Accra,Ghana - HE Dr. Talal abu Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab States research and Education Network (ASREN) said: ”We are proud with our cooperation with WACREN and remain committed to collaborate with them and other NRENs in Africa.”
The week of 11-15 March 2019 provided room for a variety of activities, from librarians and NRENs collaborating on repositories during the LIBSENSE workshop, to AfricaConnect2 coordination meetings, to knowledge exchange during the annual WACREN conference. This year, GARNET, the Ghanian NREN hosted the conference in the capital city of Accra. Representatives of several NRENs, institutions, universities and other relevant organizations from West and Central Africa gathered during the two-day conference and presented ideas, challenges and opportunities.
The first day of the conference kicked-off with an opening ceremony, including inspiring words from WACREN’s CEO Boubakar Barry as well as GARNET’s chairman of the board Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe who highlighted that all bodies should cooperate to create the Africa we want. This was followed by African Internet Pioneer Nii Narku Quaynor saying “AfREN is connected!”. After welcome remarks and goodwill messages, the two Internet Hall of Fame inductees Erik Huizer (GÉANT CEO) and Nii Narku Quaynor (WACREN Chairman of the Board) opened up the knowledge sharing floor with a discussion on the importance of global collaboration to support national research and education development.
Representing the Arab States research and Education Network (ASREN), Yousef Torman sent a goodwill message at the high level opening session and chaired one of the main sessions discussing NREN issues including strategies for optimizing REN impact.
Five sessions were distributed over the two-day conference each containing 4-5 paper presentations. A variety of topics were discussed, ranging from repositories and open science, end-user engagement, data security, World Bank collaboration, several tools for specific fields of research, digital services, and the role of NRENs amongst others.