West Africa's fully integrated telecommunications service provider, Globacom, has expressed eagerness to leverage its massive telecommunications infrastructure and international partnerships to connect tertiary institutions in Africa.
Globacom’s Enterprise Group Commercial Coordinator, Mr. Folu Aderibigbe, disclosed this at the third Annual Conference and fourth Annual General Meeting of the West and Central African Research and Educational Network (WACREN) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire recently.
Addressing the gathering of policy and decision makers, scientists, researchers, network managers, identity and access management experts, and connectivity and equipment providers from across the world, Mr. Aderibigbe said Globacom is in the forefront of delivering connectivity to organizations and higher institutions in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic in the most effective and cost-efficient manner.
With its Glo 1 international submarine fibre-optic cable originating from Europe and crossing through West African countries, Globacom, he said, would love to support WACREN in ensuring all the universities in the region have seamless connectivity to Europe.
The massive summit, with the main theme, "Catalyzing Quality Higher Education and Research", was also graced by the head of Glo1 Ghana, Mr. Joseph Odoi, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Côte d’Ivoire, Prof. Ramata Bakayoko Ly, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Togo, Prof. Broohm, and the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex, African Development Bank, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, among others.
In his own remarks at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Togo, Professor Octave Nicoué Broohm, reiterated the need for countries in the region to step up to the growing need for research in higher institutions by rapidly building digital capacities.
The minister stated that the government of Togo is currently building Data Centers in state universities and restoring optic fibre cable connections to all universities across Togo.
He added that by April 1, 2017 the government would have removed taxes on computers to help facilitate access to ICT and boost research.
Representing GÉANT, Europe's leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education, Cathrin Stöver, in her remarks stressed the need to drive down the cost of bandwidth in the region and added that Geant has connected 42 universities in 15 years with €100s millions in contributions from the European Union and others. Geant is responsible for connecting higher institutions in Africa to Europe to ensure students in Africa have access to knowledge bases from across the world.
The Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex, African Development Bank, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, stated that investment in research will stimulate and sustain economic growth and development.
The next edition of WACREN holds in Lome, Togo in 2018.