NUANCE – March 2010

All Roads lead to Kigali

Aberdeen House in Kigali, the venue for the meetings All roads lead to Kigali, Rwanda as UbuntuNet Alliance holds its 4th Council of Members Meeting Cluster on 21-23 April 2010 at Aberdeen House. The meetings will this time be hosted by RwEdNet, the Rwanda NREN and will include the 1st ERINA4Africa Workshop; the Meeting of the Executive Committee; the Meeting of NREN CEOs; the 16th Management Board Meeting; the RwEdNet Workshop; and finally the 4th Council of Members Meeting.

The Council of Members is the highest policy arm of the Alliance, consisting of Representative Members from all Participating NRENs. The full schedule of events is available on See you in Kigali!

Isabel v5 released with Web Gateway

The GLOBAL project, through Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) in Madrid, released a new version of Isabel, Isabel v5, towards the end of February 2010. Accompanying the new release is good news for bandwidth -constrained institutions in that UPM is now finalising testing for an Isabel Web gateway that will support access to the video conference facility using a web browser.

A successful testing session for the gateway was conducted on 17th March where a number of remote sites participated. Excited with the opportunities opened up by the web gateway, Mr Kennedy Aseda of KENET (Kenya) said, “congratulations to the GLOBAL project for integrating a web interface. It was a challenge getting participants install Ubuntu and Isabel client… now I believe that the uptake should be higher.”

The web interface of Isabel will allow users to easily participate in virtual events or set up remote sites to big conferences. The gateway is a component of the Virtual Conference Center (VCC) which the EU FP7 GLOBAL Project is working on. To participate, one needs an internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers. The web gateway will allow connections as low as 128kb/s.

The VCC is currently available at Explore it now.

Chilean Earthquakes: UbuntuNet expresses sympathy and support to CLARA members

UbuntuNet Alliance enjoys a special relationship with friends in the CLARA network in Latin America.Professor Zimani D Kadzamira, Chair of the Alliance, therefore expressed solidarity and sympathy to Chilean citizens following the earthquake of 27th of February saying “Our hearts go out to all the families, friends, Universities and CLARA members affected by the quake. May God be with you and comfort you all in these trying times”

Maria José López Pourailly, Communications and Public Relations Manager of CLARA responds “Good evening from a warm and very trembling Santiago. Thank you very much for your message: please transmit our gratitude to all your colleagues in UbuntuNet. I must say that during these difficult days two wonderful things have helped us to carry on: the first one is all the support received from international community, our friends, phone calls, emails, sms, skype messages, etc., bringing us a strong hit of love and friendship; the second is the solidarity in terms of food, infrastructure for health care and money that has come both from the international community and also from us… I know that what is transmitted by the international press are the most awful news about robberies but that is nothing in comparison with all the people that are helping since the first day to bring food, water, humanity and dignity to those who have lost everything.”

EVOKE now operational! Play it!

Part of EVOKE gameIn our last month’s NUANCE newsletter (February NUANCE), we brought to you an article about the online game, EVOKE which the World Bank was launching. “The online game was launched on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 and there has been a tremendous response from the public” says Bob Hawkins.

Since its launch, a lot of ideas have been generated in relation to the game. Among other things, the EVOKE players have started forming their own networks where people of similar interests or goals are communicating, collaborating and working together. An EVOKE Wiki has been started by players, food security kits have been proposed, some professionals such as Librarians are devoting some of their time to do research for other players and reading groups are being formed. Daily, new challenges are being initiated which players try to solve and collaborative projects have begun among players.

EVOKE is a game that is designed to empower young people all over the world and especially in Africa, to start solving urgent social problems that their communities are facing like hunger, poverty, diseases and so on. The whole article about EVOKE can be found in the February NUANCE newsletter.

Visit the game website for more details and to play the game

Green light from FEAST for AfricaConnect

Tusu, Cathrin and Simon at the meetingIn the huge and famous EU Berlaymont Building in the heart of Brussels, on 25th February, the EU DG INFSO hosted a one day meeting on the Roadmap to AfricaConnect. Invitees included Ministers from the ACP region, NREN representatives from several African countries, representatives of EU, AU, AAU, ACP and partner organizations, the FEAST team, DANTE, the UbuntuNet CEO and many other friends who are anxious to witness the incorporation of the African NRENs into the global REN community.

