The European Policy Management Authority for Grid Authentication (EUGridPMA) recently approved the Kenya Education Network (KENET) Certification Authority (CA) and Root CA after a year of reviewing the NREN’s CA policy statements.
EUGridPMA is the international organization that coordinates the trust environment for e-Infrastructure for research in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Among other functions, the EUGridPMA approves Certification Authorities; bodies trusted to sign and issue electronic certificates that verify a digital entity’s identity on the Internet for secure communication.
The approval of the KENET CA and Root CA means the NREN will now be issuing digital certificates verifying the identity of its member institutions present on the Internet.
Announcing the accreditation of the KENET CA, the NREN’s Executive Director, Prof. Meoli Kashorda expressed delight with the approval describing it as an important milestone for the creation of necessary research e-infrastructure for researchers based in Kenya.
Prof. Kashorda says KENET’s accreditation process, which started as part of the ei4Africa project in 2013, has been successful due to the dedication of a high level ICT team working for the research and education institution.
“This accreditation first requires a team of high-end ICT staff that comprise of experienced application developers, programmers, systems administrators, network engineers, and a sustainable NREN with good governance. Fortunately, at KENET, we have such a team that operates our broadband network and data centers and the CA is just one of the many services we provide. This accreditation process has also helped us to develop a disaster recovery plan and associated business continuity plan. Which every service provider needs to have,” says Kashorda.
The Executive Director then expressed gratitude to all research collaborators under the ei4Africa project who, according to him, helped develop the initial necessary ICT skills and to the EUgridPMA for reviewing the NREN’s policy documents.
Currently, Africa does not have an own Grid Policy Management Authority but the continent is expected to have its own Authority that will be instituted under the Energizing Scientific Endeavors through Science Gateways and e-Infrastructure in Africa ( Sci-GaIA) project which both UbuntuNet Alliance and WACREN are implementing partner.