Key players of High-Performance Computing (HPC) in the education sector in West Africa have met in Abidjan to deliberate on plans to set up a regional and sustainable collaborative network on HPC.

The main goals of this network are – the co-organisation of training and scientific events, sharing of human and material resources, and setting up and conducting joint research and development projects.

The Workshop, which was organised by the Digital Science and Technology Network (DSTN) in collaboration with WACREN, brought together all Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) institutions under DSTN, the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) of the WANIDA network, the Centre National de Calcul de Côte d’Ivoire (CNCCI) and ARIMA.

Delegates from various organisations took turns presenting their infrastructure and experiences with HPC.

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) of the Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Department of the African Union Commission presented the topic – “High-performance computing at the heart of the use of earth observation for the near-real-time management of natural resources and the safety of people and goods”.

Professor Jean-Marie DIPAMA, President of the Virtual University of Burkina Faso (UVBF) talked about “Content, Platforms and Network: the Helix for High-Performing Digital Education”. His talk aligned with the novel project’s focus – the Africa Digital Campus project. According to him, UVBF intends to build an open-access MOOC on HPC.

The Senior Networking and Infrastructure Engineer of WACREN – Edward Banjo presented WACREN’s infrastructure to the participants.

This workshop helped identify some key issues that need attention in developing a roadmap for the network. Among them are sustainability and business plan, building a community of practice, training, infrastructure and energy. Others are connectivity, resources and data sharing, developing applications, HPC for education, governance, and regulation.