Words: Effah Amponsah
Thousands of students and researchers in Togo can now experience a remarkable shift in their academic and research work and contribute immensely to nation building as TogoRER – the national research and education network (NREN) has officially launched in a brief ceremony in the nation’s capital Lomé.
The launch follows TogoRER’s connection to the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) – the regional REN, under the AfricaConnect3 project, co-funded by the European Union.
With this successful connection and launch of the Togo network, various stakeholders in the academic and research space will have access to high-speed, high-capacity and reliable specialised ‘internet’ for research and research collaboration in Togo and beyond.
TogoRER will enable students and researchers to collaborate with their peers across the world to discover, use and share knowledge useful for the advancement of the Togolese education and economy.
The Minister of Higher Education and Research, Professor Koffi AKPAGANA, who officially launched the network at the University of Lomé, said the realization of the TogoRER network is more relevant in the current context of COVID-19.
He appreciated the network’s availability to integrate into its offers, solutions and services able to support institutions on the path to the digitalization of teaching and research in Togo.
“We are happy that we have an NREN on which we can rely to strengthen the resilience of higher education through the continuity of online and distance courses”, he stressed.
The Board Chair of TogoRER, Mrs Kafui KPEGA, said “The vision of TogoRER, it should be emphasized, transcends the objectives of all our higher education and research establishments because it serves our entire education and research system, and its goal can be summed up in two words: qualitative leap. It’s a qualitative leap in teaching, a qualitative leap in research, and a qualitative leap in learning too”.
Sabine JAUME-RAJAONIA, International and Strategy Director for the French NREN RENATER said the closure of institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how urgent this digital transition is for the entire education sector.
She said through TogoRER’s support to higher education in the country, the youths will be equipped with requisite skills and resources for the future.
She expressed the hope that distance and ‘hybrid education’ in Togo will be enhanced through the network.
Twelve higher learning institutions (HLIs) and organisations are already connected to TogoRER. These include the Universities of Lomé and Kara and some private establishments.