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West-African and French Research and Education Networks, WACREN and RENATER, have announced that they have agreed to strengthen their cooperation by making RENATER an “international member” of WACREN. This strong support of WACREN is supplemented by financial support from French organisations CIRAD and IRD to accelerate the participation of WACREN in the “AfricaConnect” project funded by the European Commission.

RENATER has been partnering with WACREN since 2011, when the first cooperation agreement between WACREN and RENATER / CIRAD / IRD was signed, with the aim to provide technical, scientific and organizational expertise for the establishment of research and education networks in this region.

By signing this new agreement for financial partnership, RENATER confirms its willingness to work with the WACREN network for its interconnection in one hand, with the Eastern and Southern African networks of the UbuntuNet Alliance especially in the framework of the “AfricaConnect”, and secondly, beyond the African continent, for joining the other components of the “Global Research Village” such as GEANT in Europe.

Patrick Donath, director of RENATER, explains that “RENATER’s mission is also to help  West and Central Africa to bridge the digital divide by bringing its network expertise to promote the development of science, education and North / South cooperation within the African continent”.

Dr Boubakar Barry, CEO of WACREN, said that “this gesture of RENATER, CIRAD and IRD is much appreciated by the WACREN community. It once again demonstrates the sincerity of the cooperation with WACREN since 2011 and which has already been expressed through several joint activities. We believe that the best is yet to come, in the best interests and in the service of our communities”.

Original source: WACREN

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During discussions at AIS 14  in Djibouti, it came out that many African academic and research institutions find the application process at AfriNIC too complex, which is certainly just a perception.
Acknowledging the fact that many of us feel more comfortable with a one-on-one support rather than posting on mailing lists, WACREN has set up a Support Team on the issue to boost IP resources allocation requests from academic and research institutions.

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According to an article published on the site of the UbuntuNet Alliance, The West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) and the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking, the regional Research and Education Networking organization for Eastern and Southern Africa, have signed an agreement to adopt the Africa Training Initiative (ATI) a programme that is highly expected to foster accelerated development of the Internet across the African continent. This MOU serves to enable the two regional research and education networking bodies to implement the ATI as a defined and endorsed project under their auspices.


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Africa as a region and as individual countries, is slowly making a steady progress towards establishing national and Regional Research and Educational Networks (RRENs). Although still in its infancy compared to other world regions such as Europe where each country has an active National Research and Educational Networks (NRENs) with established regional networks such as TERENA, iMENTORS database provides evidence for tremendous progress over the past few years.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

There are currently three RRENs in Africa namely; West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), Ubuntu Alliance which consists of Eastern and Southern African countries,  and the North African block which belongs to Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN).

Overal, iMENTORS has mapped 23 individual NRENs, 13 of which are members of Ubuntu Alliance, 6 WACREN members and 4 ASREN members. Check out our map!

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Building a State of the Art Network Infrastructure for Research and Education

WACREN will hold its first annual conference on 13 March 2014.

Focused on cost-effective access to high-capacity bandwidth, connectivity and services, the conference will bring together members of the community, decision and policy makers, international partners and communication services providers to get updates from the various NRENs in the region and discuss infrastructure, interconnection and other technical issues.

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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