African Union Commission selects The Internet Society for AXIS project
The Internet Society today announced that it has been selected by the African Union Commission (AUC) for the Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carrier Workshops of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project.
The AXIS project is focused on keeping Africa’s Internet traffic local to the continent by providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of National Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa.
Under the new AXIS contract, the Internet Society will conduct Capacity Building workshops focused on best practices and benefits of setting up Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carriers.
The Internet Society will partner with AFRINIC and other organisations in Africa and around the world to conduct workshops in each of the five AUC geographical regions over the next 18 months.
As part of this agreement, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in partnership with the AUC and the Internet Society are currently undertaking the first Regional workshop on best practices and benefits of setting up Regional Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carriers from 3-7 February 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana.
Attendees at the workshop include more than one hundred experts from Ministries, regulatory agencies, IXPs, and the private sector from the following countries of the SADC region: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
In August 2012, the Internet Society announced that it had been selected by the AUC for the first contract under the AXIS project to conduct 60 Community Mobilisation and Technical Aspects workshops in 30 African countries.
To date, more than 30 workshops have been completed and a number of the countries where these workshops took place are expected to launch their IXPs in the first half of 2014, thus highlighting the sustainable efforts made by AXIS towards significantly changing the interconnection landscape of the entire African continent.
As countries establish their own IXPs, Internet traffic will be routed locally, creating cost and performance benefits and stimulating growth in and distribution of local Internet content.
In spite of this progress, much of Africa’s regional Internet traffic is still routed through Internet Exchange Points external to the African continent, which is costly and an inefficient way to handle the inter-country exchange of Internet traffic.
The regional exchange points that will be developed will help keep intra-African traffic within the continent.
“The award of this contract reflects the success of the Internet Society’s work to date on AXIS, and we are very thankful to the African Union for this recognition and trust,” said Dr Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa.
“The AXIS project is instrumental in developing a reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure in Africa. The Internet Society has provided technical training in Africa for nearly 20 years, and we are very pleased to continue this important work.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.