African research and education network associations the UbuntuNet Alliance, ASREN and WACREN have partnered with their European counterpart GÉANT in a €26.6m EU co-funded project to provide dedicated high-speed internet all over Africa.
This follows the success of the AfricaConnect project which contributed to the creation of the UbuntuNet – the high-speed network for research and education in Eastern and Southern Africa – between 2011 and 2015.
AfricaConnect2 will develop high-capacity internet networks across the entire African continent and connect them to the European GÉANT network, allowing students, researchers and academics in Africa and beyond to collaborate.
The connectivity boost will not only advance research and education locally with opportunities like e-learning and cloud computing, but it will equally benefit scientific studies the world over in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, food security, malaria and other infectious diseases.
AfricaConnect2 involves: The UbuntuNet Alliance which operates the UbuntuNet network in Eastern and Southern Africa, WACREN which is building a regional network in West and Central Africa, ASREN which has been connecting Northern Africa following the Mediterranean Eumedconnect project.and European networking organization GÉANT, which will strengthen and develop new connections with all pan-African networks, bringing R&E communities between the two continents together.
All three African networking organizations will support local networks at different stages of development and improve regional and international connectivity, encouraging more institutions and countries to join in.
AfricaConnect2 is due to finish by the end of 2018. The EU development co-operation funds contribute up to €20m, with the beneficiary partners bringing in the remaining €6.6m.