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AfPIF 2016 Diaries

The 7th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 30 August - 1 September 2016. AfPIF is the annual conference organised by the Internet Society to specifically address interconnection challenges together with the wide-ranging opportunities the African continent offers. Tanzania is well-known for its safari, Mount Kilimanjaro and beautiful Zanzibar beaches, but not only that: it established its first IXP, the Tanzania Internet eXchange (TIX), back in 2003, helping to keep Africa’s Internet traffic within the continent. Keeping traffic local reinforces the infrastructure environment thus building resiliency, and IXP customers can enjoy not only an increased speeds but also a reduction of  latency and cost.


Every year, AFRINIC sends a delegation to AfPIF. Here are some highlights of the team’s “peering” experience here in Dar es Salaam this year, alongside the 200 other Delegates which gathered to share experiences, best practices, questions and dreams on a connected Africa through IXP’s and peering.

Monday’s Activities

On Monday 29 August, a meeting with the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) was held with the Acting Director, Eng. James Kilaba, AFRINIC CEO Alan Barrett and myself. We discussed about further cooperation between AFRINIC and TCRA, and the new era in Tanzania Broadcasting, which is moving from Analogue to Digital.

Getting to Know our Members

IMG 8089AFRINIC has over 60 members in Tanzania, including ISPs and Mobile Operators, Governments & Regulators, Universities and private business sector companies. A meeting was set up for AFRINIC’s Members to meet with our team and discuss their membership, IP address allocations and issues of importance to the AFRINIC community. Several topics were discussed, and discussions focused heavily on IPv4 exhaustion and the critical need to deploy IPv6. Madhvi Gokool, AFRINIC’s Registration Services Manager, and James Chirwa, IP Number Analyst, led the session. Eng. Abibu R. Ntahigiye, Manager tzNIC and AFRINIC Board member, was also instrumental in the success of this meeting.


presentation“How many organisations have IPv6 already?” asked the Registration Services Manager. The response was mixed. While most of the organisations had an IPv6 allocation most of them are not announcing their space. Some were dual stacked (IPv4 and IPv6) and a few had IPv4 networks only. AFRINIC has had an “IPv6 incentive" for members -  their IPv6 allocation is free of charge if they already have IPv4 resources - for many years to encourage our Members to cater for their address space and upgrade their network for business sustainability.

Wednesday’s Activities

FullSizeRenderOn Wednesday 30 August, a courtesy call was held with Tanzania’s Minister of ICT, Professor Mbarawa, Alan Barrett, Abibu Ntahigiye and myself. Tanzania has expanded its national ICT Broadband backbone, a project to connect all its regions and districts, thus providing access to national and regional broadband infrastructure as well as to the undersea cable landing on its shores.




FullSizeRender 1Later in the day, AFRINIC’s Registration Service Manager took part in the Peering and Tutorial Panel, and raised awareness around the need to deploy IPv6, emphasizing that it is the only protocol that can guarantee the future continuity of the Internet.

AFRINIC’s on-site booth was busy, with our staff holding many face-to-face meetings with AFRINIC members and informing interested potential members on how they can become a member how and how they are able to get IPv4, IPv6 and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) from us.


TechChix of Tanzania

booth1I also met with the dynamic group of ladies that forms the TechChix of Tanzania. Their mission is to empower the next generation of female technical leaders by using ICT as a powerful tool, through capacity building workshops and outreach in schools, and by promoting the engineering field as a potential career to girls in their last year of school. They are supported and mentored by Maina Mukhangu, SEACOM’s Peering Coordinator, who has played a pivotal role in gearing-up the TechChix. He is also very active with tzNOG, which AFRINIC sponsored, which was held just before the AfPIF Meeting.


Providing Local and Regional Support

corp1AFRINIC supports local and regional initiatives that promote capacity building in the region, such as tzNOG and SAfNOG. As this year’s SAFNOG was re-scheduled for 2017, we met with Mark Tinka, Head of IP Engineering at SEACOM and SAfNOG Steering Committee member, to discuss further ongoing cooperation between AFRINIC and SAfNOG.

Community Development

As AfPIF wraps up, AFRINIC is striving ahead with preparation for the AFRINIC-25 Meeting, taking place in Mauritius from 25 - 30 November 2016. Workshops and tutorials will take place from 25 - 27 November and the plenary sessions and policy development discussions will be held from 28 - 30 November. We invite all experts and players in the Internet Ecosystem to join the discussions and be part of this unique event on the future of the African Internet.

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