African research capacity is to be boosted through a high speed network link connecting the UbuntuNet Alliance to the international research community via the GÉANT2 network.
The connection between the UbuntuNet Alliance’s network hub in London and the GÉANT2 network enables researchers and scholars in Sub-Saharan African universities and research institutions to share information and data and to collaborate through a 1Gbp/s link with their peers in Europe and the rest of the world.
The UbuntuNet Alliance was founded in 2005 by the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa with the aim of establishing a research and education network backbone for Sub-Saharan Africa. Membership of the Alliance now includes also the NRENs of Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and is open to all recognised African NRENs. As well as creating links between national research networks it aims to join Africa to the global research community, with this connection to GÉANT2 the first step towards this vision.
The high capacity connection aims to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world, and enable faster collaboration on projects across the globe, irrespective of location. It builds on an existing link between South Africa and Europe, extending the benefits of collaboration to researchers and scholars across sub-Saharan Africa.
GÉANT2 is a pan-European backbone network that interconnects NRENs across Europe, enabling collaboration with an estimated 30 million research and education users in 34 countries across the continent connected via the NRENs.
Additionally GÉANT2 allows global research collaboration through EU-funded direct connections to China, Latin America, North Africa, Middle East and South East Asia as well as links to other international networks in the USA and Canada. GÉANT2 is managed by DANTE, an international research and education network provider that plans, builds and manages networks that enable researchers to collaborate globally and share information from worldwide locations.