It is that time of the year when we take stock of the year 2019 which will soon be behind us.
At UbuntuNet Alliance, 2019 has been a very great year in which we registered impressive milestones for ourselves and our NRENs.
Just this week, we capped off this great year by signing, along with our sister organizations of WACREN, ASREN and GEANT, the AfricaConnect3 contract agreement with the European Union to continue expanding our network and providing cutting edge research and education tools and services to our NRENs.
To us, the signing of this contract agreement is a vote of confidence on the work which we have been undertaking under the AfricaConnect2 project which we wrapped up on 15th November 2019 having started implementing the same in November 2015.
The achievements under AfricaConnect2 are huge; we connected 5 new NRENs and upgraded various links within the regional backbone. We also managed to expand the reach of our services such as eduroam which is now available in 11 NRENs within our region.
On top of these two milestones, we also celebrated our new Board of Trustees which was elected at the 12th Annual General Meeting in Entebbe, Uganda on 30th April 2019. The Board has been so critical in providing strategic direction of the Alliance.
On the strategic front, we have placed a lot of emphasis on strengthening the community to ensure a robust UbuntuNet Alliance. We have been aggressive in nurturing and strengthening institutional capacities of our NRENs to achieve this objective. We made various trips to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and more recently, Mauritius where we have been familiarizing and helping with institutional guidance and mentorship.
We cannot finish talking about 2019 without touching on UbuntuNet-Connect 2019 which we held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The event was a great success and enabled us to interact with colleagues and partners and share knowledge and best practices. We introduced the UbuntuNet Community Awards at the conference and for the first time, announced the venue for our next conference, UbuntuNet-Connect 2020 to be held on 19-20 November in Johannesburg, South Africa and hosted by TENET, the South African NREN. we cannot wait to see you there.
As we now flap back our laptops and zip our backpacks for the festive season, we would like to say a big “Thank You” for the support you rendered to us in the year 2019. We are grateful and we wish you a prosperous 2020.
Eng. Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka,