Following in the footsteps of the first two phases of the project, AfricaConnect3 will adopt a regional approach adapted to the various geographical, cultural and organisational contexts of the African regions and their different stages of NREN development, as well as their sources of funding and long-term prospects.
AfricaConnect3 is structured in three geographical areas (or “clusters”). The local National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) grouped under each cluster are involved in the delivery of the project in their respective regions.
Cluster 1: Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa NRENs: Botswana, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
NRENs in the Cluster 1 region are organised under the UbuntuNet Alliance (UA), the implementing partner for this cluster.
Cluster 2: Western and Central Africa
Western and Central Africa NRENs: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo. Ongoing initiatives include Senegal and Gabon.
NRENs in the Cluster 2 region are organised under the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), the implementing partner for this cluster.
Cluster 3: North Africa
North African NRENs: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
NRENs in the Cluster 3 region are organised under the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN), the implementing partner for this cluster.
In the implementation of their activities, the African Regional Research and Education Networks (RNERs) will liaise with their own constituencies (member NRENs) while also seeking to maximise synergies across regions in the different areas (deployment of connectivity, capacity building, and open science cloud). This is expected to foster collaboration between R&E communities in Africa as well as in Europe, potentially leading to further opportunities under EU programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe.
GÉANT is working collaboratively with the partners and acts in a consultative capacity to advise the project on network management, service development, capacity building and specific end-user outreach. Given its strong network expertise, GÉANT will also play a critical role in further promoting knowledge transfer to its African partner organisations.
The UbuntuNet Alliance, WACREN, ASREN and GÉANT collaborate closely to ensure consistency in the project’s implementation and to exploit synergies.