This paper provides insight into the effects of cross-border infrastructure and logical interconnections in Africa on both intra-country and cross-border latency on end-to-end Internet paths, by comparing Internet performance measurements between different countries. We collected ICMP pings between countries using Speedchecker and applied a community detection algorithm to group countries based on round-trip times (RTTs) between countries.
We observed three main latency clusters: East and Southern Africa; North Africa; and West and Central Africa. An interesting observation is that these clusters largely correspond to countries that share the same official languages or past colonial history. The cluster in Eastern and Southern Africa is the most strongly clustered: these countries have the lowest inter-country latency values.
We also found that some countries have a much higher intra-country latency than expected, pointing to the lack of local peering or physical infrastructure within the country itself. This finding underscores the importance of physical networking infrastructure deployment and inter-network relationships at a country and regional level.