Advocacy and Donor Engagement
To emphasise the role of digital tools in the transformation of education and research and their multiplier effect in terms of skills development, employability and economic growth, the partners run advocacy and donor engagement campaigns targeted at decision makers as well as at international donors and other stakeholders to influence policy change and mobilise funding.
The RRENs gather evidence and issues arising in the procurement of connectivity and cloud implementation in the three regions and compile country fiches in the form of country profiles including background research. This contributes to enhancing the NRENs’ visibility, towards supporting the development of a pan-African advocacy plan and the donor engagement strategy.
The project partners joined the African Union Taskforce in July 2021 to provide input to the African Union digital education discussions in line with its 2063 Agenda. The Taskforce engagement resulted in the AC3 project partners being named in the Continental Educational Strategy for Africa (CESA) in the recommendation to develop and support the sustainability of 54 NRENs across Africa by 2027.
The Strategy, adopted on 20 September 2022, establishes framework for digitalisation and accelerating digital technology adoption in education in Africa.
NRENs now have Pan-African political recognition due to the Strategy and its adoption by Heads of State and national agencies. Furthermore, the strategy document enables NRENs and RRENs to cultivate political support that can be used to identify funding opportunities, engage in high-level policy discussions, and the overall externalisation of RRENs and NRENs.
AfriGEO and GMES Communities
Through AfricaConnect3, the partners support engagement with user communities and more specifically Earth Observation communities in Africa: GMES in Africa (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), and AfriGEO (African Group on Earth Observation).
GMES is an initiative of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) that is aimed at providing reliable and timely services related to environmental and security issues in support of users and public policy makers’ needs. GMES in Africa is the extension of the Copernicus project in Africa, GÉANT supports the African partners in interactions with ESA and EUMETSAT.
Both the GMES and AfriGEO initiatives work support decision making through the provision of coordinated, comprehensive and sustained information and require high bandwidth with high-quality connectivity to be able to exchange, share and process data.
Other advocacy and outreach engagements have been undertaken with key national, regional and international organisations, such as the Ministers of Higher Education and Research of Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, the Governments of Angola, Rwanda and South Sudan, African Development Bank, SADC, the African European Radio Astronomy Partnership, Digital Earth Africa, the African Strategy for Fundamental and Applied Physics, and the African Synchrotron Community in cooperation with SESAME.
The AfricaConnect3 project was represented at the following events: