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Summary: Internet2 (and others) organized meetings on African R&E network connectivity. Heather Boyles, Internet2 African Research and Education Networking Meeting CERN 26-27 September, 2005. Convergence of interests, efforts.

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summary internet2 and others organized meetings on african r e network connectivity

Summary: Internet2 (and others) organized meetings on African R&E network connectivity

Heather Boyles, Internet2

African Research and Education Networking Meeting


26-27 September, 2005

convergence of interests efforts
Convergence of interests, efforts
  • Internet2 members’ interest group: extending the reach of R&E networking globally
    • Birds of a Feather (BoF) Sessions since 2002
    • Special Interest Group formed earlier this year
      • Chair: Warren Matthews, GeorgiaTech
  • Internet2-hosted workshop May 2004 on issues involving all regions
    • “Expanding the Reach of Advanced Networking”
focus on african r e networking
Focus on African R&E networking
  • US National Science Foundation
    • Principal Investigators for African science collaborations workshop in January 2005
      • “I.T. for Enhancing US-Africa Collaboration on the Environment”
    • Interest in funding connectivity project to R&E networks in Africa
      • Study Grant: “Extending High Bandwidth Academic and Research Networking to Africa” NSF Award #0451384
        • George Sadowsky, PI: John Mack, Don Riley co-PIs
focus on african r e networking4
Focus on African R&E networking
  • IEEAF and Internet2 organized meeting in May 2005
    • “Enhancing R&E Networking Connectivity to and within Africa”
  • 18 September 2005 meeting organized in conjunction with the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, IDRC and NSRC
    • “Progress and Challenges in Building National Research and Education Networks In Africa : A View from the Field”
may 05 meeting
May ’05 Meeting
  • Objective:
    • LEARN!
    • bring together organizations engaged in active major initiatives to improve R&E network connectivity with and within Africa
      • share plans and projects, identify opportunities for collaboration between agencies and organizations
  • Goals:
    • Stimulate communication and collaboration
    • Focus on action agendas and next steps
    • Build critical mass and momentum
may 05 meeting outcomes
May ’05 Meeting Outcomes
  • Learned there are many parallel, intersecting and overlapping initiatives from international and African communities
    • Opportunities for synergy
  • Strong support for NREN and regional consortia model as way to address connectivity
  • Need for capacity building on campuses
  • #1: need engagement of leaders from African institutions
18 september meeting
18 September Meeting
  • Objective:
    • Bring a number of leaders from African campus, NREN and regional consortia to Internet2 Member Meeting
      • Provide insight into progress and challenges
      • Engage with the global NREN community
        • Attend not only workshop but Internet2 International Task Force meeting (58 NREN organizations) and Internet2 Member Meeting
18 sept meeting overview
18 Sept meeting: Overview
  • Speakers from universities, national networking and other research and education-oriented organizations in Africa (and a few from outside Africa – Ecuador, Mexico – for additional insight)
  • Campus, national and regional/continental networking issues
  • Keynote: Aki Sawyerr, Secretary General, Association of African Universities
campus network session
Campus network session
  • F.F. Tusubira, Makerere University, Uganda
  • Kunle Kehinde, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria
  • Ibrahima Niang, Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD), Senegal
  • Enrique Pelaez, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Ecuador
campus network highlights summarized by tusu
Campus network – highlightsSummarized by Tusu
  • Networking must be driven by the high level motivation of learning and research
  • There has been significant progress in many African universities in establishing campus networks – but in most African countries, these remain in the minority
  • A key element of coordinated progress is a clear policy and master plan that spells out the grand long term vision that leads to phased implementation
campus network cross cutting themes issues
Campus network – cross-cutting themes/issues
  • ICT Policy and master plan – needs to be addressed in most of the universities through supporting the development of internal capacity
  • Funding is a major challenge – there is available funding for capital expenditure. The challenge is knowledge and the ability to tap into the sources
campus network cross cutting themes issues12
Campus network – cross-cutting themes/issues
  • Capacity building across the board to continuously equip staff with information resource management skills
  • Staff retention will always be a challenge. Universities must accept their role as training grounds, training and utilising students and young graduates to provide services, and maintaining working linkages with those who leave.
campus network themes issues
Campus network – themes/issues
  • Sustainability is a challenge, the major component, for most universities, being bandwidth. This however extends to hardware and software. Strategies for addressing these:
    • Working through consortia to reduce costs of procurement and ownership
    • Development of capacity to use open source tools
nrens session
NRENs session
  • Duncan Martin, TENET, South Africa
  • Victor Kyalo, KENET, Kenya
  • Aminu Ibrahim, Nigeria ICT Forum
  • Anthony Muyepa, University of Malawi College of Medicine
  • Moses Bayingana, Rwanda Information Technology Authority
nrens highlights summarized by victor
NRENs – highlightsSummarized by Victor
  • NRENs have a role to play
  • They are needed much more in developing countries where resources are scarce
  • Leverage heavily on economies of scale for:
    • Negotiating better deals
    • Mass generation of resources
    • Favorable advocacy
    • etc
nrens themes issues
NRENs – themes/issues
  • Institutional arrangements/frameworks
  • Challenges:
    • Capacity, infrastructure, interventions
  • Leverage on existing initiatives to achieve some wins
  • Collaboration avenues (existing and to be created)
  • Its possible and efforts will be started to achieve some progress in the next 12 months
regional continental session
Regional/Continental Session
  • Sandra Aluoch, African Virtual University
  • Isatou Jah, AfNOG (African Network Operators Group)
  • Americo Muchanga, SARUA (Southern Africa Regional Universities Association) Dark Fibre Study
  • Carlos Casasús, Cooperación Latinoamericana (CLARA)
regional continental highlights summarized by sandra
Regional/Continental – highlightsSummarized by Sandra
  • Partnership for Higher Education in Africa Bandwidth Consortium
  • Lease entire transponder
  • Price savings from $20 Kbps to $2.33 Kbps over past 10 years using consolidated approach
regional continental highlights
Regional/Continental – highlights
  • Committed to over 51 Mbps
    • University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
    • Makerere University (Uganda)
    • Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)
    • University of Ghana (Ghana)
    • University of Education (Ghana)
    • Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria)
    • Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria)
    • Bayero University (Nigeria)
    • University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
    • University of Jos (Nigeria)
    • University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria)
    • Association of African Universities (Ghana)
    • Kenya Education Network (Kenya)
next steps
Next Steps
  • Continue negotiating for lower bandwidth pricing.
  • Provide training to universities on bandwidth monitoring, control and management.
  • Pass savings to other Universities on the continent.
18 sept 05 meeting what we learned
18 Sept ’05 meeting: what we learned
  • Incredible activity taking place in R&E networking with often times minimal resources
  • NREN model is being pursued (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique at least)
  • Solid basis for building R&E network connectivity within and between a number of countries
  • May ’05 meeting
    • IEEAF for co-organizing
    • Don Riley and Warren Matthews for co-chairing
  • September ’05 meeting
    • Major travel funding for participants from Africa:
      • Carnegie Corporation
      • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
      • Rockefeller Foundation
      • Ford Foundation
    • Workshop support:
      • Microsoft Research – Internet2 Corporate Partner
    • Webcast archive:
      • Ohio State University – Internet2 Commons NOC