The 8th Annual Conference of the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking will be hosted by MoRENet, the NREN of Mozambique. Over the three years ending on 31 May 2015 the AfricaConnect project vastly extended UbuntuNet’s regional network, establishing new points of presence in Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Kigali, Lusaka, Maputo, Moanda, Mtunzini, Cape Town and Nairobi and interconnecting them with each other and with UbuntuNet’s other points of presence in Amsterdam and London.
Many NRENs of the region have gained good traction and momentum as regards the provision of connectivity. Although on-going development of the connectivity infrastructure is necessary, it is time for the Region’s NRENs and their institutions to look beyond connectivity. What so-called value-added services – services that depend upon the connectivity infrastructure but add applications value - should be made available to enable full participation in major collaborative research and education programs?