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The members of the AXIS steering committee approves reports

PIC. 4(Abuja, 29th July 2016):Members of the steering committee of the AXIS project have approved the progress report of its activities.

At their 9th meeting which held in Abuja between the 28th and 29th of July 2016, they also agreed to the extension of the project whose original period was from the 1st January to 15th July 2016. This extension will however allow the project to continue the support of African IXPs in different fields.

Welcoming participants to the meeting, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technologies, Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa, emphasized the importance of the project for the sub region.

He said “The Axis project by carrying a lot of benefits as low cost, reduced latency and good quality of internet access, contribute to develop an African internet industry and increase the rate of internet penetration in our countries”.PIC. 5

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunication and Information Technology, DR. Isaias Barreto Olimpio Da Rosa, in his remarks emphasized the need for Member States to keep their internet traffic local by providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of National internet exchange points as well as regional exchange points and carriers.

He stated that Africa has a 28% internet implementation rate despite the fact that Africa is the second largest and most populous continent in the world, which shows that, while the Africa has come far, it still has a lot to achieve in this sector.

The Commissioner seized the opportunity to inform the participants that ECOWAS is moving for the implementation of a single Digital market, with the needs of large, strong and fast broadband infrastructure which is essential for consumers and the development of industries and businesses.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the steering committee of the Axis project Mr Moctar Yedaly maintained that the meeting was “an opportunity for the committee to meet and discuss about the implementation and the progress of this big and important project for Africa, and the place to thanks the Luxembourg government and EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund for their support and ECOWAS for hosting this meeting”PIC. 1

The steering Committee chair hoped that solutions will be found to the external constraints that are impacting negatively on the progress of the project and ensure that the visibility actions of the project will continue in areas such as bank guaranties.

The manager of the Axis project Mr. Moses Bayingania, in his remarks thanked the members coming from AUC and African regional Community (ECOWAS, EAC, SADC, and COMESA), AXIS management, African regulator association and the private sector, for their attendance this meeting as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg and Lux-Development Agency who participated remotely.

During the period starting from 1st January for 15th July 2016, the project had provided a capacity building support for the establishment of National Internet Exchange Points to African Union (AU) member States by organizing workshops on best practice and Internet community mobilization, and conducting technical   trainings   with   the   objective of preparing organizational networks   for interconnection to the Internet Exchange Points.

A total of 553 participants have since been awarded certificates on technical aspects of setting up, operating and administering Internet Exchange Points.6

The Axis project provides support to Member States with no Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) that have demonstrated readiness to set up and launch IXPs, and help same to grow to become Regional IXPs (RIXPs).

The two-day meeting was rounded off with the visit to the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) which recently became a hub for West African IXPs.

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