ZAMREN House Commissioned in Colourful Ceremony

On May 29, 2024, the Zambia Minister for Education, Hon. Douglas Syakalima, commissioned the purpose-built ZAMREN House, the new home of the Zambia Research and Education Network. The magnificent facility, whose construction was overseen by the ZAMREN Board and management and daily by the CEO, Mr Stein Mkandawire, sits on the campus of the University of Zambia in Lusaka and makes ZAMREN the only NREN in Africa to have built its premises. The cost of the building was Zambian Kwacha 29 million (approx $1 million).

In his speech, the Minister emphasised that “African problems will be solved by Africans” and that ZAMREN’s achievement was a testament to that. “We commend ZAMREN for building such a magnificent building”, he added.

Prof Mundia Munda, the Chair of the ZAMREN Board and Vice Chancellor of the University of Zambia, noted that “with the new building, ZAMREN was poised to increase its workforce, creating employment opportunities for [Zambia’s] youth as well as opportunities from the innovation hub not just for Zambia but the whole world.”

The launch event was also attended by the UbuntuNet Alliance’s board chairperson, Prof Helicy Ngambi, and the CEO, Prof Madara Ogot. In her remarks, Prof Ngambi noted that the facility stood as a testament to what dedication, hard work, persistence, and occasional tears can achieve.

“Indeed, ZAMREN continues to be a key contributor to the Government’s digital transformation agenda as delineated in the objectives of the National Digital Transformation Strategy. Specifically, and in the context of the research and education community, ZAMREN has continued to develop and deploy digital infrastructure for improved access and usage, promote digital literacy and skills, and contribute to creating an enabling environment for digital innovation and entrepreneurship,” she added.

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