The African Union Commission (AUC) has selected the Internet Society to spearhead the AXIS project that focuses on keeping Africa's internet traffic local to the continent by providing capacity building and technical assistance.
The AXIS project aims at facilitating the putting up of the national and regional internet exchange points in Africa.
The Internet Society under its new role will conduct workshops on capacity building focusing on best practices and benefits of setting up regional internet exchange points and regional internet carriers.
According to the Internet Society bureau director for Africa, Dawit Bekele, the AXIS project is very crucial in developing reliable and sustainable internet networks.
"The award of this contract reflects the success of the Internet Society's work to date on AXIS, and we are very thankful to the African Union for this recognition and trust. The AXIS project is instrumental in developing a reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure in Africa. The Internet Society has provided technical training in Africa for nearly 20 years, and we are very pleased to continue this important work," said Bekele.
The project will involve a partnership with AFRINIC and other organizations from within and without the continent to stage the workshops in five AUC geographical regions over the next 18 months.
The first such workshop is ongoing in Gaborone, Botswana and will bring together ministers, regulatory bodies, IXPs and the private sector players from the Southern African Development Community namely: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
This is another project the Internet Society will be undertaking after being selected to conduct 60 community mobilization and technical aspects workshops in 30 African countries the first contract under the AXIS project and 30 workshops have been held.
Where the 30 workshops have been completed, the member countries are expected to launch their IXPs by June 2014.
This forms part of the highlights of the AXIS project which seeks to change the interconnection landscape in the continent by ensuring countries have internet traffic routed locally thereby reducing related cost, performance and stimulating growth in and distribution of local internet content.