UbuntuNet-Connect 2010 | 18/19 November 2010 | Johannesburg, South Africa

Rolling out the Regional Infrastructure: From dreams to achievement


Kopanong Resort and Conference Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Welcome to UbuntuNet-Connect 2010!
Here is an opportunity for you to interact with the African Research and Education Networking community and learn about the progress and status of REN activities in Africa. UbuntuNet-Connect is the annual networking conference organised by UbuntuNet Alliance. This time it is hosted by TENET. The conference will be held at Kopanong Resort and Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa from 18 – 19th November 2010.

Five years ago, the Alliance was a dream, and we were looking forward with a lot of hope to the creation of a strong regional Research and Education Network with strong NRENs as members.  A lot has happened since that time:

  • The UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking’s membership has grown to 13,    and is targeted to reach 14 by the end of 2010.
  • During 2009, two marine fibers, SEACOM and TEAMS, landed on the East Coast of Africa, making the dream of high bandwidth connectivity international at affordable prices a reality in this region for the first time.
  • Governments in the region have become more positive about supporting research and education networking, even if many of them still have limited appreciation of the scope and potential of REN activities as a critical stimulant for national development.
  • Most of the member NRENs now have their Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) and independent IP address space.  A small but rapidly increasing number are also actually operational.
  • Three years ago, paying $4000 and more per Mbps per month for a semi-duplex VSAT link was the norm. Now, universities are increasingly getting access at typical prices of $500 per Mbps per month for a full-duplex fiber based circuit, a price reduction of about 90%.
  • Five years ago, there was excitement about total pledges, there was considerable excitement at the USD 3 million pledged to enable educational and research institutions to acquire bandwidth on then- planned EASSy cable.  Now, we have formal commitment for €12million from the EC as part of a total package of €15 million for AfricaConnect – a project that will establish a dedicated regional network with international connectivity.

We never expected to move so fast in so short a time.  When the African National Congress came to power in South Africa, they had invested themselves so much in the struggle that they were somewhat taken aback by the reality of having to run a country.  The Alliance, and the new NRENs, face similar challenges:  Now that regional and international connectivity is a reality, it is the time to deliver on our promises.  This has led to our conference theme for this year: Rolling out the Regional Infrastructure: From dreams to achievement “Infrastructure…Applications….Content…Innovation…Policy.”

The Conference features an exciting programme with well-known and experienced speakers from  across the world. We look forward to seeing you at Kopanong.


Day 1, 18th November 2010

Time Activity
0730 – 0830 Registration:  Ms Beatrice Ng’ambi

Opening Session, 
Chair: Dr. Iman Abdelrahman, CEO of SUIN
0830 – 0900 Introductions (by country)
Dr. F.F Tusubira, CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance
0900 – 0905 Welcome remarks from the Chair of the UbuntuNet Alliance
Prof Zimani Kadzamira, Chair UbuntuNet Alliance
0905 – 0910 Welcome remarks from TENET
Dr Duncan Martin, CEO of TENET
0910 – 0920 Remarks from the Research and Education Networking Unit of the Association of African Universities
Dr Pascal Hoba,AAU
0920 – 0930 Remarks from the African Union Commission
Mrs Vera Brenda Ngosi, Director, Human Resources, Science and Technology, AUC.
0930 – 0950 Keynote Address and Opening by the Guest of Honour
Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, Chair of TENET 
0950 – 1000 Vote of Thanks and Announcements
Ms Ludmila Maguni, CEO of MoRENet
1000 – 1030 Group photograph and Health Break
Geoff Hoy

Sub-theme 1: Content, Applications, Innovations, and Collaboration, Chair: Dr. Patrick Mangheni, CEO, RENU
1015 – 1045 Co-ordination and Harmonisation of Advanced e-Infrastructures (CHAIN)
Tiwonge Banda, UbuntuNet Alliance and Dr Bruce Becker, SAGrid
1045 –1100 Discussion
1100 – 1115 The role of broadband networks for the social and economic development of the countries
Alireza Khosrow, e-Government and e-education Director, Alcatel-Lucent
1115 – 1135 New Models for Education Access and Innovations for NRENs in Africa
Ashraf Patel
1135 – 1145 Discussion
1145 – 1205 The UbuntuNet Research Index for Information Sharing Model
Dr Nora Mulira, Director, Directorate for ICT Support, Makerere University  
1205 – 1215 Discussion
1215 – 1235 Enhancing ICT Development in Africa: a framework for collaboration between NEPAD and African Research and Educational Institutions
Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, Programmes Manager, NEPAD e-Africa Programme 
1235 – 1245 Discussion
1245 – 1345 Lunch break

Sub-theme 2: Infrastructure,    Chair: Moses Bayingana, ICT Expert, AUC
1345 – 1405 Adding Academic Networks as an external KML map layer to the web version of the Africa Transmission  Network Map
Paul Hamilton, Independent Consultant 
1405 – 1420 Discussion
1420 – 1440 Emerging NRENs in Western and Central Africa and WACREN
Dr Ousmane Moussa , University of Moumouni, Niger,   WACREN Representative
1440 – 1455 Discussion
1455 – 1525 Health Break
1525 – 1700 The Direction of Further evolution of fibre to and within Africa: Moderated Panel discussion with audience input and questions
Chair: Steve Song with Axel Clauberg (CISCO), Erik Osiakwan  (AfrISPA) and Karl Keppke (SEACOM)
The Future of Bandwidth: Axel Clauberg (CISCO)
1900 – 2200 Social Event 


Day 2, 19th November 2010  

Subtheme 3: Sharing Experiences and Innovation, and Initiative into Africa, Chair: Prof. Zimani Kadzamira, Chair UbuntuNet Alliance      
0830 – 0850 What kinds of organisations may NRENs serve?
Dr Duncan Martin, CEO of TENET   
0850 – 0900 Discussion
0900 – 0920 Internet2,  USA 
Dr. Louis Fox
0920 – 0930 Discussion
0930 – 0950 GEANT, the pan-European Regional REN
Cathrin Stover, International Relations Manager, DANTE
0950 – 1000 Discussion
1000 – 1020 Strategic Communication for NRENs and RRENs
Dr. F.F Tusubira, CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance
1020 – 1030 Discussion
1030 – 1100 Health break

Sub-theme 4: Regulation, Chair: Dr. F.F Tusubira, CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance
1100 – 1230 Moderated Panel discussion with audience input on Regulation: Is the regulatory environment in Eastern and Southern Africa supportive for the development and operation of NRENs and the Alliance Chair: Tusu with Moses Bayingana, ICT Expert, HRST, AUC, Ms Joanita Namwepa,Manager, Enforcement and Compliance, UCC,  Garry Mukelabai, Director, Technical Services, ZICTA
11:00 – 11:30 Regulation Environment in Africa  
Moses Bayingana, ICT Expert, African Union Commision
11:30 – 12:00 Regulations and RENs
Garry Mukelabai, Manager Information  Systems, Zambia ICT Authority
12:00 – 12:30 Supportive Regulation for Research and Education Networking in Africa
Joanita Nampewo, UCC
1230 – 1245 Sum up and closing
1245 Lunch and deaparture