UbuntuNet Alliance was pleased to have its CEO, Prof Madara Ogot and the project manager, Mr. Eliakim Okundi in attendance at this year’s annual research and education conference hosted by WACREN, our sister organization. The conference took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 25 – 29 April 2022 under the theme “Open Science Africa, Connecting the dots”.
As a deliverable under the AfricaConnect projects, all the three Regional Research and Education Networks (RRENs) in Africa, consisting of the UbuntuNet Alliance, WACREN and ASREN, conduct annual conferences within their respective regions that address various themes in research and education. This year’s WACREN conference brought together various stakeholders from the European Union, GÉANT, regional universities and government officials.
The conference was preceded by a number of activities that sought to set stage for the discussions under the main theme throughout the week. Key activities were the Open Science Symposium; AfricaConnect3 Project Management Board (PMB) meeting; the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) brainstorming; and Library Support for Embedded NREN Services and Infrastructure (LIBSENSE) Regional Policy Development Workshop. Specifically, the DG INTPA brainstorming session stressed on the need for the RRENs to refocus on their digital transformation strategies. Di Stefano Fabio, the Director General of EU/Africa Cooperation under European Union, emphasized on sharing of research data and leveraging on digital tools around open Science. He also challenged the African NRENs to leverage on their close ties with the European Union to make the open Science dream a reality.
Overall, the conference was a wake-up call for the continent to rethink about Open Science in terms of its meaning, application and benefits. All the key note speakers dwelt on the need for the NRENs to open their borders for open Science collaboration through formulation of requisite frameworks, policies and acquisition of the right tools to realize this continental dream. Amidst all the developments made so far, the focus area of “Who pays for the open Science?” was presented as a prompt going forward.
UbuntuNet Alliance would like congratulate WACREN on such a successful conference. UbuntuNet Alliance will host its annual research and education conference on 24-25 November 2022. To find out more about this click on the link: https://ubuntunet.net/uc2022/