During a visit to the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) Secretariat Headquarters, Kampala, Uganda, the CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance (UA), Prof Madara Ogot, and the Executive Secretary of the IUCEA, Prof. Gaspard Banyankibona, sat down with their technical teams and finalised the text for a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions. The March 22, 2022 meeting was the culmination of discussions that have been on-going to formalise collaboration between the IUCEA and UA since 2017.
IUCEA, established through an Act of the East African Legislative Assembly, has the mandate to coordinate inter-university cooperation in East Africa; facilitate the strategic development of member universities; and promote internationally comparable higher education standards and systems for sustainable regional development.
During the meeting, Prof Banyankibona noted that higher education institutions and learners in the East African Community continued to face challenges with Internet Connectivity, high costs, and access to devices hindering the acceleration of digital teaching and learning and use of ICT in the region.
The MoU shall formalise collaboration to:
- Strengthen National Research and Education Networks in the EAC Member states;
- Conduct advocacy to create widespread awareness of the benefits of National Research and Education Networks;
- Jointly organise regional and international events to promote ICT services and systems in education, research, and management in institutions of higher learning;
- Facilitate virtual and/or physical staff exchange across the region;
- Establish sustainable capacity building activities to run Research and Education Networks in the region; and to
- Mobilise funds for joint projects and initiatives.