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Mauritius to host 10th Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum

Barely one week after issues of interconnect debt hobbled the Nigerian telecoms sector, Mauritius is set to host the 10th anniversary edition of the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF).

The summit planned for the Intercontinental Hotel, Balaclava, from 20-22 August 2019, is being organised by the Internet Society and African IXP Association (AFIX) in collaboration with Rogers Capital.

A statement made available to Business Hilights in Lagos, said “AfPIF 2019 will connect and bring key infrastructure, service, and content providers together with policymakers in order to identify and discuss ways to improve network interconnection, lower the cost of connectivity, and increase locally available content, for the benefit of Internet users across the region.

It would be recalled that AfPIF is an annual event that serves as a platform to develop the African Internet, and was created to address the fact that most of Africa’s local Internet traffic is exchanged outside the continent. At the same time, Africa imported over 99% of the Internet traffic consumed, which created an “Internet Transit Deficit”. Exchanging traffic locally through Internet Exchange Points (IXP), reduces Internet access costs and network delays and increases content access speeds.

In his comments, Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society, said “AfPIF has contributed considerably in changing the Interconnection environment in Africa over the last 10 years. Locally traffic exchanged traffic has increased from less than 1 GB to close to 800 GB today.”

“This is a remarkable. The achievement thanks to the strong community established around AfPIF and I am sure that this year’s event will contribute to an even more interconnected African Internet,” he added.

Experts say this is the first time that the event is being held in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean Islands region, which is seeking to develop its role as an innovation hub for the region. The Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden is due to speak at the event and Rogers Capital will act as the local host.

In his contribution, Dev Hurkoo, Managing Director, Rogers Capital-Technology, said “We are pleased to host AfPIF 2019 in Mauritius especially with the special privilege that this year’s event will coincide with the celebration of its 10 years of existence. As a diversified and sophisticated business hub for the region, we believe Mauritius may help open new business perspectives for the AfPIF delegates. We are looking forward to welcoming the delegates in August 2019 and to providing our support for the development of Internet Infrastructure in Africa.”

Over 250 participants from across the African continent are expected to attend the event, with leading technology providers Liquid Telecom, Seacom and Huawei as Platinum sponsors and AFRINIC, Emtel Business, Linx, Microsoft and Rogers Capital as Gold sponsors.