The new AfricaConenct3 (AC3) project was signed in December 2019 in Brussels, with the objective to unlock the potential of education and research through increased access of African education and research institutions to digital infrastructures and technologies. The project consists of four agreements that have been signed between the European Commission and the three African Regional Research and Education Networks (ASREN, WACREN and Ubuntunet Alliance) in addition to the European regional network (GÉANT).
Engagement with research and education communities across Africa is one of the main activities of the AfricaConenct3 project. On behalf WACREN and Ubuntunet Alliance and in coordination with them, ASREN will be leading this activity with focus on Earth Observation communities in Africa, more specifically GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) in Africa and the AfriGEO (African Group on Earth Observation) communities to provide them with high-speed internet and advanced services.
Both AfriGEO and GMES in Africa will need higher bandwidth with high quality connectivity to be able to exchange, share and manipulate data provided through GMES and other resources. Representing UbuntuNet Alliance and WACREN, ASREN will coordinate closely with AfriGEO and GMES research centers for connectivity services. It will also engage the AUC, which is leading “GMES in Africa” through its HRST division- and with AfriGEO Secretariat for a broader collaboration. The objective is to connect AfriGEO and GMES sites and research centers to their corresponding NRENs in order to get access to high-speed networks. As a result, GMES and AfriGEOS communities will get a direct and secure access to resources on EU networks as well as other regional networks.
Furthermore, ASREN will promote the use of shared services that are available at RREN/NREN networks such as eduroam, federated access and eduGAIN. Regional RENs together with respective NRENs will support the deployment of eduroam at GMES and AfriGEO sites and research centers.
ASREN plans also to approach other pan-African research and education communities like the Pan African Virtual University (PAVU) to promote and disseminate use of the research and education infrastructure services and to make use of the opportunities provided through AfricaConenct3.