UbuntuNet Alliance is delighted to announce the introduction of the UbuntuNet Alliance Community Awards. These awards will recognize outstanding contributions of individuals and NRENs in the UbuntuNet Alliance membership region, towards promotion of research and education collaboration.

Winners of the first edition of the Awards will be announced at the UbuntuNet-Connect 2019 conference in Antananarivo, Madagascar on 1st November 2019.


For this year, the Awards Committee has introduced three categories and members of the NREN community are being asked to nominate ONE candidate for each award, detailing the candidate’s contribution in the categories and why the nominated candidates are deserving of the award.

Members of the research and education networking community are requested to submit nominations by filling in an online nomination form. Nominations should be submitted by Monday, 21st October 2019. Below are the categories:

The Distinguished Contribution to Research and Education Networking Award
This prestigious award will be given to an individual who has made outstanding contribution in the research and education networking community at either national or regional level. The person could be a serving or former research and education networking personnel. Nominating persons are required to describe how the candidate’s contribution has helped the promotion of research and education collaboration or how the contribution has provided solutions to challenges in the community. Nominated candidates must be from the UbuntuNet Alliance membership region. Nominating Individuals are not restricted to nominating a candidate from their local community.

The Distinguished Research and Education Networking Engineer Award
The recipient of the Distinguished Research and Education Networking Engineer Award will be a nominated dynamic and innovative research and education networking engineer whose work has contributed to the betterment of the operation of a research and education network, be it at national or regional level. The nominated engineer will be from the research and education community of the UbuntuNet Alliance membership region. Individuals can nominate an engineer who has been working across all the NRENs or an NREN dedicated engineer. Nominating individuals must clearly describe the outstanding skills, achievements and contributions of the nominee and explain how the achievements have helped improve the operations and efficiency of a research and education network

The Emerging National Research and Education Network Award
An emerging NREN is, for the purpose of this Award Category, an NREN that is not yet connected to a Research and Education Networking or that has been connected to such a network for not more than 3 years. The Emerging NREN Award is designed to motivate and inspire up and coming NRENs to work towards moving their NRENs to next level. The winning NREN must have shown massive effort and willingness to promote research and education networking for its member institutions through the fostering of a community spirit within the NREN or rapid uptake of services and distribution of the same to member institutions. Nominating individuals need to justify why the nominated NREN is deserving of this accolade.


UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka says the introduction of the awards, which will be held annually will not only add excitement at the conference but also motivate individuals and NRENs to work hard, be innovative and get recognition.


“These awards are here to stay. From next year we will introduce other categories including the NREN Innovation Award where NRENs will submit innovative and impactful research projects and invention taking place in their communities. The idea is to bring to light research activities being aided by research and education networks and also to encourage a spirit of innovation in NREN Members,” said Dr. Mtumbuka.


In 2015, the Alliance recognized founding directors Margaret Ngwira, Americo Muchanga, Duncan Martin, Albert Nsengiyumwa; founding CEO Tusu Tusubira; and key friends: Heloise Emdon, Steve Song, Anders Comstedt and Bjorn Pehrson for their role in the establishment and development of UbuntuNet Alliance.


Pic: Former UbuntuNet Alliance Chairperson Prof. John Ssebuwufu presents a certificate of recognition to Prof Bjorn Pehrson for his role in the development of the UbuntuNet Alliance during the UbuntuNet Alliance 10th Anniversary dinner in Maputo, Mozambique in 2015

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