Gambia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) officially launched the country’s first Internet exchange point (IXP) on Saturday, with the backing of the African Union Commission’s (AUC’s) African Internet Exchange Services (AXIS) Support Project, reports local newspaper The Point. The Serrekunda Internet Exchange Point (SIXP), established in collaboration with Gambian ISPs and telecoms operators, was given a launch ceremony at incumbent Gamtel’s Serrekunda exchange premises. IXPs route internet traffic domestically, thereby reducing unnecessary and costly usage of international bandwidth. Works minister Bala Garba Jahumpa, who is overseeing MOICI, noted in a launch speech that Gambian bandwidth usage had increased by more than 300% since the commissioning of the ACE submarine cable in December 2012. Gambia is the fourth country in Africa supported by the AUC to establish an IXP, and the AU Commissioner for Infrastructure, Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim, commented at the ceremony: ‘Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange intra-continental traffic on our behalf. This is both costly, as well as an inefficient way of handling inter-country exchange of internet traffic.’
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