Throughout the past 6 years (July 2015-May2021), the AfricaConenct2 project has been recognized as one of the most impactful projects implemented by the Arab States Research and education Network (ASREN) in North Africa, with generous co-funding from the European Commission and great support of the pan European research and education network (GÉANT). That is in addition to the successful partnership with the sister African regional research and education networks; the Ubuntunet Alliance and the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN).
The overall objective of AfricaConnect2 was to contribute to the reduction of poverty, brain drain and digital divide by unlocking the potential of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for sustainable development in Africa, by improving connectivity, both within the region, and to the global research and education community. Africa Connect2 Followed the Roadmap of the 4th EU-Africa Summit which recognizes the strategic role of ''virtual'' infrastructures enabled by ICT.
Under this project, ASREN provided high-speed, high-quality, connectivity for the research and education communities in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria with the pan European network GÉANT. ASREN also established a full-fledged Network Operation Center (NOC) in London and equipped it with all necessary hardware and software to manage the network established across many Arab countries. The project also helped ASREN to launch its cloud-based services that include Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service and Computing-as-a-Service.
In cooperation with the project partners, ASREN worked on developing capacities in the region through conducting national and regional workshops. This includes women empowerment as well as engaging with user communities, especially those which are working on earth observation and climate change, radio astronomy and biodiversity.
On this occasion, HE Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh, ASREN Chairman, said: “We are very proud of our achievements in providing the best services to our research and education communities especially under the AfricaConenct2 project, with great thanks to the European Union, GÉANT network and the African partners for their significant support. A key objective for ASREN during the following project phase, AfricaConnect3, is to play an important role in developing a cost-effective backbone for the Arab countries in North Africa, towards a long-term objective of establishing a pan-Arab regional backbone network under the ‘ArabConnect’ initiative.”