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Joint venture agreement takes connectivity to institutions

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Eko-Konnect Board of Trustees, Prof. Charles Uwadia


Federal Government owned Galaxy Backbone(GBB) Limited and the Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative (Eko-Konnect) have signed a joint venture agreement to collaborate on a backbone network for research and education in the country. The agreement is seen as a critical step towards the development of robust national infrastructure that will provide reliable high-speed connectivity, access to research outputs, teaching, and learning materials for tertiary education in Nigeria.

Galaxy Backbone is expected to provide datacentre services and a fibre-optic cable transport network through which Eko-Konnect will interconnect campuses and provide a number of “above the net” scholarly communication services including a real-time collaboration platform, trust and identity framework, develop relevant cloud services and pilot a shared research product repository.

In the first project commencing immediately, the joint venture will establish the hubs in Enugu and Awka, interconnect nearby institutions in Eastern Nigeria to peers in the Lagos area and environs, and counterparts in the global research network through the West and Central Research and Education Network (WACREN). Interconnection of clusters in other geo-political zones of Nigeria will follow in 2020.

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Chair, Eko-Konnect Board of Trustees, Prof. Charles Uwadia, who welcomed the collaboration, said: “This development gives the much-needed impetus to the several initiatives providing services for research and education communities in Nigeria. The availability of affordable and dedicated network and data centre services for educational institutions across the country will provide the necessary momentum to work towards the community-driven platforms required for long-term sustainability”

Commenting on the agreement Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone, remarked that “As its first beneficiaries, there is great expectation in the South Eastern cluster of institutions at this development. Our efforts in recent years to improve connectivity speeds and provide advanced services to colleagues in this part of the country will now have the necessary infrastructure to realise our ambitions.”

I am very excited at the promise the future holds and the opportunity this presents for enhanced collaboration between institutions in the South East, other institutions across Nigeria and international peers.”

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Bello Abubakar, has resumed office.Abubakar reiterated the vision of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, ‘Digital Economy is the new revolution. I am committed to ensuring that as MD of Galaxy Backbone, I help in achieving the eight pillars of creating a digital economy as developed by the minister’.

The new MD of Galaxy Backbone explained that seven out of the eight pillars rests on digital infrastructure, an area where Galaxy Backbone plays a crucial role. He thanked the outgoing MD,Yusuf Kazaure for the great effort he has made in laying a solid structure for Galaxy Backbone and for the achievements the organization has attained during the period of his leadership.

Responding, Kazaure thanked the members of GBB, all internal and external stakeholders for their support during his time as MD and encouraged everyone to give the new CEO all the support and cooperation he requires to move the organisation forward and the entire digital economy journey of the nation.

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