PRESS RELEASE

Malawi Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) Acting CEO, Mrs Audrey Mwala and UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka pose for a photograph after the contract signing.

23rd January 2020, Blantyre, Malawi: UbuntuNet Alliance, the research and education network for Eastern and Southern Africa, has signed a contract agreement with the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Civic Education and Communications Technology to provide affordable, fast and dedicated Internet connectivity and other research and education networking tools and services to the country’s universities and research institutions via the Malawi Research and Education Network (MAREN).

Signing of the contract agreement took place on Thursday, 23rd January 2020 in Blantyre, Malawi.

The contract agreement comes under the Digital Malawi Project, a Government of Malawi project being funded by the World Bank Group to the tune of K52 billion to extend and improve access to critical ICT infrastructure for the public and private sectors; improve ICT governance; improve access to government services; and facilitate provision of e-services thereby enhancing public service delivery.

Under the contract, UbuntuNet Alliance will make available1200 Mbps to MAREN for a period of 10 years through a newly procured link between Blantyre, Malawi and Maputo, Mozambique.  

The implementation of the contract is expected to improve Internet connectivity as well as make available large volumes of bandwidth to students, researchers and staff at universities and research centers in Malawi at reduced cost. In countries such as Zambia, Uganda and Somalia, just to mention a few, connection of the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of these countries to the UbuntuNet Internet Network has helped reduce internet connectivity cost for universities by over 70 percent.  

UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Eng. Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka says: “UbuntuNet Alliance is very excited to be able to collaborate with the Malawi Government and the World Bank through providing large, fast and stable internet connectivity to Malawian universities and research institutions via our local entity MAREN. We hope to leverage this relationship with the World Bank to replicate this to more countries in our region of Eastern and Southern Africa so that more institutions can benefit from the unique offering that we provide in this sector.”

About UbuntuNet Alliance

UbuntuNet Alliance is the regional Research and Education Networking organisation for Eastern and Southern Africa. It plans, builds and operates UbuntuNet, the regional high-speed internet network dedicated to research and education in Eastern and Southern Africa. UbuntuNet Alliance also promotes and supports the integration of advanced ICT services and tools in research, teaching and learning, taking advantage of the opportunities that come with the Internet. The Alliance was established in the latter half of 2005 by five established and emerging National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), namely MAREN (Malawi), MoRENet, (Mozambique), KENET (Kenya), RwEdNet (Rwanda) and TENET (South Africa). The Membership region of the Alliance spans across Eastern and Southern Africa, covering 26 countries. Currently, 16 countries have joined the Alliance and are at different stages of development. The Alliance is incorporated as a Trust in Malawi and registered and recognized as an International Organization with its secretariat in Lilongwe, Malawi and a technical hub in Kampala, Uganda.

Further Press Information:
Hastings Ndebvu
Communications Officer/ UbuntuNet Alliance
Cell: +265999029434
Email: hastings.ndebvu@ubuntunet.net
Skype: hastings.ndebvu

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