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A Panel Discussion on Digital Infrastructures to enable Science Cooperation in Africa

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

09:00 – 11:00 EDT


The AfricaConnect3 project was featured at the Science Summit during the United Nations General Assembly 77 (UNGA77) with an online session titled “A Panel Discussion on Digital Infrastructures to Enable Science Cooperation in Africa” held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, from 09:00 am to 11:00 am EDT (GMT-4).
The session focused on enabling Science Cooperation through advanced research and education on digital infrastructures, typically operated by NRENs. NRENs were highlighted as key stakeholders in Digital Cooperation and Digital Diplomacy, representing a diverse community of researchers, scientists, academics, and students. They are heavily involved in various aspects of "Science" including "Science Cooperation," "Science Diplomacy," "Open Science," and "Science Communities of Practice," as well as Open Access and Community-Based Services.
The African research and education landscape comprises NRENs from African countries operating under three regional networks:
  • UbuntuNet Alliance for the Research and Education Network of East and Southern Africa
  • WACREN for the West and Central Africa Research and Education Network
  • ASREN for the Arab States Research and Education Network.
AfricaConnect3, the third phase of the AfricaConnect project, works on supporting the creation, development, and use of advanced, reliable internet connectivity for the teaching, learning, and research communities of Africa. It is co-funded by the European Union and delivered locally by regional organizations - UbuntuNet Alliance, WACREN, and ASREN, together with the European GÉANT R&E Network.
The discussion panel consisted of the following personalities:
1- Madara Ogot, CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance, “What are research and Education Networks with insights on Africa”
2- Boubakar Bary, CEO of WACREN, “Services and activities conducted by NRENs to enable collaboration”
3- Yousef Torman, Managing Director of ASREN, “NRENs role and engagement in Science Cooperation and Diplomacy”
4- Angelica SARTORI CONTE, Programme Officer – Digital Connectivity, European Union Delegation, Belgium
5- Phoebe Oduor, PoC AfriGEO Secretariat/ Thematic Lead Land Use Land Cover RCMRD, “How can NRENs support collaboration for the African Group on Earth Observation (AfriGEO)
6- Islam Abou El-Magd, Vice - President, the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Egypt
7- Nicky Wako (Moderator), Advocacy and Donor Engagement Manager, GEANT, the European Research and Education Network, “AfricaConenct3 project: a key enabler”
The discussion addressed the following questions/topics:
  • The status of NRENs in Africa and what are the main challenges facing the developments of these NRENs.
  • NREN services and activities and what role they can play?
  • What is LIBSENSE project about and how it supports science cooperation
  • What makes AfricaConenct3 a key Science Cooperation “Enabler”?
  • NRENs role in achieving the United Nations’ SDGs
  • Main challenges regarding AfriGEO community collaboration across continents
  • NRENs and “Open Science”
  • NRENs and “Science Engagement”
  • What NREN need to do the expected role?
  • Challenges facing NRENs
  • Examples of Science Collaboration within and beyond Africa
  • What is your call to the UNGA77?
For more information visit the following Link.