Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac, Pat Romanski, David Bermingham, Steven Mandel

Blog Feed Post

New High-Speed Internet For African Research Cooperation Unveiled

Boost for scientists and academics as EC-funded AfricaConnect project launches UbuntuNet, the high-speed data network for research and education in Southern and Eastern Africa

Lisbon, Portugal, 28 November 2012: DANTE, the operator of GÉANT, the pan-European research and education network; and UbuntuNet Alliance, the regional research and education network for Southern and Eastern Africa, today announce the launch of the UbuntuNet network, a high-speed Internet network connecting scientists and academics throughout Southern and Eastern Africa to peers in the region and to Europe, the first network of its kind in Africa.

UbuntuNet is being launched in Europe at the 2012 Africa-EU Cooperation Forum on ICT (an event for those with an interest in Euro-African collaborative projects on ICT) on November 28-29, 2012, and is organised by EuroAfrica-P8 at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) in Lisbon, Portugal. This follows a similar launch event in Africa held in Dar es Salaam at the UbuntuNet-Connect 2012, which featured dancing, drumming, speeches and a launch video featuring the types of advanced research that the network will facilitate. The video, which has also been shown in Lisbon, is available at http://www.africaconnect.eu/MediaCentre/Pages/Launch-Event-Video.aspx

The initiative is being financed under the AfricaConnect project, which is co-funded by the European Commission and beneficiary countries. The network 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.

The Honourable Eunice Kazembe, Malawi's Minister of Education, Science and Technology said of the new network, "With the opportunities offered by the AfricaConnect project, this unique regional network will transform our higher education and research, with collaboration being at its core. Access to higher education will be expanded. Participation in high level scientific projects and teams will be so much easier. Medical research and healthcare delivery will be enhanced."

AfricaConnect expands the existing network managed by the UbuntuNet Alliance, which initially connected Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia to Europe. The network has now been extended to offer connectivity to many more countries in the Southern and Eastern African region. This expanded, more resilient and secure high-speed network offers greater connectivity between African countries, as well as high-speed links to the pan-European GÉANT network, providing access to 40 million users in 8,000 institutions. GÉANT is co-funded by the Directorate General CONNECT (Communications, Networks, Contents and Technology) of the European Commission under the EU's 7th Research and Development Framework Programme.

"We are delighted to see the UbuntuNet network in place," said Cathrin Stöver, DANTE's Chief International Relations and Communication Officer. "DANTE continues to develop connectivity in regions around the world, and we have built on our experience to support research and education networks as together they transform the research environment in Africa. We are fortunate to be working with the UbuntuNet Alliance, the African and European NRENs on this important initiative."

Eng. Dr Francis Tusubira, CEO of the UbuntuNet Alliance agrees: "The engagement of the EC has been critical to the success of the UbuntuNet's implementation - we've been able to establish much needed regional connectivity in a huge geographical area, and on a more individual level, ensured that each NREN has the human capacity to set up and operate their national network."

The UbuntuNet network is partly funded by the European Commission's DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, in the framework of the 'ACP Connect' programme of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), which has injected €11.8M of the total €14.75M cost of the project through the AfricaConnect project. The remainder has been contributed by the African partners in the project.

"Since the EC gave its official approval for this project in 2011, we've made great strides in procuring the right network," said Victor Reijs, network development manager at HEAnet, the Irish National Research and Education Network that provided valuable technical support to the implementation of UbuntuNet. "We needed to ensure the network topology provides cost benefits to participants and a highly resilient, secure network that can continue to operate if a connection goes down."

Denis Salord, Head of Unit, Regional Programmes Sub-Saharan Africa and ACP wide (Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid) European Commission said, "The European Commission is pleased to contribute to the development of this important regional higher education and research network. I am confident that African researchers now have an additional instrument to improve communication and exchange information among them and with their colleagues in Europe. Increased connectivity is our common goal. Together with the ACP Secretariat, we are doing our best to succeed." The AfricaConnect project is expected to last until 2015, after which time the African Project Partners will ensure the sustainability of the intra-regional African research network and its direct connection to GÉANT.

About AfricaConnect
The AfricaConnect project is strongly collaborative, with DANTE coordinating the project and the UbuntuNet Alliance, DANTE's regional counterpart organisation in Africa covering Eastern and Southern Africa implementing the infrastructure. Other parties participating include the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) - 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 of the organisations work to ensure that the project benefits all of sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information visit www.africaconnect.eu

About DANTE:
DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of large-scale projects co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT. DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific, sub Saharan Africa and central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN, AfricaConnect and CAREN projects respectively.

For more information, visit www.dante.net.

About UbuntuNet Alliance:
UbuntuNet Alliance is the regional Research and Education Network for Eastern and Southern Africa and manages UbuntuNet, the data network for the region. It is an Alliance of 13 NRENs in the region aiming at interconnecting with each other and connecting to other regional networks globally. The Alliance is also working towards enabling collaboration in research and education over world class networks. The Alliance was established in 2005 and registered in 2006 as a not-for-profit regional association of NRENs in Eastern and Southern Africa.

For more information on the UbuntuNet Alliance, please visit: www.ubuntunet.net

About GÉANT
GÉANT is the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high-speed research infrastructure that serves 40 million researchers in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, end-to-end services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole.

Co-funded by the European Commission under the EU's 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU's European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging Internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe's NRENs.

For more information on GÉANT, please visit: http://www.geant.net/

For more information, contact:
Paul Maurice, DANTE: +44 (0)1223 371 300,
[email protected]

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.