PRESS RELEASE

23rd February 2021/Lilongwe, Malawi and Gaborone, Botswana:

The Botswana Research and Education Network (BotsREN) has become a registered member Research and Education Network (NREN) of UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking.

UbuntuNet Alliance is an Association of NRENs of Eastern and Southern Africa, connecting them to each other and the general Internet through the UbuntuNet Network.

BotsREN becomes the 17th NREN Member of UbuntuNet Alliance having satisfied membership requirements in early 2021, which enabled the Board of Trustees of UbuntuNet Alliance to approve its membership application.

The newly established NREN, which is spearheaded by the Government of Botswana is now eligible to participate in the AfricaConnect3 project which can potentially enable the research and education community in the country to interconnect with their peers in the region and get international internet connectivity through the UbuntuNet Network. 

UbuntuNet Alliance Chairperson Prof. Stephen Simukanga says:

“UbuntuNet Alliance is delighted to add on its membership list the Botswana Research and Education Network. We are excited that we will contribute to reducing the digital divide in Botswana by connecting universities and research centers within the country and also connecting them to other NRENs within Africa and to the rest of the world.” 

On his part, UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka said the admission of BotsREN is an indication of the diligence of the Alliance to help establish NRENs in the region and ensure that all countries within the region have operational NRENs.

“One of our strategic pillars is to help establish NRENs within our region and help them become operational. Since last year we have been diligently pursuing Mauritius, South Sudan and Eswatini helping them establish NRENs there and have them participate in the AfricaConnect project. We are delighted that Botswana had become the first NREN to be admitted. Soon we will also be making announcements regarding the other countries being pursued. The benefits for Botswana joining the Alliance are immense, from affordable high-speed internet connectivity for universities and research centers to high-level training of college campus network and systems engineers,” said Dr. Mtumbuka. 

One of the pioneers of BotsREN, Prof Nelson Torto, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology in Botswana says: 

‘Botswana Government has positive expectations about the opportunities that BotsREN is going to present in terms of economic growth and prosperity for all by providing fast pathways and widespread technology transfer to society and industry whilst also providing affordable, secure, resilient services during disruptions such as COVID-19 to National institutions. For example, the promotion of collaboration and creating virtual communities through connectivity, co-creation, local content development, data and knowledge sharing, promotion of research, innovation and technology transfer as part of the BotsREN goals. 

“Botswana is very proud to be associated with UbuntuNet Alliance; it should have happened years ago but we have finally reached this point. We hope to engage, leverage and benefit from UbuntuNet’s expertise and the AfricaConnect3 project. We are confident this will enhance Botswana’s participation in the global RSTI enterprise including through Open Data and Open Science,“ said Prof. Torto.

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.


Pic: Prof. Nelson Torto, Botswana Research and Education Network

Further Press Information:

Hastings Ndebvu

Communications Officer/ UbuntuNet Alliance

Cell: +265999029434

Email: hastings.ndebvu@ubuntunet.net

Skype: hastings.ndebvu

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