A dedicated team led by public university staff in Mauritius has stepped up efforts to establish a National Research and Education Network (NREN) of the island nation.

Mauritius is one of the 10 countries from the UbuntuNet Alliance region that are in process of establishing their NRENs and the UbuntuNet Alliance is keen to help the nation set up an NREN and  eventually connect the NREN to the UbuntuNet Network.

Efforts to establish an NREN in Mauritius started over the past years and this year, the NREN champions have intensified efforts with a high level consultative meeting slated for November this year where a team from UbuntuNet Alliance will be in attendance.

The NREN Support Committee from Mauritius, led by Dr. Vandana Bassoo and Roshan Halkhoree from the University of Mauritius as well as Dr. Clarel Catherine from the University of Technology  say that the team received a grant from AUF (l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie)  to help with the ground work of establishing an NREN, adding that the team is set to ensure that the Mauritius NREN dream is finally turned into reality.

“The team is advancing its initiative to have an NREN and currently we would like to close in on the major aspects on the NREN realization which include the technical, financial and legal considerations. Our plan is to have the Government backing the set-up of a Mauritian NREN at the earliest so that implementation works start, maybe as early as 2020,’ said Dr. Catherine.

On its part, UbuntuNet Alliance is excited to be involved in this process and CEO, Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka confirms the efforts from the team are in line with the strategic vision of the Alliance.

‘”Mauritius is one of the countries we have been targeting to connect for the past few years because of its strategic importance. The fast paced technological development in the country need the contribution of researchers and students connected to a reliable, dedicated, high speed and affordable network like UbuntuNet. The Alliance is therefore excited to help in the setting up of the NREN in Mauritius by playing an advisory, capacity building and mentorship role,” he said.

Other countries from the UbuntuNet Alliance region that are yet to have NRENs include Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, South Sudan, Comoros Island and Swaziland and the Alliance is putting efforts in establishing NRENs in these countries.

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