News News 2021

WACREN announces new Chair, Dr. Venant Palanga

WACREN announces that after close to 10 years of service to the regional research and education network, our Board Chair – Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, has bowed out for the next chapter of his life.

His infectious drive for expanding the Internet and love for research and education propelled him to accept the Board Chair’s office in WACREN’s formative years. During his stint as the Chair, Prof. Quaynor led the Board to set the organisation on a solid growth path.

 

His wisdom, in-depth knowledge and wealth of experience in networking technology and community-driven organisation have left an indelible impression on WACREN and the entire Internet ecosystem in Africa.

Under his leadership, WACREN undertook significant projects and programmes that enhanced the delivery of research and education in West and Central Africa, making the regional REN a household name in the global R&E community.

“The Board, Staff and Members of WACREN are incredibly proud of our accomplishments under his more than 7-year tenure as Chair, and before that as Member of the task force that established WACREN.  While we see the world-acclaimed scientist move on, we will never forget the selfless, dedicated, experienced and wise figure that nurtured the organisation’s strategic direction and governance” said Dr. Boubakar Barry, CEO.

WACREN sincerely thanks him for his visionary leadership and contributions.

A New Chair

In a related development, Dr. Venant Palanga has been unanimously elected  as the new Board Chair of WACREN.  Dr. Palanga is the current CEO for TogoRER (NREN of Togo).

A lecturer and researcher at the National Engineering School of the University of Lomé, Dr. Palanga was at the heart of the university’s digital transformation between 2000 and early 2010. For several years, he has been the technical advisor in charge of digital technology to the Togolese Minister of Higher Education and Research, after leaving the University of Lomé’s computer centre as Deputy Director.

Since 2006, he has been working to establish the Togo Research and Education Network and was instrumental to its connection to the WACREN regional backbone in 2019.  He was confirmed as Executive Director of TogoRER in 2020 and was a WACREN board member until his latest appointment.

“This is a significant moment in the history of our organization. I’m deeply grateful to Dr Palanga for the dedication and passion, as well as for his previous contributions as board member” said Dr. Boubakar Barry, CEO. “I am equally excited for what the future holds under his leadership. Dr. Palanga brings a wealth of crucial education and research management experience, which will be critical to our ability to scale and meet the growing demand for digital services from members of our community” Dr. Barry further said.

This article was originally published on WACREN’s website.