The seventh South African Peering Forum (ZAPF7) convened on November 16th, 2023 at the Radisson Blu in Granger Bay, Cape Town, with a strong lineup of speakers and 125 internet engineers committed to transforming the region’s internet infrastructure. This initiative was founded eight years ago by Workonline Communications and key host sponsors who have supported the initiative through the years as it has grown in both numbers and standing.

ZAPF7 showcased a collective commitment to improving Southern Africa’s internet landscape. The forum sparked discussions, initiated collaborations, and laid the groundwork for ongoing endeavours aimed at transforming the region’s digital infrastructure.

As attendees enjoyed a beer at the end of the day, the resonance of shared insights, new perspectives, and collaborative efforts echoed a promising future—a future marked by a more interconnected, robust, and accessible internet landscape for Southern Africa.

Speakers and Insights

Sessions were led by experts in the field, sharing insights on various critical topics:

  • Yolandi Cloete provided a comprehensive update on NAP Africa, highlighting seamless peering arrangements crucial for enhancing internet accessibility across the continent.
  • Edrich de Lange shared updates on INX-ZA, discussing the vital role of community-run Internet exchange points in South Africa and their impact on facilitating optimal traffic routing.
  • Jørgen Grinnes explored the Amazon Peering portal and the transition to 400G, shedding light on strategies to optimize internet traffic through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Caglar Dabanoglu presented Akamai’s perspective on hosting a multi-terabit live streaming event in South Africa, emphasizing the importance of robust infrastructure for delivering high-quality streaming experiences.
  • Ben Ryall delved into the impact of subsea cuts on Meta’s African Edge Infrastructure, highlighting challenges and solutions for maintaining a reliable internet ecosystem.
  • Bhavesh Mistry enlightened attendees about Taara’s innovative approach, focusing on delivering abundant and affordable internet using next-generation wireless optical communication technology.

The day culminated in a stimulating panel discussion highlighting the dearth of young skills in the industry and strong cry for capacity building.  The traditional “Peering Personals” session closed out the day, before Beers for Peers on the deck.

Sponsors and Contributions

ZAPF7 wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of key sponsors dedicated to advancing internet connectivity and infrastructure across the region:

Africa Data Centres, AMS-IX. Amazon Web Services. DE-CIX, Equinix, Flexoptix, INX-ZA, LINX, MikroTikSA , NAPAfrica and Workonline Communications

To learn more about ZAPF, head over to the event website at Join us on this transformative journey as we continue to build a better-connected world, one connection at a time.