Updated list of African IXPs – 31 countries
By now, most are aware of the benefits of an Internet exchange point. In fact, White African did an excellent post on listing and explaining the benefits of IXPs back in July 2008. However, more exchange points have come online in the past months thanks to support from the African Union’s AXIS Project:
February 2017: Added CASIX (Casablanca, Morocco). Burundi’s telecoms regulator urged ISPs to signup to the country’s IXP. Made corrections using African IXP Association list. In mid-2016, the Internet Society held capacity building workshops in Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic. ISOC released a progress report that found half of African countries (27) now have an IXP (up 48% from 2008).
January 2016: Added Mauritania (RIMIX). Senegal should have an IXP by mid-2016. Zimbabwe should have a new regional IXP by the end of 2016.
September 2015: Added Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Liberia, Mauritius, Seychelles.
April 2014: Updated Swaziland’s SZIXP with MB-IXP recently launched in Mbabane.
March 2014: Added BurundiX, Windhoek IXP, Djibouti Data Center IXP, updates from Cameroon, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.
November 2013: ICT Africa has created a Google map listing most African IXPs.
April 2013: Added Congo-Brazzaville IXP and a tentative Guinea IXP.
November 2012: Added Lesotho IXP and Tunisia’s TunIXP. Updated status of Kinshasa, DRC’s KINIX to active.
August 2012: The Internet Society will conduct community mobilization and technical aspects workshops to support the establishment of Internet Exchange Points in AU Member States as part of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project. Also, Euro-IX has released an update of African IXP activity.
April 2012: For an idea of how Kenyan and Nigerian IXPs work, read a recent assessment by the Internet Society.
December 2011: Added Sudan Internet Exchange Point (SIXP).
September 2011: Internet exchange points continue to serve Africa, although few have been created in the past few months:
- In July, Kenya’s Internet Exchange Point (KIXP) recorded its highest ever traffic exchange – at 1 gigabyte per second. Much of the traffic is cached from Google. For reference, Johannesburg handled 1.2 Gbps last year.
- A new IXP recently opened in Abuja, Nigeria.
- A non-profit IXP (NeutrINX) has begun operation in Certurion, South Africa.
The following list is cross-referenced from the African Union’s AXIS Project, media updates, an excellent Network Startup Resource Center map (routinely updated as of 2012) and the aforementioned White African post, along with the Packet Clearing House Internet Exchange Directory, a list from the 2006 AfrISPA presentation titled “The role of Academia in ISPA and IXP”, and some substantial Googling. Information surrounding specific IXPs is often difficult to find, but the following list should represent much of what is currently active (and planned).
- MGIX / Madagascar / Mar 2016x
- CAS-IX / Casablanca, Morocco / Mar 2016
- RIMIX / Nouakchott, Mauritania / Nov 2015
- Liberia IXP / Monrovia, Liberia / Aug 2015
- Mauritius IXP / Mauritius / Aug 2015
- BENIN-IX / Cotonou, Benin / Jun 2015
- BFIX / Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso / Jun 2015
- Sey-IXP / Seychelles / Feb 2015
- Gabon IXP / Libreville, Gabon / Dec 2014
- BurundiX / Bujumbura, Burundi / Mar 2014
- WIXP / Windhoek, Namibia / Mar 2014
- DJIX / Djibouti / Feb 2014
- SIXP / Serekunda, Gambia / Jul 2013
- >CGIXP / Brazzaville, Congo / May 2013
- TunIXP / Tunis, Tunisia / 2012
- NAPAfrica IX / Cape Town, South Africa / 2012
- NAPAfrica IX / Johannesburg, South Africa / 2012
- DINX / Durban, South Africa / Sept 2012
- IXPN / Port Harcourt, Nigeria / May 2012
- LIXP / Maseru, Lesotho / Aug 2011
- SIXP / Khartoum, Sudan / 2011
- IXPN / Abuja, Nigeria / Jul 2011
- IXPN / Lagos, Nigeria / 2006
- Lusaka IXP / Lusaka, Zambia / Jun 2006
- CINX / Cape Town, South Africa / 1997
- JINX / Johannesburg, South Africa / Dec 1996
