NUANCE – February 2011

Call for nominations of UbuntuNet Alliance Directors

UbuntuNet Directors with Minister Aggrey Awori of UgandaThe term of office of the current UbuntuNet Alliance Management Board expires at the 5th Council of Members Meeting in April 2011 in Addis Ababa and therefore a new Board will have to be elected for a 2 year term. To this effect, we are calling for Member NRENs to submit nominations of candidates they feel should become Directors.

Article 9.4 from the Articles of Association of the Alliance states that the appointment of Directors shall be made from a list of candidates. Each Representative Member shall have the right to nominate one or more candidates. Such nomination shall be submitted to the Secretary in writing, accompanied by the curriculum vitae of the candidate and a statement of the main contributions that the candidate envisages making, if elected.

Member NRENs are requested to work with their Representative Member in identifying potential candidates for the Board. Such candidates do not necessarily have to be from the country of the NREN or the university and research community: The essence of the Board is a group of individuals who have the complementary skills and experience to oversee the successful implementation of the strategic plan of the Alliance, rather than representing the interests of any particular NREN or other group.

Nominations should be submitted to the Secretariat not later than Friday, 11th March 2011.

The photo shows the current Management Board posing with Ugandan Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Hon Aggrey Awori (front row 4th from right) during UbuntuNet-Connect 2009 in Kampala.

UbuntuNet Alliance to support ten participants to AfNOG-12 and AfriNIC-14 Training Workshops and Associated Meetings: 29 May – 10 June, 2011

UbuntuNet Alliance is pleased to announce that it will support ten qualifying participants from among its member NRENs to the 12th African Network Operators’ Group (AfNOG-12) and the 14th African Network Information Centre (AfriNIC-14) Workshop & Meeting which will be held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania from 29th May to 10 June 2011. AfNOG and AfriNIC are jointly organizing a two-week event that includes the AfNOG Workshop on Network Technology (offering advanced training in a week-long hands-on workshop), several full-day Advanced Tutorials, a one-day AfNOG Meeting, and a two-day AfriNIC Meeting.

In addition, several side meetings and workshops will be hosted in collaboration with other organizations. The local hosts of the events are Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and Tanzania Network Information Centre (TzNIC).

There are a lot of activities lined up which will include Unix Boot Camp, AfNOG Workshop, CERT Training (AAF/AfREN),  AfriNIC IPv6 Workshop, AfREN Meeting / AAF, AfNOG Tutorials, AfriNIC LIR Workshop, ISOC Day, AfNOG-12 Meeting,  AfriNIC-14 Meeting, AfPIF and AFGWG. The venue and hotel for the events will be announced later. The deadline for receiving applications is 4th March 2011.

The workshop application information is available at and (French). Further information can be found at

Those interested in the UbuntuNet Alliance support should first seek admission to the training and then apply to the Alliance with a recommendation from their NREN CEO.

The photo shows some of the UbuntuNet Alliance funded participants to the AfNOG Workshop in 2010 in Kigali, Rwanda.

UbuntuNet Network Engineering Group Set Up

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the UbuntuNet Network Engineering Group (UNEG), initially as a Task Team consisting of Andrew Alston of TENET, Josphat Karanja of KENET, and Joe Kimaili of RENU.  The three, all full time CTOs or engineering staff of their NRENs, will form the core around which UNEG will grow and be fully defined. One immediate task on their hands is working with their opposites in DANTE to define the hard engineering details of AfricaConnect as input to the policy level committee set up by the Board of the Alliance.

Access for Success: UbuntuNet Connect 2011 and First Call for Papers

The UbuntuNet-Connect Annual Conference is now a major calendar event, starting from humble beginnings about four years, and growing each year to what became a world class event in Johannesburg last year: UbuntuNet-Connect 2010 brought together key stakeholders from around the continent and the world and provided a rich environment for learning and networking.  The conference was closed by Mrs Vera Brenda Ngosi, Director, Directorate of Human Resources Science and Technology, African Union Commission.  In her closing remarks, Mrs Ngosi commended the positive energy, interaction, and lessons shared during the conference, and challenged the participants to redouble their efforts to ensure access for success.  Access for Success: This was taken up by the Alliance as a battle cry, and has been adopted as the theme for UbuntuNet-Connect 2011.

