Africa-Europe research collaboration to be transformed by EC-funded research infrastructure
DANTE, the international research network operator, and the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office today announce the signature of a €14.75M contract for support to a sub-Saharan African intra-regional research networking infrastructure which is already interconnected to the pan-European research network, GÉANT.
Eighty percent of the project’s funding will come from the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office, and the remainder will be contributed by the African partners in the project.
The contract represents a significant injection of capital to develop research networking infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa and with Europe.
The initiative will dramatically accelerate the development of the Information Society in Africa, providing advanced data communications infrastructure and enabling African researchers to collaborate more easily in advanced international research projects.
Within the framework of the Africa Caribbean Pacific Islands (ACP) programme, the AfricaConnect project will establish a high-capacity Internet network for research and education in Southern and Eastern Africa to provide the region with a gateway to global research collaboration, the objective of which is to overcome the current limitations of international research collaboration within sub-Saharan Africa and towards Europe, and to foster research and education collaboration and advancement within and between these regions.
The project will be strongly collaborative, so whilst DANTE will coordinate AfricaConnect, they will be partnered by DANTE’s regional counterpart organisations in Africa – UbuntuNet Alliance covering Eastern and Southern Africa, and WACREN covering Western and Central Africa – as well as the Association of African Universities; existing National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa (DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia); and several European NRENs (Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK). All will work to ensure that the project benefits all of sub-Saharan Africa.