A report according to Internet society, Africa needs to increase Internet access to boost its economy, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates have found that while locally routed online traffic in Africa is on the rise, only one in five Africans has access to the Internet. High taxes and frequent internet shutdowns by some African governments have also discouraged online trading.
The Internet Society Group said in this month’s report that Africa’s Internet exchange points (IXPs) have increased from 19 to 46 in less than eight years. There are multiple IXPs in 6 countries.
The IXP is where multiple networks and service providers exchange Internet traffic. This increase is significant, as most African countries routed online traffic off the continent 10 years ago.
Dawit Bekele is Vice President of Africa for the Internet Society, a global non-profit organization that promotes the development and use of the Internet. He said Africa’s own IXP will improve Internet performance for users on the continent.
“By developing an internet exchange point within Africa, we can limit the movement of this kind of unwanted internet traffic out of Africa and return to Africa, which is speed, connectivity, and even cost. There are significant benefits to improving the user experience, such as connectivity. “He said.
The Washington-based group states that its goal is ultimately to exchange 80% of Africa’s Internet traffic locally.
“We cannot escape from the youth population. With so many young people, their affinity or willingness to use technology and the Internet is much higher than our parents, and they are above all else. You can also use the technology more comfortably. Finally, another aspect that I think is very important is that access to mobile technology devices is a big driving force. Compared to our market. There are quite a few cheap smart or internet-enabled phones that have a huge impact on how many people can do it. Access the internet. “
In a 2020 study, the International Foundation Corporation said the use of the Internet could add $ 180 billion to the African economy.
However, some governments are taking steps to control digital communications by shutting down social media platforms and imposing high taxes on Internet use.
The Economic Commission for Africa states that only 20 percent of the continent’s population has access to the Internet.
The Internet Society Group is calling on the Government of nations of Africa to extend its Internet infrastructure to rural areas where most of its population lives and to benefit from it.