Glo targets cross-border connectivity in Africa
West Africa’s telecommunications service provider, Globacom, has promised to use its comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure and international partnerships to connect tertiary institutions in Africa.
Globacom’s Enterprise Group Commercial Coordinator, Folu Aderibigbe, announced this at the third yearly Conference and fourth Annual General Meeting of the West and Central African Research and Educational Network (WACREN) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire at the weekend.
He spoke at a gathering of policy and decision makers, scientists, researchers, network managers, identity and access management experts, and connectivity and equipment providers from across the world.
Aderibigbe said Globacom is in the forefront of delivering connectivity to organisations 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 had seamless connectivity to Europe.
The summit, with the main theme, “Catalysing Quality Higher Education and Research”, was also attended by the Head of Glo1 Ghana, Joseph Odoi; Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Côte d’Ivoire, Prof. Ramata Bakayoko Ly.
Others were Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Togo, Prof. Octave Nicoué 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, Prof. 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 said the Togolese government is currently building Data Centres in state universities, and restoring optic fibre cable connections to all universities across Togo, adding that by April 1st, the government had 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, stressed the need to drive down the cost of bandwidth in the region.
She added that Geant has connected 42 universities in 15 years with €100s of 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 had access to knowledge bases from across the world.
The Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex, African Development Bank, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, said investment in research will stimulate and sustain economic growth and development.
The next edition of WACREN holds next year in the capital of Togo, Lome.