At the end of the 8th edition of the “African Peering interconnection forum” (AFPIF) or the African peering and interconnection forum that its structure organized from 22 to 24 August 2017 in Abidjan, Dawit Bekele, regional director Africa Internet Society, held a press conference Friday to explain the reasons for this meeting. for him, we must expect “dazzling progress of the internet” in Africa, if African states opt for interconnection.
According to Dawit Bekele, the objective was to extend Internet infrastructure and services in Africa by bringing together the main players to develop interconnection opportunities, Peering (commercial relationship between Internet access providers which consists of ‘agreement to provide free access to their reciprocal consumers) and traffic exchange on the continent.
The ultimate goal is to facilitate faster and cheaper access to the internet or provide its free access to African populations, and above all to allow it to improve their living conditions. Dawit Bekele is optimistic about a significant development of the internet on the continent in the next few years. we have to believe in “dazzling progress of the internet in Africa” he said.
However, he stresses, if the cost of Internet access is to go down, it has to go through interconnection. to do this, according to him, each African state must agree to connect to its neighbor. “African countries need to agree to interconnect with their neighbors, rather than shut themselves up …”, suggested mr. bekele, asking internet providers to also agree to trade traffic.
The regional-africa director of the internet society group thinks that cedeao could play an important role at this level. “If all the barriers are removed, the cost will drop,” he insists, because the internet can contribute to the development of Africa, and become a gateway to enormous opportunities for African youth.
He notes, however, that on the continent apart from English-speaking Africa, which is doing well, French-speaking (West) Africa is still lagging behind in the development of the Internet.
But, we must remain hopeful because the efforts already made show that it is feasible and that it is not impossible, especially as the gap between Africa and the rest of the world in terms of the Internet is narrowing, even ‘more work and political will is needed.
This is why “all African countries must do it to help their people have a better future thanks to the internet,” Bekele urged. Regarding the Ivory Coast, the regional head of the internet society for Africa, expresses its willingness to support the country for its development in the field, and all of Africa as well.
It should be noted that this specialized conference, which is in its first edition on the shores of the ebrié lagoon and its third in Africa, registered at least 227 participants from 42 countries on all continents.
The Internet Society (ISOC) aims to promote and coordinate the development of computer networks around the world. in 2005, she was the most influential moral and technical authority in the internet world.