UbuntuNet Alliance’s Annual Report 2023

Dear Members of the UbuntuNet Alliance Community,

I am pleased to bring you our Annual Report highlighting UbuntuNet Alliance’s key achievements in 2023. On my recent appointment as Chairperson of the Alliance in January 2024, I was happy to read the well-articulated five-year Strategic Plan for 2023-2027, which details the Alliance’s aspirations during this period and how to achieve them. This Annual Report highlights the achievements from the first year of implementation of the Strategic Plan.

In 2023, the UbuntuNet Network’s main backbone links were upgraded from 2.5Gbps to 10Gbps, and new points of presence were established in Gaborone and Johannesburg. Also, BotsREN (Botswana) was connected to the UbuntuNet Network at 10Gbps, the first NREN to connect at such a high capacity. EthERNet (Ethiopia) will follow suit in the second quarter of 2024. We are grateful to the European Union for their continued support in enabling the Alliance and its members to continue to support quality education and research in our region.

We also made significant progress developing our Open Science programme, which saw the Alliance selected as the Southern Node for the Africa Open Science Platform, UbuntuNet Open Science Cloud set up, and the open-access repository AfricArXiv brought online. These initiatives have placed the Alliance on a path to becoming a key player in open science in Africa.

I invite you to read the Annual Report and learn how the Alliance continues to build a strong community of members, strengthen its organisation and governance systems, and build equitable partnerships and projects. Finally, I urge the NREN community to work together to develop and sustain research and education networks in Eastern and Southern Africa to benefit our students and researchers as we contribute to economic development.

Professor Hellicy Ng’ambi,
Chairperson Board of Trustees

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