from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – THE first regional Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) whitepaper on the African continent has disclosed how Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in deploying this technology.
By October 2022, the global IPv6 deployment rate stood at 40 percent. However, the IPv6 development among countries is uneven, especially in Africa, which is far behind the global average at just 5 percent.
The findings have been disclosed at the joint release of the “Africa IPv6 Development White Paper” by the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), African Union (AU) and Huawei.
It has been launched in Cape Town during the fourth Broadband Africa Forum at AfricaCom 2022, the continent’s largest ICT conference.
“IPv6 must be treated as a matter of urgency,” John Omo, ATU Secretary-General, said.
“Otherwise, we run the risk of being cut off from the world,” he added.
Omo said the migration of IPv4 to IPv6 is one of the most pressing needs facing the continent.
“Because of historic advantages, the world has had a head start when it comes to building a digital ecosystem, and the continent needs to catch up,” Omo added.
Omo called for partnerships between the various sectors of the internet community.
Experts note that with the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT), industrial internet and artificial-intelligence (AI) services, the IPv4 address shortage is becoming increasingly serious.
IPv6 has sufficient addresses, good scalability and high security.
Anderson Amlamba, Director of the AU’s Management Information System, detailed the global consensus on the importance of IPv6.
She stressed that the IPv6 industry ecosystem had matured in terms of terminals, networks, applications and cloud platforms.
“IPv6 allows for innovation and a lot more technology-driven development,” she explained.
“The value chain, including the content and devices, is ready, but the part that is missing is the network,” Amlamba said.
She further pointed out that as Africa looks to accelerate IPv6 development, governments should take the lead by formulating IPv6 strategic plans and policies, and promoting IPv6 organisation, industry, ecosystem construction and talent cultivation.
“IPv6 adoption has to be led through policies,” she said.
“That’s the only way we’ll be able to get IPv6 adoption through all the different industry sectors and verticals,” Amlamba said.
The aim of the whitepaper is to provide guidance and reference for IPv6 technology innovation and development in African and further accelerate the construction of network digital infrastructure.
“IP is the only technology that can multi-point to multi-point,” said Ryan Zhao, Chief Technology Officer of the Middle East and Africa region of Huawei’s Data Communication Product Line.
He described IP as the cornerstone for digital transformation.
– CAJ News