Access alone does not create success: it is the collaboration so enabled and the full exploitation of advanced e-infrastructures that will lead to success. While maintaining our traditional major areas of coverage, UbuntuNet-Connect 2011 will dwell also on emerging networks and collaboration in Africa in order to spotlight the early adopters in exploiting the growing e-infrastructure and cheaper regional and global connectivity.

The Alliance invites Papers that address the broad topic of research and education networking in Africa, under (but not limited to) the following sub-themes:

  • Content networks
  • Applications (computing, conferencing, resource sharing, etc)
  • Marketing, communication and dissemination
  • Regional and international collaboration
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Policy and regulation
  • NREN organizational issue: Trust; Operations; Sustainability

Authors are invited to submit 500 word abstracts of their proposed papers or presentations, clearly indicating the key message to be shared, not later than 30th June 2011. Abstracts should be sent to: UbuntuNet Alliance .  On acceptance, the format for paper submission will be sent to the authors.   Papers will be peer reviewed.

UbuntuNet-Connect 2011 will be hosted by the Kenya Education Network (KENET) in Nairobi, the hub of East Africa’s tourism Mecca, from the 23rd to the 25th of November 2011.  The exact location will be communicated before the end of March 2011.

The Conference will be preceded by several events where participation will be by invitation.  These include:

  • A two day Technical Workshop (for engineers, especially CTOs, of member NRENs and Network Engineers/Managers of institutions);
  • A one day executive workshop for the CEOs of member NRENs;
  • A one-day AfricaConnect Administrative meeting;
  • Meetings of the CTOs; CEOs; Executive Committee; and Board of the Alliance

The UbuntuNet-Connect events provide major commercial and publicity opportunity for services and technology companies.  A separate invitation will be issued for those who want to be billed as conference sponsors.

The GLOBAL project successfully ends

One of the exciting EU FP7 projects in which the Alliance was a partner, GLOBAL (Global Linkage Over BroadBAnd Links) officially ended on the 31st of October 2010.  The project worked on enabling researchers around the globe to set up and expand their virtual communities for exchanging the latest findings, presenting project results, sharing documents and media files, or simply to socialising and connecting with each other by means of virtual conferencing. To achieve this, the project developed a Virtual Conference Centre, called the Global Plaza available at The Global Plaza interfaces with an Internet based video conferencing suite, Isabel which is developed by UPM in Spain.

The project has been very positively evaluated by the European Commission and has exceeded expectations in indicators. For example, during the course of the project, the Global Plaza received 7549 absolute unique visitors, had 32 active communities, hosted 512 events and stores 839 videos.

The Global Plaza continues to operate and to offer services to researchers and academia at no cost.

SARUA elects new office bearers

SARUA (Southern African Regional Universities Association) wishes to communicate to the general public that it has new members in its Executive Committee. These members were appointed at the SARUA AGM in October 2010. At the first meeting of this Executive Committee held on the 8th of February 2011 Prof Cheryl De La Rey was appointed as Chairperson of the Executive Committee. The Deputy Chair is Prof Obert Maravanyika from the Great Zimbabwe University (Zimbabwe). The executive members are Prof Jorge Ferrao, Lurio University (Mozambique), Prof Chabu Mumba from Lubumbashi University (DRC) and Prof Kweku Bentil from Botswana International University of Science and Technology (Botswana).

Speaking about her new role, the new Chairperson of SARUA, Prof Cheryl De La Rey said: “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the region to support and enhance the work SARUA is doing to revitalise and develop Southern African higher education. SARUA’s areas of work include developing the regional identity of higher education, enhancing collaboration amongst universities in the region, building leadership capacity, and ensuring a receptive higher education policy environment in the region. SARUA must continue to respond to a dynamic and fast-changing global higher education environment, while constantly taking stock of the regional effects of this. It must also continue to improve our own knowledge and understanding of our region. Ultimately, SARUA must work to strengthen capacity in our higher education institutions and systems, and to better promote the crucial role of universities in building knowledge for the development of Southern Africa.”

Congratulations to the new Executive Committee! We hope that the relationship that has been there with us will continue with this new Committee. (From SARUA Newsletter).

TWAS seeks nominations for TWAS 2011 Prizes

The TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world seeks nominations for the TWAS 2011 Prizes. The closing date is 31 March 2011. The “TWAS Prizes” are awarded to individual scientists in developing countries in recognition of an outstanding contribution to knowledge in eight fields of science: agricultural sciences, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, medical sciences and physics. Each prize carries a monetary award of US$15,000 and a medal bearing a citation highlighting the major contribution for which the prize is awarded.

