On behalf of WACREN, I welcome you to read this first edition of ‘ENGAGE’ – our bi-monthly, community newsletter.

We envisage this newsletter to be a platform for sharing all the happenings in the region to keep you informed and interested. Another objective is to help galvanise support for research and education networks (RENs) across the region and beyond.

We aim to make ENGAGE a community-centric communication channel. We want to engage the community. Thus, we welcome all stakeholders, especially the user community (researchers, students, lecturers, administrators) to submit contributions (articles) in the subsequent editions of this newsletter to engage@wacren.net.

I’m particularly happy about the lead story – 3 NRENs connecting to the WACREN backbone. We believe this is a dream come true because we have been working tirelessly towards this end, despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we see millions of researchers and students taking advantage of the potential of the network and accompanying services to make a positive impact in their community and the world.

Also, you will read about the steps we have taken to court support for NRENs. We do hope interactions with government and higher education institution officials will bear fruit in the not-too-distant future.

Please enjoy reading and thank you for sending us your feedback.