The path to Africa’s future of reliable internet connectivity 

Last week, the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and the African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) signed a partnership that paves way for secure and efficient internet connectivity for African countries. The agreement by the two industry leaders hopes to realize enhanced broadband development in the continent as the focal approach that will support this development.

IPv6 is the latest version of the IP address standard which represents a numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address that aids devices connected to the Internet to communicate. Its rollout is designed to supplement and eventually replace IPv4 making the case for more efficient and secure connectivity. IPv4 in Africa is presently becoming more burdened which makes the adoption of IPv6 vital for reliable and stable connectivity.

For Africa to keep pace with the rest of the world, the ATU and AFRINIC project that aims at hastening the pace of replacing IPv4 with IPv6 must be made a priority. This, as recognized by the MoU, calls for leveraging the skills and experiences of African Regulators and engineers in its deployment in order to accelerate the development of a resilient digital transformation infrastructure in the continent. Their agreement in part is hinged on research and capacity building efforts aimed at tightening the migration strategy and policies that are intended to stimulate effective deployment at national level across all African states.

To ensure that consumers of internet in Africa receive value for their money, the ATU-AFRINIC MOU also provides for the development and implementation of tools for Internet performance measurements in Africa. This is important in determining whether the internet speed provided by local service providers is compliant with the speed value indicated in relevant customer’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

With interactions moving more and more towards the online space, the significance of this MoU cannot be wished away, and neither can the endless possibilities that are likely to stem from the realization of promising digital infrastructure in Africa.

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