Implementing NRENs in land locked African Countries

The introduction of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) has provided opportunities for Universities and Research Institutions in Africa for increased research and publications through increased Internet bandwidth, collaborative research and availability of resources through e-libraries. However, some Universities in landlocked countries have not taken advantage of these opportunities because of the challenges of implementing NRENs. The economic and human development indicators for landlocked countries in Africa are generally much worse than those for maritime neighbours because of dependence on other countries transit routes for access to overseas markets and to the Internet. The challenge of landlocked African countries include lack of direct access to the sea cable thus making Internet cost high about US$4500 per 1 Mbps and the need to negotiate with neighbouring countries for connectivity. This paper presents critical success factors that need to be implemented in order to address the challenges faced by land locked African Countries. This paper presents the critical success factors that were used by Zambia, a landlocked African country. It provides information of the initiatives Zambia took to set up the ZAMREN (the Zambian Educational and Research Network). The paper also presents the lessons learned that can used to assist other landlocked countries to quickly set up an NREN. Once an NREN is set up it presents new problems especially the issue of sustainability. The paper outlines the financial sustainability strategy that NRENs can use during its operations.

Speakers

  • Douglas Kunda OpenID - choose any OpenID provider including MyOpenID, LiveJournal, Wordpress, VeriSign, ClaimID and Vidoop.

Authors

  • Dr Douglas Kunda is currently the Director for the Centre for ICT Education at Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia. He holds a Doctorate degree in Computer Science from the University of York, UK. He is Fellow of the Computer Society of Zambia and Member of Association for Computing Machinery. He worked as the Project Manager for the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) project for the Ministry of Finance. He has presented papers at International Conferences and published in journals.
  • Bonny Khunga is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ZAMREN in Zambia. He holds an Master and Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. He has over 30 years experience in Information Communication Technology. He was Director of ICT at Copperbelt University before he became CEO for ZAMREN.