Abu-Ghazaleh: Moroccan Academic and Research Network (MARWAN) Connects to GÉANT and ASREN under the AfricaConnect2 Project

H.E. Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) and H.E. Prof. Mohamed Khalfaoui, Director of Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) have signed an agreement under which ASREN will provide a high capacity connection between the Moroccan National Research and Education Network (MARWAN) and the pan-European GÉANT network through ASREN’s Point of Presence (PoP) in London.

MARWAN is the Moroccan National Research and Education Network (NREN) which provides internet connectivity, applications and services to the research and education (R&E) communities in Morocco. This agreement will allow researchers, academics and students to get access to the global R&E network fabric, enabling them to collaborate with peers in Europe, USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa, in addition to other Arab countries.

The agreement marks Morocco’s re-joining the international R&E networking community with the support of the EU-funded AfricaConnect2 which aims to support the development of high-capacity internet networks for R&E across Africa. The project is managed by networking organisation GÉANT in conjunction with ASREN and sister regional network organisations in East-South Africa (Ubuntunet Alliance) and in West and Central Africa (WACREN).

Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of ASREN said: “CNRST remains a strong partner of ASREN. Its interconnection at ASREN’s Point of Presence (PoP) in London allows direct peering with the NRENs of Jordan, Lebanon, and Algeria as well as with SESAME communities. The co-funding of the European Commission in the context of AfricaConenct2 and EUMEDCONNECT3 Projects has been crucial to the success of regional REN sustainability and development.”

Prof. Mohamed Khalfaoui said: “CNRST is always considering its partnership with ASREN and GEANT to be strategic. I truly believe that MARWAN’s interconnection with other international research and education networks is extremely important. It will allow Moroccan researchers, academic and students to improve the regional, continental and international collaboration. I am really glad that we could re-establish this interconnection and partnership after a short interruption. I am thankful to ASREN, GÉANT and the European Commission for their support and I hope that our cooperation will be fruitful for all of us.”

Mr David West, GÉANT’s project manager of the AfricaConnect2 North Africa cluster added: “Since 2004, Morocco has been a longstanding and trusted partner in catalysing R&E networking in the southern Mediterranean, first during the EUMEDCONNECT project phases and now as partner in AfricaConnect2. Re-establishing international R&E connectivity means that Morocco’s researchers, teachers and learners are now well positioned to engage in international collaborations with their peers around the world and leave their mark. We look forward to continuing working with CNRST and ASREN to optimise the infrastructure in support of our R&E communities”.

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