Press release: West and Central Africa connects to the global R&E network to unleash its potential

Cambridge and Accra |15 January 2018

The EU-funded AfricaConnect2 project has just announced that, following the tender call to connect West and Central (W&C) Africa back in June 2016, GÉANT has awarded a 15-year contract to MainOne for connectivity services. By signing the contract through AfricaConnect2, WACREN, the regional Research and Education Network in West and Central Africa, will join the global Research and Education (R&E) networking community. In addition to that, a complementary contract was signed with XON Systems for the provision of equipment. 

This comes at the time of an ever-widening digital divide. The slow and sporadic adoption of ICT technologies in W&C Africa has led to one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world. In this light, the recent contract announcement will undoubtedly facilitate the digital economy and will allow WACREN to truly unleash its potential and work with its members to meet the needs of its users.

Welcoming the progress of the AfricaConnect2 project and underlining the importance of connecting the region to the global R&E network, Boubakar Barry, CEO of WACREN said: “The signing of the contracts with MainOne and XON is an important milestone in the journey WACREN has embarked on towards the provision of first-class network infrastructure for the education and research community in West and Central Africa. When the first connections will be up in the first quarter of 2018, the big hole that currently exists in the global research and education networking map will finally be closed”.

Women in WACREN - Physical Computing with Python - Lagos Edition

This “Women In WACREN” training and community event is held in collaboration with the Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative, a cluster the Nigerian NREN (NgREN), the Entrepreneurship & Skills Development Centre and Faculty of Engineering of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and the AfricaConnect2 project.

 

Leveraging a broader promotion of maker culture and hackerspaces in NRENs, the event is part of a program aimed at reducing current imbalances in gender participation. It will support female students and staff to improve STEM skills through experimentation with robots and electronics and learning to program these devices.

The participants wind down at the end of the 5-day training workshop in the "ICT for Girls" community day, a networking opportunity open to faculty and guests from other women tech hubs with representation from government and industry.

Workshop Goal: Teach Python in a series of practical hands-on exercises that introduce the fundamentals of physical computing with the Raspberry Pi, GPIO breadboard and sensors.

Targeted Audience: Female students and staff in computing and engineering or from other disciplines with good computer skills and interest in intelligent environments.  A programming background and knowledge of Linux or other UNIX operating system is useful but not required. 

Expected Outcomes:  Over time, participants will be able to work on their own or in small teams to develop electronic or robotic projects at varying levels of complexity to solve problems. 

Language: Conducted in English with bilingual trainers

Logistics:

  • Lunches and coffee breaks will be provided for all participants for the duration of the workshop.

  • Selected international participants who are not able to get full or partial sponsorship from their organisations to attend the workshop may be supported for travel and/or accommodation, subject to availability of resources.

Deadline for application is 10 January 2018 at https://indico.wacren.net/event/61/

NEWS RELEASE: Angola Cables and WACREN collaborate to expand connectivity among West and Central African research & education institutions

(Luanda, Angola) 11 December, 2017 – Angola Cables today announced an agreement with the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), the regional research and education network (REN) that facilitates interconnections between national RENs in West and Central Africa. The agreement will support the growing connectivity among academic communities across West and Central Africa, including services that at foster collaboration between research and education institutions within and beyond the region.

According to Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables: “WACREN is an important player in Africa’s growing connectivity requirements, and Angola Cables recognises the need for African scientists, researchers and other academics to have bandwidth comparable to their international colleagues.”

CALL FOR PAPERS – WACREN 2018 (DEADLINE EXTENDED)

WACREN is organizing its 4th Annual Conference on 15-16 March 2018 in Lomé, hosted by TogoRER, the NREN of Togo.

The main theme of the conference is: "WACREN – Unleashing Potentials", with the following sub-themes:

i)        Advanced Network Technologies and Services (SDN, Cloud services, mobility services, NOCaaS, …)

ii)      Building and Strengthening User Communities (research communities, librarians, etc.)

iii)     NREN Business Models and Use Cases – Experiences Around the World

The conference is organized in a special context: the rollout of the WACREN network, with the promise of changing dramatically the IT landscape in higher education and research in the region.

This is a call for papers for the conference. Interested authors are invited to submit abstracts (500-600 words) on the main theme or sub-themes, as well as on related subjects.

The schedule (deadlines) is as follows:

1. Submission of abstracts:24 November 2017 8 December 2017

2. Notification of acceptance: 22 December 2017

3. Submission of full papers and presentations: 17 February 2018

4. Submission of presentations: 3 March 2018

All documents will be submitted online through the conference website 

For authors of selected papers who are not able to get full or partial sponsorship from their organizations to attend the conference, support may be provided for travel or accommodation, subject to availability of resources (for maximum one author per paper).

If you have any question, please feel free to contact us at cfp2018@wacren.net.

We look forward to your active participation.

The WACREN 2018 Programme Committee

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