Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 43 | Page 41


NAPAfrica Internet exchange leads the way for Internet growth in Africa

I n 2022 , NAPAfrica will celebrate a decade of playing a pivotal role in transforming Africa ’ s Internet access and interconnectedness . Established in 2012 , with the aim of stimulating the development of an Internet exchange ( IXP ) within a truly vendor-neutral environment , NAPAfrica has grown into the continent ’ s biggest IXP and the seventh largest globally by number of member connections .

Most recently , NAPAfrica announced that it had reached a peering throughput milestone of more than 2TBPS , with over 500 organisations now actively peering .
“ The growth of NAPAfrica is a great African success story ,” said Jan Hnizdo , CEO , Teraco , where the Internet exchange ’ s infrastructure resides within vendorneutral colocation data centres located in Cape Town , Durban , and Johannesburg . “ What started as an idea to attract global content to African shores whilst also improving latency , has emerged as a leading interconnection hub that is shaping the growth and access of the Internet across the African continent .”
NAPAfrica has made it possible for peering members to access global content within African borders and keep local traffic local – where previously , much of our traffic was routed via Europe . More recently , the company has seen many new enterprises join the NAPAfrica peering community to improve resilience , lower costs and reduce the latency of accessing content and applications such as Microsoft O365 , AWS Cloudfront , Akamai and Cloudflare .
The continued investment into critical telecommunications infrastructure in Africa , especially in the local cloud regions like Microsoft Azure and AWS , subsea cables and broadband fibre , have also contributed enormously to the growth of NAPAfrica , as the continent ’ s demand for content and cloud services grows apace .
Michele McCann , Head , Interconnection and Peering , Teraco , said people have now discovered the real power of the Internet , be it working from home or for pure entertainment .“ We are seeing NAPAfrica traffic grow daily as enterprises start investing in larger bandwidth options as they address work from home needs . From a content perspective , the UEFA EURO 2020 added over 400Gbps of additional traffic to the exchange ,” McCann said .
Increased demand on networks , to service remote users , has driven the adoption of key cloud and security applications such as Microsoft O365 services , AWS , Cloudflare and Zscaler .
As NAPAfrica continues to play a significant role by servicing not only South Africa but also the Southern African region . McCann said similar traffic growth numbers are occurring elsewhere on the continent within countries such as Angola , Botswana , DRC , Lesotho , Madagascar , Mauritius , Malawi , Mozambique , Namibia , Réunion , Seychelles , Eswatini , Zambia and Zimbabwe . •