NRENs play a critical role in the digitalisation of research and education in Africa by providing essential connectivity, resources, and support to the research and education communities. They work to increase access to digital resources and infrastructure and provide training and support for using technology in research and education. With the increasing importance of the digital economy, there is a growing recognition of the need for reliable and high-quality NRENs in Africa to support the research and education communities.
Even with the successes, there are several challenges, primarily a need for more funding and resources, which limits the infrastructure and connectivity of the NRENs and their ability to retain skilled personnel to manage and operate the NRENs and provide a reliable and efficient service.
WACREN 2023 will explore the theme “Tooling Up for the African Digital Learner and Researcher” in targeted keynotes, workshops and speaking sessions that leverage ongoing initiatives and showcase NREN tools and collaborations tailored to the African context. It will bring diverse partners and stakeholders together to deliberate on charting common pathways to promote innovation, investment in infrastructure and service development to boost the capacity of the evolving African digital education and research landscape.