Many NUANCE readers will have been involved in the comprehensive data- capture phase of FEAST, the EU-commissioned one-year feasibility study. The feasibility stage was successfully concluded with the message that YES: there is enough infrastructure and ready research and education communities and applications to start the first phase of AfricaConnect!

The Feasibility Study has confirmed that Africa Connect, a “lighthouse project”  agreed in the framework of the EU-Africa strategy and aimed at the establishment of intra-regional connectivity for the research and education community to the European backbone GÉANT is viable. Africa Connect, the main component of ACP-Connect will be funded by the 10th EDF fund at an estimated value of Euro 11.8 million with an additional Euro 3 million being contributed by beneficiary countries.

Group photo showing participants

Dr. FrancisTusubira made a presentation about the Alliance and its bright future, challenges not withstanding; Bjorn made the FEAST presentation; and Simon Taylor and Margaret Ngwira presented ERINA4Africa and potential content and applications for the coming network. The budding WACREN was also ably presented. Finally, Cathrin Stőver of Dante presented the roadmap for the implementation of AfricaConnect.

The UbuntuNet Community expresses gratitude to the many friends involved over the years in the process leading to Africa Connect.

There is always a light moment during these trips: The UbuntuNet delegation emerged out of the underground station and braved a chilly drizzle to get a taxi to the Berlaymont building, only to find that the underground station they had just left was under the building.

News from Latin American NRENs: CLARA publishes Compendium NRENs

CLARA logoBenchmarking is important for any organization on the move. Data for such an exercise is now available to our colleagues in the CLARA network. REN Members of UbuntuNet Alliance have been completing the annual TERENA compendium questionnaire for a number of years. Our colleagues in Latin America have gone a step further and have now completed their own CLARA compendium. Maria Cortes writes “Thanks to the funding of the ALICE2 project -European Commission, @LIS2 Programme – the CLARA Compendium of Latin American National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) 2009 is now a reality.”

This initiative is a response to the demand for comparable data between different NRENs connected to the RedCLARA network (, raised from the fields of science, government, and from the international advanced networks and NRENs fields.

In its development, this first edition of the Compendium considered the thirteen NRENs of the countries in the region that are partners of the ALICE2 project and that are connected to RedCLARA; eleven of these institutions did answer the questionnaire developed to acquire all the information (it must be acknowledge that this particular questionnaire was based in the one that is yearly applied by TERENA). The results obtained represent the situation until the first week of November 2009, of these networks; the document also includes information on the history and the biggest changes in the NRENs, users and /or customers, networks and connectivity services, traffic, funding and work teams.

The first edition of the Compendium is available for downloading in PDF format and is available in Spanish, Portuguese, and English from the following   in the Documents section of the ALICE2 Website (

In addition, please have a look at the latest CLARA Bulletin to see how many interesting things our CLARA colleagues are doing with their network: the latest edition was released in December and can be downloaded from Thanks to Maria Lopez for keeping us posted.

Next Generation Leaders: ISOC Fellowship Opportunity

On 15th March 2010, the Internet Society Next Generation Leaders (ISOC NGL) called upon talented individuals who have the passion for sustainable Internet connection. The society is offering three components in the fields of eLearning, internet governance and internet engineering The components are the ISOC Fellowship to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for which its application closes on 16th April 2010, the ISOC Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Ambassadors programme for which application closes on 12th April 2010 and the new ISOC NGL eLearning programme for which its application is open until 5th April 2010.

The Internet Society Next Generation Leaders programme is aimed at equipping young professionals from around the globe with coursework and practical experience to become the next generation of Internet technology, policy, and business leaders. So, in order to be successful, the next generation of Internet leaders  require a wide range of skills in a variety of disciplines as well as the ability and experience to work with people at all levels of society.

For more information, please visit You can also register on 

Leave a Comment