NUANCE – September 2009


UbuntuNet Alliance conducts Outcome Mapping for CORENA

Monitoring and evaluation is crucial for the success of a programme. CORENA, Consolidating Research and Education Networking in Africa, puts together the vision and aspirations of UbuntuNet Alliance in the next few years. On 9-11th September 2009, NREN CEOs and Researchers from UbuntuNet Alliance Membership region gathered in Nairobi for an Outcome Mapping exercise for CORENA. Boubakar Barry of the AAU REN Unit was also a participant in the process, as was Khaled Fourati, IDRC Programme Officer.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop was facilitated by Apolo Kyeyune and Gabriel Komakech of Makerere University.  The focus of the workshop was on validating the general methodology proposed in the Monitoring and Evaluation framework, defining outcomes/indicators, and providing clarity and specificity on M&E parameters that the framework only defined at a broad level.

The output of the workshop will build on the Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy for CORENA that was developed in 2008.

NREN CEOs Commit bandwidth to start the Regional Backbone

Chief Executive Officers of UbuntuNet Alliance member NRENs held a successful meeting in Nairobi on 11th September 2009.  At the centre of the discussion was the realization of the regional network considering that the SEACOM cable is now at the door step in Mombasa, Dar es Salaam and Maputo.

The NRENs agreed to start building the network with each NRENs committing 10Mbps for cross border connectivity as a sign of their internal will to collaborate. The most probable NRENs to have the cross border links earliest are KENET, RENU and RwEdNet where fibre already crosses borders.

The meeting was attended was attended by NREN CEOS of Eb@le, KENET, MAREN, RENU, RwEdNet, SUIN, TERMET and ZAMREN, and Boubakar Barry of the AAU REN Unit. The UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, F.F. Tusubira and the Head of Secretariat, Margaret Ngwira were also present at the meeting.

UbuntuNet Connect 2009 to feature NREN Routing and FEAST Workshops

UbuntuNet-Connect 2009 is here again and this time it is hosted by RENU, the Research and Education Network for Uganda. If you have not registered for the conference yet, please do so now! The conference will be held at Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda on 12-13 November 2009 and will bring together researchers, academicians and policy makers involved in research and education networking from across Africa and abroad.

This year, UbuntuNet-Connect will be preceded by a 5-day NREN Routing/IXP hands-on Workshop at Makerere University, and a FEAST Workshop. The NREN Routing Workshop is targeting technical personnel from NRENs.

The 1 day FEAST Workshop will discuss the recommendations of the FEAST and will present an opportunity for the FEAST Team to interface with NREN CEOs and CTOs. The programme for the events is available here.

To register for UbuntuNet-Connect 2009 by clicking here.

One of Uganda’s Tourist Attractions is the Mountain Gorilla.  According to the census, which also successfully used for the first time genetic samples from fecal specimens, Bwindi’s gorilla population now numbers 340 individual gorillas, up from 320 in 2002, and 300 in 1997. (Credit: Copyright WCS)

Water is life: ICT for development in practice using sensors for environmental research

The Lilongwe Secretariat had a visit on 24th September by two PhD students from KTH accompanied by their supervisor, Professor Bjorn Pehrson who arrived in Malawi to conduct research. The students are Marco Zenaro and Herve Ntareme (of Burundi). Many NUANCE readers will know Marco through the ICTP wireless training courses offered annually in Trieste, Italy.

Marco’s research is focusing on monitoring water quality parameters such as turbidity, acidity and temperature in the water supplied to the city of Blantyre, Malawi using sensors.  Hervé is the one who designs the sensors. The two are working with a team from Blantyre Water Board and Ishmael Kosamu from the Malawi Polytechnic. It is good to see such practical applications of ICT for development. As NREN bandwidth improves, such applications will multiply.

Watch the video on YouTube

 IDRC has posted a video on YouTube about Research and Education Networking in Africa. The video features interviews with the UbuntuNet CEO, Eng Dr F.F. Tusubira, Directors of UbuntuNet Alliance, Dr Duncan Martin and Mrs Margaret Ngwira, former Director, Mr Victor Kyalo and the AAU REN Unit Coordinator, Dr Boubakar Barry. Watch the video on

Amy Mahan Research Fellowship Program to Assess the Impact of Public Access to ICTs

Emerging developing country researchers from Africa, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to apply for the Amy Mahan Research Fellowship Program to Assess the Impact of Public Access to ICTs. They may submit their application and conduct their research in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. The deadline for applying is Midnight Eastern Standard Time, 31 December 2009.

Up to 12 Research Fellowships will be awarded, each providing a grant of up to 22,000 € and specialized guidance to enable emerging scholars to carry out their own new and original study examining the impact of public access to information and communication technologies (ICT).

The Program is an eighteen-months project sponsored by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and managed by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, in collaboration with scholars from Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina, the University of the Philippines, Manila, and the LINK Centre, South Africa.

For detailed information about the fellowship, please visit the Program Website:

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