South-South: WACREN and UbuntuNet Alliance formalise collaboration

WACREN and UbuntuNet Alliance recently signed an Operational Collaboration Agreement. The two recognize that they have common needs in their endeavors to interconnect their regional networks to each other; to major research and education networks; and commodity Internet Exchange Points in and outside Africa. They also indicate their willingness to make their infrastructures and services at locations abroad available to each other’s members on a cost recovery basis.

The agreement describes the geographical area which locates UbuntuNet Alliance in Eastern and Southern Africa, which is defined as comprising the DRC and Sudan and all Africa countries that lie either to the east or to the south of DRC and/or Sudan, together with the island countries in the western reaches of the Indian Ocean. Western and Central Africa is defined as the region comprising all African countries that lie south of Morocco, Algeria or Libya and also lie to the north or to the west of Sudan and/or the DRC.

Commenting on the Agreement, Eng. Dr Francis Tusubira, CEO of the Alliance said that the interconnection between the UbuntuNet and WACREN networks is a logical development which should facilitate a burgeoning of collaborative research and education initiatives and develop a cadre of world class network engineers in the process.”

On his part Professor Tiemoman Kone, President of WACREN Board of Directors said, “The Alliance is an excellent partner because of its experience in developing UbuntuNet and for the access it provides to Southern and Eastern African colleagues in research and education.  We look forward to a productive and successful partnership."

Dr. Boubakar Barry, REN Unit Coordinator at the Association of African Universities, welcomed the MoU between the UbuntuNet Alliance and WACREN and said that it an important move towards the establishment of a continent-wide African Research and Education Network, an objective the Association is pursuing for many years."

On peering interconnections within Africa, both parties record their mutual intention to establish and operate settlement-free peering interconnections between their networks and locations within Africa as soon as possible.

WACREN and UbuntuNet Alliance are partners in the ongoing AfricaConnect project and have been collaborating closely since their establishment.