AfricaConnect3 project to extend pan-African high-speed internet connectivity and services for research and education

Following the success of predecessor projects ‘AfricaConnect’ and ‘AfricaConnect2’, Africa’s three regional Research and Education Networks (RENs) UbuntuNet Alliance, West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) and the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN), in partnership with Europe’s leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services GÉANT, have signed a new €37.5m contract agreement with the European Union (EU) to extend their regional networks and continue providing high-speed internet connectivity and services to National Research and Education Networks across Africa.

Signing of the contract agreement took place in Brussels, Belgium in 18th December at a ceremony presided over by EU officials and representatives from the four partners.

From left: WACREN CEO, Dr. Boubakar Barry; UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Eng. Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka; European Commission Head of Unit- Strategic Partnerships, EU DG DEVCO, Domenico Rossa and ASREN Co-Managing Director, Yousef Torman sign the AfricaConnect contract agreement in Brussels, Belgium

 

Under AfricaConnect3, which will run for four years until 2023, the EU is contributing €30m towards the project budget with the three African regional RENs raising the remaining €7.5m.

Specifically, the AfricaConnect3 project aims to enhance human capital development in Africa especially through the advocacy of rapid increases in the use of digital technologies by African research and education institutions.

 

Building on the success of the predecessor projects, which brought dedicated high-speed internet connectivity to students and researchers and opened a gateway to international collaboration, AfricaConnect3 will specifically strive to ensure that:

* Access to adequate and affordable-e-infrastructure for tertiary education and research institutions is improved.

* Dedicated services and applications are developed for the benefit of education and research communities.

* Adequate human resource capacity and expertise is built within education and research communities.

* Awareness of the role of digital transformation for education and research is raised.

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 A MoRENet is a member of the UbuntuNet Alliance and, as a result, a Mozambican academic and scientific community, receives benefits from this project through services provided by MoRENet to Education and Research Institutions across the country.