NUANCE – March 2013

Call for papers: UbuntuNet-Connect 2013: Transforming education and research

UbuntuNet Alliance is calling for abstracts of papers to be presented at the UbuntuNet-Connect 2013 Conference. The Conference will be held in Kigali among the green hills of Rwanda from 14-15 November 2013. The theme of the conference is Transforming Education and Research, and the papers should fall under the following sub-themes:

  • Access to education through innovative use of new networked resources
  • Issues for transformation in NRENs
  • Innovations at global level
  •  Experiences of researchers in using advanced network applications

Papers that do not specifically fit under any of these sub-themes, but respond to the main conference theme, are also welcome.
Authors are invited to submit a 500 word abstract (with up to 5 keywords) of their proposed papers, clearly indicating the key content to be presented, not later than 31st July 2013. Papers collaboratively authored are especially welcome. Papers may describe completed research, or relevant case studies or projects; they should not normally describe planned research.

For more details and expansion of the subthemes, visit

Africa Grid Science Gateway launched

Do you conduct research in any of these fields: Computer Sciences and Mathematics, Cultural Heritage, Earth Sciences , High Energy Physics, Life Sciences and many others?  Then here is something for you!

In the past, some scientists have feared grid computing in that their perception of the required entry level computing knowledge has been discouraging. Within the framework of the EU FP7 CHAIN project, the use of Science Gateways was promoted and demonstrated. Now, Science Gateways have been growing in popularity and acceptance as they allow users to access the grid infrastructure through a web portal via a web browser. A very positive output is now available for Africa: the Africa Grid Science Gateway has been developed and launched.

The Africa Grid Science Gateway gives African scientists web-based access to grid computing infrastructure yet preserving the high level of security needed to use computing and storage resources belonging to different organisations worldwide.

The Africa Grid Science Gateway, conceived and developed in the context of the eI4Africa project, is online at

The Africa Grid Science Gateway is a standard-based web 2.0 demonstrative platform to show the lighthouse applications identified by the eI4Africa project and execute them on a worldwide (including Africa) e-Infrastructure.

Proposals for new applications for inclusion in the Africa Grid Science Gateway are welcome through this online survey (

The Africa Grid Science Gateway has also a community page on Facebook. Everybody is welcome to join it to get last-minute information about the gateway and related events/activities. One can even access the Africa Grid Science Gateway as a Facebook application clicking on the “Go to App” button which appears in the community page.

For more information about ei4Africa project, visit

TERNET gives out to its community through training

In a bid to strengthen its technical capacity, the Tanzania Education and Research Network (TERNET) started this year by bringing together network engineers and systems administrators from its membership to a 4 day training session, which was held at Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) from 14th to 18th January 2013. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize and train university techies on how to improve their campus network designs and also allow them to understand the services that TERNET offers to its member institutions.

The training workshop was facilitated internally by Damas Makweba, the Network Manager of TERNET and Ombeni Mnzava, the Principal System Administrator. This is a good example of capacity trickling down from the regional technical workshops that the facilitators have attended. The workshop which was attended by representatives from 22 TERNET member institutions provided insights on the theory and practice of advanced routing.

The training workshop was a follow up to  one that was offered in April 2012, and was mainly to give an opportunity to those that missed the previous training. Another training session, focused on unit/linux system administration has been planned for May 2013.

The training was sponsored by Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Open University of Tanzania (OUT) and TERNET.

Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network launches network

The global research and education networking frontiers continue to expand. This time, it’s the Caribbean region! 26 February 2013 was a great day for the Caribbean region as C@ribNET, the high capacity broadband research and education network interconnecting all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to each other was officially launched. The launch was part of the 2nd C@ribNET General Assembly, which was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad& Tobago.

C@ribNET has been built with 10 million euro  financial support from the European Union and is managed by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN), the regional organisation established by the heads of government of the Caribbean Community. CKLN has the responsibility of developing and managing this high capacity, broadband fiber optic network connecting all CARICOM member states to support research and education activities in the region.

The network also connects CARICOM countries to the world’s research and education community, through AMPATH to North America; through GÉANT to Europe and RedCLARA to Latin America.

C@ribNET is set to bridge the digital divide in the region and achieve social cohesion of Caribbean people through digital inclusion. It will benefit a population of approximately 26 million people in 21 Caribbean countries by providing cost-effective access to high quality e-learning content and other knowledge resources from the region and around the world.

Under the theme “Collaboration, Co-operation, Community” the historic launch of C@ribNET took place at the National Academy for the Performing Arts Centre (NAPA) in Port-of-Spain.

GÉANT picks up 1st prize for ‘Driving technology across the digital divide’

UbuntuNet Alliance extends well deserved congratulations to friends at DANTE, manager of GÉANT, the pan-European research and education network that has received the first prize in the ‘Excellent Science’ category for its entry ‘Driving technology across the digital divide’.

Winners were announced at the 10th e-Infrastructure Concertation Meeting, held on 6-7 March 2013 in Brussels. The meeting was organised by the European Commission Services with the support of the e-Science Talk project.  Its aim was to bring projects together to discuss issues related to the completion of the 7th Framework Programme and the start of an e-infrastructures activity during Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

The objective of the FP7 Success Story Competition was to highlight the three best success stories from the FP7 Capacities funding programme in e-Infrastructures.

The Excellent Science category showcased how the project has raised the level of excellence in Europe’s science base, making it an attractive location for the world’s best researchers. Success stories were used to highlight examples of how the project supported the best ideas, developed talent within Europe, or provided researchers with access to priority research infrastructure.Here is the full story.

In a related development, DANTE also received ‘Best Technology Innovation’ award for the research and education network GÉANT, in the 2013 Computer Weekly Awards. Findout more here.

Photo: Dorte Olesen receiving the award from Kostas Glinos

Eko-Konnect boosts network through trainings

Eko-Konnect, a cluster of ngREN (the Nigerian NREN) in Lagos city is not resting on its laurels in building capacity for its member institutions. This is evidenced by its current involvement in promoting the development of software innovation hubs within academic campuses and conducting training workshops in mobile apps development.

Established in 2009, Eko-Konnect aims to coordinate and support network connectivity between education and research institutions in the Lagos area as part of wider efforts to establish ngREN, the NREN of Nigeria. Today, Eko-Konnect has 28 member institutions, out of which 5 are connected to its metropolitan network. Since then, Eko-Konnect has been putting a great deal of effort in building capacity of its member institutions by offering trainings in different areas.

Eko-Konnect is also going further! Realising that network and infrastructure security is very important, Eko-Konnect has partnered with the leading internet security research group, Team Cymru ( to establish the Africa Training Initiative (ATI) to support African Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in building localised cyber security capacity in Africa.

“NRENs have a better understanding and awareness of security issues and need, and so [they] are ideally suited for this role. They also have better infrastructure, better network management and operations and have a clear commitment to seeing the Internet develop,” said Omo Oaiya, the coordinator of Eko-Konnect.

Member institutions connected to the Eko-Konnect  are enjoying several services  available on the network including backbone transmission – local backbone – IPv4 and IPv6, Domain Name Service,  External Network Access and provision- IX, Internet, Google Cache, Other RENs VoIP above all Video conferencing.

The network exists to provide related auxiliary services and develop the knowledge and skills of ICT practitioners in member institutions and also to facilitate electronic communication among beneficiaries in research and educational institutions and support the sharing of teaching and learning resources. Eko-Konnect survives through capacity building grants, membership dues and network services.

More information about Eko-Konnect click here

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