- MEIX / Cairo, Egypt / May 2007
- CAIX / Cairo, Egypt / 2002
- SLIX / Freetown, Sierra Leone / Jun 2010
- KIXP / Nairobi, Kenya / Nov 2000
- MIX / Blantyre, Malawi / Dec 2008
- CI-IXP / Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire / 2013
- MB-IXP / Mbabane, Swaziland / Apr 2014
- Moz-IX / Maputo, Mozambique / May 2002
- TIX / Dar es Salaam, Tanzania / Jan 2004
- AIXP / Arusha, Tanzania / 2007
- UIXP / Kampala, Uganda / May 2003
- KINIX / Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo / Nov 2012
- RINEX / Kigali, Rwanda / Jul 2004
- GIXP / Accra, Ghana / May 2005
- ZINX / Harare, Zimbabwe / July 2001
- Angola-IXP / Luanda, Angola / 2006
- BINX / Gaborone, Botswana / 2006
Note that Nigeria once had an IXP in Ibadan (IBIX), but it was terminated. Same with Enfidha, Tunisia (TunIXP), East Africa Exchange Point in Mombasa, and South African IXPs in Helderberg and Grahamstown.
Also, after searching high and low for more information on African IXPs, we present 7 sources/data points/publications that are of additional use:
- In November 2016, Internet Society released a progress report on how IXPs are bridging the digital divide in Africa. They found half of African countries to now have an IXP (up 48% from 2008). Total traffic exchanged is greater than 160Gbps. Growth was most pronounced in West Africa.
- The Internet Society’s Africa Interconnection and Traffic Exchange program has been actively supporting the development of IXPs to boost local and regional interconnection. The program aims to have 80% of Internet traffic exchanged in Africa by 2020, keeping local traffic local. This objective has been boosted by the appointment of the Internet Society to implement the African Union’s African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) program.
- Packet Clearing House maintains a variety of global IXP lists. Their listing of African IXPs continues to appear conservative, listing only 21 IXPs in 17 nations. Sierra Leone’s SLIX is left out, for example. Of further interest is the fact that only Johannesburg IXP and Tanzania IXP now utilize IPv6.
- The ICT Regulation Toolkit, a joint production of infoDev and the International Telecommunication Union, lists a couple of interesting facts about the efficiency of IXPs. International connectivity charges can be between 15 and 26 times greater than their equivalent local costs. As of 2004, there were 15 IXPs operating in Africa.
- A Royal Pingdom post from 2008 took the PCH list and merged it with Internet traffic data to get a sense of how much Internet traffic is handled in Africa. One takeaway is that IXPs are useful even though relatively little data passes through in certain countries (ie. Swaziland).
- A user-generated map (circa 2006?) of most African IXPs exists at Community Walk. Planned IXPs are on there as well.
- The Global Internet Policy Initiative commissioned a 2002 paper on the importance of IXPs to the development of the Internet. Obstacles discussed include telecom monopolies eager to control costs, government regulators worried about budgets, and ISPs who fear making costs cheaper for their competitors. Also mentioned is the creation of a Pan African Virtual Internet Exchange (PAVIX). The continental backbone of sorts has yet to come to fruition.
- A 2004 ITU report lists everything a country needs to know in order to start an IXP. The cost? $6,500 USD for equipment. The report also proposed to connect local and national IXPs with their counterparts in other countries. The idea is to rework the industry to ensure that regional traffic stays regional.
- A January 2011 report on IXPs by Euro-IX concludes that most of the IXPs in Africa are established either by the government or a local organization of telecommunications. The report also points out how special initiatives have been set up by international companies and organizations to establish IXPs with the local ISPs. The current Euro-IX site has links to traffic stats from a variety of African IXPs (Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia).