Côte d’Ivoire: IT experts, policymakers discuss Internet infrastructure challenges in Africa

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) - The 8th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) opened on Tuesday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, bringing together governments, policy makers, technical experts and business leaders to discuss African Internet infrastructure challenges.

Organised by the Internet Society, the three-day annual event this year targets executives, chief technology officers, peering coordinators and business development managers from the African region.

Others are Internet service providers and operators, telecommunications policy-makers and regulators, content providers, Internet exchange point (IXP) operators, infrastructure providers, data centre managers, National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), carriers and transit providers, and [international financial organizations].

The Internet Society has supported 13 fellows from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Gambia, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Togo, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Lesotho, and Sudan to attend Forum.

An open and inclusive forum, 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.

Despite the benefits of technology as an economic enabler, Africa continues to lag behind other developed continents in its adoption of technology, impacting the region’s ability to boost competitiveness and improve the well-being of its citizens.

According to the Internet World Stats, broadband internet penetration on the continent is at 28.3%, lower than the world average of 49.6% and pales in comparison to the Americas with 69.8%, Asia at 45.2% and Europe at 76.7%.

“Despite the growth opportunities on the second most populous continent, with a rising middle-class that is gaining purchasing power, and the world’s largest pool of untapped brainpower and talent, Africa is still sorely lacking in the infrastructure to effectively enable ICT development,” Internet World Stats has observed.

It pointed out that up until 2010, the main internet connection for West Africa was via the SAT3 cable system in the Atlantic which was extremely expensive, highly regulated, and offered no diversity.

Among several speakers at the Forum is Yazid Akanho, a Telecoms engineer with over seven years professional experience in data transmission networks and IT. He worked at Benin Telecoms SA, the national telecoms operator as transmission engineer, Chief of Transmission Centre and junior analyst. He is now working at MTN Benin, the 1st GSM operator and is in charge of operations in the Ericsson Charging System and the voucherless Refill Platform.

Another speaker is Alfred Arouna who started his career as developer where he lead a development team to deliver applications. Since 2012, he started a slow transition from developer to systems and network engineering.

A Master Student at Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Arouna has, for more than five years,  designed, built and supported servers and networks.

Also, Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director for Africa at the Internet Society, will address the forum.

Prior to joining ISOC, Dawit worked at Addis Ababa University on teaching and research positions in computer science, since 1994. He also established and managed for more than four years a private company that provides Internet related services.

Moreover, in the last ten years, Dawit has worked as a consultant for major international organizations such as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank.

Dawit is an Ethiopian citizen living in Addis Ababa. He received his Masters and Ph.D degrees, all degrees in Computer Science, from Université Paul Sabatier in France.

Another speaker, Patrick Christian, is a Senior Research Analyst with TeleGeography who has over 15 years of telecom market research experience. Currently, he heads the Cloud and WAN Infrastructure research service and focuses on West African and European markets specializing in international bandwidth markets and Internet infrastructure, WAN services, terrestrial and submarine cable systems, and international voice traffic analysis. He holds an M.A. from Arizona State University.
-0- PANA AR/MA 22Aug2017

22 august 2017 11:55:31

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