In order to efficiently serve their user communities, national and regional research and education networks need to have adequate capacities and expertise.
AfricaConnect3 will focus on building human resource capacity and expertise at a variety of different levels. At regional level, the partners will strengthen their own governance and systems following international best practices, and implement their financial sustainability plans. Regional research and education networks (RRENs) will in fact increasingly focus on the provision of advanced e-services and applications as being key to their sustainability – as their members see the value of such services and are therefore prepared to pay for them.
The partners will also provide support to their member national research and education networks (NRENs). This support will enable them to build up their capacity as service-oriented non-profit entities, promote exchange of best practices and strengthen coordination between NRENs in Africa.
Technical skills will be reinforced through training, workshops, staff exchanges between African NRENs and mentorship programmes. The Emerging NREN Programme aims to integrate technical staff from emerging NRENs into the EU and global NREN community, and to create further synergies and connections at different organisational levels.
Another important training initiative is the Africa Training Initiative (ATI). This collaboration of the three African regional RENs promotes a self-sufficient capacity building ecosystem for African professionals.
AfricaConnect3 also promotes the role of Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), by supporting the development of a community of women in African NRENs.
The action will also support the participation of the partners at regional conferences where they will be able to engage with end users or peers (WP4.2) with a specific outreach focus on AfriGEO and GMES African Communities (WP4.3). Finally, the contribution of AfricaConnect3 in promoting the role of African NRENs in the digital landscape will be highlighted (WP4.4).