Lilongwe, Malawi, 28th July, 2014
UbuntuNet Alliance, the research and education network for Eastern and Southern Africa; and DANTE, the operator of GÉANT, the pan-European research and education network, today announce the commissioning of the UbuntuNet network, the regional high-speed Internet network connecting researchers, educators and students in Eastern and Southern Africa to their peers in the region and to Europe.
The African research and education community has for far too long carried the burden of slow Internet connectivity which has consequently widened the gap between the continent’s researchers and their peers globally. The establishment of national research and education networks (NRENs), the regional UbuntuNet Alliance, and the kick off of the AfricaConnect are milestones transforming the research and education landscape on the continent.
Says Cathrin Stöver, Chief International Relations Officer, DANTE:
“Today through the collaboration with GÉANT, the UbuntuNet network is boosting EU-African collaboration, bringing research and educational opportunities unprecedented in Africa. The implications for socio-economic development go far beyond anything we could have dreamed of before, putting African research on the map and transforming the lives of millions. I am very proud that GÉANT is the first R&E network to connect to Africa!”
The rollout of the UbuntuNet network has been implemented in two phases based on country readiness to connect to the regional network. Block A, which was completed in February 2014, procured equipment to establish Points of Presence (PoPs) in Mtunzini, Maputo, Dar es salaam, Nairobi, Kampala and Kigali, and to upgrade the Ubuntunet Alliance PoP in London. High capacity cross border links interconnecting these PoPs to create a regional research network were also procured under this phase, as well as a transcontinental link between Nairobi and the Ubuntunet Alliance’s PoP in Amsterdam. The first phase serves a total of six NRENs namely TENET (south Africa), MoRENet (Mozambique), TERNET (Tanzania), KENET (Kenya), RENU (Uganda) and RwEdNet (Rwanda), and forms the backbone on which the network to serve the entire Alliance region will be created.