AMMAN - Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN), expresses gratitude to the role of the European Union (EU) in supporting the development of high-speed networks across the Mediterranean Arab countries through the EUMEDCONNECT and AFRICACONNECT projects. ASREN acts as regional partner in these projects, which provide financial and technical support for the development of these networks to enhance research collaboration and capacity in the participating Arab countries.
ASREN has been undertaking the implementation and management of pan-Arab research and education networking with its main PoP (Point of Presence) in London in cooperation with GEANT. ASREN is also collaborating to set up other PoPs in Fujairah in collaboration with Ankabut in the United Arab Emirates and in AlMaadi in collaboration with the Egyptian University Network. The PoPs aim interlink the Arab national research and education networks inside the Arab region and to connect with the European, American, Asian and African research and education networks at the global level. The networks have largely contributed to the research communities and provided scientists with seamless access to educational resources, applications, services, facilities, and repositories.
The funding support by the EU of EUMEDCONNECT since 2004 and AFRICACONNECT project since 2015 has had a great impact in setting up sustainable national research and education networks (NRENs) in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Somalia. ASREN is facilitating the development of NRENs in the remaining Arab countries with a goal to establish a comprehensive pan-Arab e-Infrastructure and interlink with its peers in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. It has also facilitated the implementation of Eduroam, EduGain and Science Gateway in a number of Arab countries through other EC funded projects, including MAGIC, CHAIN, and EUMEDGRID. Through these projects, ASREN provided tools and mechanisms for enhanced research collaboration not only in the region but also across the world communities.
David West, GEANT project manager said, “The EU’s funding has made a vital contribution to building the Information Society within the Mediterranean Arab countries. The EU’s long-term approach and a willingness to continue to support R&E collaborations despite the challenges in the region emphasizes the importance of the EUMEDCONNECT and AFRICACONNECT projects continue to play.