecosystem in West Africa as we host the forum in Abidjan. The sessions will enable stakeholders to engage and get opportunities that we believe will change the way Internet affects business in Africa. The sessions we have in store will allow participants to discuss how best they can utilize the opportunities for a more connected Africa. A thriving Internet ecosystem is the foundation to achieving 80% locally accessible and 20% international Internet traffic by the year 2020,” explains Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director for Africa at Internet Society.

Mr. BILE Diéméléou Amon Gabriel, Director General of Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications de Côte d'Ivoire (ARTCI), the local hosts of AfPIF 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire said: “We look forward to hosting 180 delegates who will share their experiences in terms of internet connections across Africa. I am delighted to note that this forum will seek to provide solutions that governments plus telecommunication companies can adopt to help African countries towards better Internet access, connectivity and use.” 

The three-day forum will provide an open and inclusive  space, where AfPIF focuses on developing Internet interconnection and traffic exchange opportunities by bringing together key players; infrastructure providers, Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), content producers and providers, data center operators, policy-makers and regulators, to advance the peering ecosystem in Africa.

About the Internet Society

Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet into the future. Together with its growing global community of chapters and members, the Internet Society supports Internet-led innovation, promotes the use of best practice technologies and encourages the adoption of policies that enable universal access to a globally connected, trusted Internet. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Media Contact: Betel Hailu, hailu@isoc.org