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Technology enthusiasts and industry professionals from across Rwanda gathered at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology in March this year for the highly anticipated RINEX Stakeholder Workshop. This four-day event aimed to bridge the knowledge gap and promote the adoption of Internet exchange points (IXPs) among various stakeholders, including ISPs, banks, government agencies, academia, content providers, and individual users.

The workshop commenced on the 27th of March 2023, with network engineers, system administrators, and technical professionals eager to enhance their skills and gain insights into the latest trends in the ICT industry. The first day focused on essential topics such as internet protocol addressing and routing protocols. Participants learned about the purpose and structure of IP addresses, subnetting, and acquired hands-on experience with OSPF configuration.

On the second day, the workshop delved into the intricacies and comprehensive overview of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), they explored autonomous system numbers and honed their skills through practical exercises.

As the workshop progressed, the third day introduced the concept of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). Participants explored the benefits of local traffic exchange, IXP design principles, and peering concepts. Through interactive labs and exercises, they gained a deeper understanding of how IXPs enhance network performance and reduce international transit costs.

In addition to the technical training, participants had the opportunity to explore network monitoring tools on the fourth day. They gained insights into different types of network monitoring tools, their functionalities, and installation processes, enabling participants to better monitor and maintain their network infrastructure.

The final day of the workshop was dedicated to decision-makers, including directors and heads of IT departments, and other officials. They gathered to discuss the significance of Rwanda Internet Exchange Point (RINEX) as a vital national infrastructure. The discussions centered on the importance and benefits of using the local IXP, its impact on localizing internet traffic, and the role of each institution in leveraging this infrastructure.

Throughout the workshop, participants engaged in lively discussions, shared their experiences, and forged valuable connections with industry peers. The training not only provided technical skills but also addressed the current and future needs of the ICT industry in Rwanda.

The RINEX Stakeholder Workshop concluded on the 30th of March 2023, leaving attendees inspired, empowered, and ready to contribute to Rwanda’s evolving digital landscape. The knowledge and skills gained during the four-day event will enable them to establish robust network infrastructures, embrace local traffic exchange, and drive the nation’s connectivity agenda forward.

With the continued success of events like the RINEX Stakeholder Workshop, Rwanda is well on its way to becoming a technological hub, where the power of interconnected networks will pave the way for a brighter digital future.