The Internet Society has an ambitious interconnection and traffic exchange (ITE) program
for the African continent that aims to support achieve the vision of 80% local and 20%
international Internet traffic by the year 2020. The multi-pronged program recorded
important success with the establishment of 20 new Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) since
2009, leading to 37 IXPs hosted in 28 African countries
as of January 2017. However, less
than 50% of them provide publicly accessible data on current traffic statistics, peering
Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) and IP Prefixes (both IPv4 and IPv6). Further, only 2
IXPs (JINX in South Africa and KIXP in Kenya) have RouteViews installations.
This means that efforts to measure and monitor the progress on domestic traffic growth
against the international traffic will be unsuccessful. There is also the unavailability
of other locally useful data that can inform and support growth such as:
- What percentage of the RIR ASNs assigned to each country are reachable via the local IXP
- What percentage of the RIR IP prefixes assigned to each country are announced at the local IXP
- The percentage of External ASNs reachable via the local IXPs
- Usage and growth of IPv6 in each country
Further, other increasingly useful measurement resources such as the RIPE Atlas network still
offer limited visibility for instance in the African peering ecosystem due to the fact
that, despite deployment efforts, only 223 (17.5%) local networks host a probe. Although
the RIPE Atlas network is both useful in informing about the connectivity status of
the region, and collecting data that can be used to conduct research studies, the probes
and anchors are unevenly located. As an example, as of February 24, 2017 there are 510
(208 active) RIPE Atlas probes and 6 RIPE Atlas Anchors in Africa, of which respectively
333 (65.9%) and 6 (100%) are located in Southern and Eastern Africa sub-regions.
In this regard, it is difficult to measure or monitor the impact and outcomes of the ITE
program and its vision. Further, it is even more difficult to assess the impact of other
related activities such as policy implementation and infrastructure developments.
The African Route-collectors Data Analyzer (A.R.D.A.) is the culmination of an initiative
aimed at advancing Internet measurements in Africa. Overall, the project seeks to leverage
and support the deployment of globally recognized measurement infrastructure, tools and
services at defined vantage points, to enhance visibility of Internet packet flow and
traffic exchange in the African Region. ARDA is an open-source web application, accessible
by network operators, researchers, Internet Business Development, etc. It assists in the
collection, collation and publication of useful data points that can be used to monitor and
report on the progress made on interconnection and traffic exchange.
The analyzed data is collected from a total of 41 existing RouteViews (02) and PCH (39)
collectors deployed at 24 (64.9%) existing IXPs in Africa. The computed and displayed
statistics are classified into 3 views: (i) the IXP View where we provide several statistics
per IXP (ii) the National View where we display statistics per set of IXPs in the same
country and (iii) the Regional View where we plot statistics computed based the data from
all IXPs in the region. They fit into 3 main aspects: IXP growth and Business potential,
Interconnection development progress and gaps, and Technical support.
© 2017 Internet Society (ISOC) – Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). All rights reserved
The ARDA data is also made possible by PCH (for making BGP routing data publicly available) and INX-ZA (for hosting the ARDA).