Namibia officially launched the Windhoek Internet Exchange Point (WIXP) on 7 March 2014, reports InternetSociety.org. The domestic IXP eliminates dependence on international connectivity for local internet services and internet-based communications, and is expected to serve as a catalyst for innovation and development of internet services and applications in Namibia, by lowering the cost of developing local hosting and application development. Stanley Simataa, Namibia’s deputy minister of ICT, noted that: ‘The Namibian public will hopefully enjoy internet services that are more secure, affordable and faster.’ Dawit Bekele, director of the African Regional Bureau of the Internet Society, said: ‘IXPs bring additional benefits to the local internet environment as they are essential to facilitate a robust domestic ICT sector. They help make online services equally accessible to all local users.’
WIXP will be managed by the IXP Association of Namibia, a non-profit organisation established for the purpose, with five internet service providers (ISPs) connected to the IXP at launch. Remaining ISPs in the country are expected to connect in the coming weeks. WIXP was established with the support of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS), a project of the African Union implemented by the Internet Society, in collaboration locally with the ICT Ministry of Namibia.
The Internet Society/AXIS project aims to have 80% of African users’ internet traffic exchanged within Africa by 2020.