For a scientist to be considered for the prize, he/she must be scientists who have been working and living in a developing country for at least ten years. They must also have scientific research achievement of outstanding significance for the development of scientific thought and/or outstanding contribution to the application of Science and Technology to industry or to human well-being in a developing country. Members of TWAS and candidates for TWAS membership are not eligible for TWAS Prizes and self-nominations will not be considered.

Selection of the awardees is made on scientific merit and on the recommendations of the selection committees composed of TWAS members.

The 2011 nomination form can be downloaded from: Inquiries and completed nomination forms should be addressed to: More information is available at…

TWAS offers grants for Computer Science Meetings in African Countries

With funds provided by Microsoft Research Ltd, TWAS and AAS encourage the organization of scientific activities related to computer science in Africa by offering financial assistance to the organizers of conferences, workshops, symposia and special meetings held in Africa. Deadline extended to 1 March 2011 – for meetings held between July and December 2011.

The support is normally provided in the form of travel grants for principal speakers from abroad and/or participants from developing countries other than the country where the meeting is held. Supported speakers should be from not-for-profit research organizations. The amount provided does not exceed Euro 4,000.

To apply, download the application form  and complete it on your computer, then complete the electronic application form using any word-processing programme. Incomplete and/or unsigned applications cannot be considered. The application form should be completed in all its parts and sent by email to

Deadline extended to 1 March 2011 for meetings to be held between July and December 2011. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their requests within three months of after the deadline.

UNCTAD Call for Contributions – Information Economy Report 2011

The UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade And Development) is calling upon individuals to contribute to its Information Economy Report of 2011 –ICTs and Private Sector Development to be launched in late 2011. UNCTAD is interested in receiving studies/articles related to how governments and other stakeholders are applying ICT applications to support the creation or growth of enterprises in developing countries. Evidence of success or failure cases is also welcome.

The Information Economy Report 2011 will focus on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in private sector development. A distinction will be made between efforts aimed at addressing internal constraints of enterprise growth and efforts at improving the broader conditions and systems in which private enterprises operate. Possible benefits from more effective use of ICTs may include reduced business costs, reduced risk, higher productivity, better access to markets and increased competition.

The deadline for receiving contributions is 18 March 2011 and Contributions should be sent to

Conference Announcement: Biotechnology in Africa: Fostering Innovation

The Institute for Science and Sustainable Development (ISSD) invites all to attend the conference titled; Biotechnology in Africa: Fostering Innovation, to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from May 13th- 15th 2011. Addis Ababa University will be co –hosting this major international conference with the Agricultural Innovation in Africa (AIA) project, at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The conference seeks to address the role of biotechnologies in the transformation of African economies. As you aware of that biotechnology has so far failed to take root in Africa, however, if the will exists to invest in human resources and in infrastructure, then African Union (AU) member states, too, can reap the benefits from modern biotechnologies.

It is believed that this conference serves to bring together the full spectrum of agricultural stakeholders, from individual farmers to heads of state, in an effort to promote a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary dialogue between agriculturalists, scientists and policy makers on issues related to developing, use and application of biotechnology. For further information please visit:

Call for Papers: IMMM 2011: 17 – 22 July 2011

The IMMM 2011: The First International Conference on Advances in Information Mining and Management organizing committee is calling on papers from interested individuals which will be presented at the conference. The conference shall take place on July 17-22, 2011 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

The topics suggested are Mining mechanisms and methods, Mining support, Type of information mining, Pervasive information retrieval, Automated retrieval and mining, Mining features, Information mining and management, Mining from specific sources, Data management in special environments, Mining evaluation and Mining tools and applications. The topics suggested by the conference organizers can be discussed in term of concepts, state of the art, research, standards, implementations, running experiments, applications, and industrial case studies. Authors are invited to submit complete unpublished papers, which are not under review in any other conference or journal in the following, but not limited to, topic areas.

All tracks are open to both research and industry contributions, in terms of Regular papers, Posters, Work in progress, Technical/marketing/business presentations, Demos, Tutorials, and Panels.

Before submission, please check and conform to the editorial rules: Extended versions of selected papers will be published in IARIA Journals:

More information is available at The deadline for receiving applications is March 1, 2011.

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