LAGOS/Nigeria: Following a highly competitive and non-discriminatory bidding process involving leading communications operators in Africa, leading Connectivity and Data Center solutions provider, MainOne has emerged winner of a 15-year contract with the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) to provide high-speed bandwidth services. WACREN, the regional research and education network (REN) that facilitates interconnections between national RENs in West and Central Africa will use MainOne to provide high-speed backbone data services including internet access to schools, colleges and universities, research and the general academic community across West and central Africa.
This long-awaited contract was initiated under the AfricaConnect2 programme and is expected to leverage MainOne’s open-access submarine cable to introduce improvements in education, leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to support availability of open educational resources, introduce correspondence courses and foster MOOC tradition and democratizing the learning experience.
Speaking on the partnership, Boubakar Barry, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WACREN, underlined the importance of connecting the region to high-speed connectivity services aimed at fostering better collaboration among its members and with other professional colleagues in other parts of the world and reiterating the pose of WACREN to emerge as Africa’s leading research and education network. “This is a big step for the REN and academic communities in West and Central Africa and will ensure that our members are better equipped to provide premium research and education services”.
Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne commended the commitment of WACREN to connect regional researchers to the global research and education communities across the world. “MainOne was borne out of a passion to close the digital divide in West Africa and this agreement with WACREN leverages our capacity and provides us the opportunity to get all Research and Educational institutions in West Africa connected within themselves and to the rest of the world. We are delighted to have won this bid and believe we will add value to institutions in our region with our cost effective and innovative connectivity solutions”.
The reliable internet connectivity solution provided by MainOne guarantees a sustainable high-capacity data network that serves higher education and research institutions across the region. The company already provides connectivity solutions to 20+ tertiary institutions across West Africa.
AfricaConnect2 is an EU-funded pan-African connectivity project that aims to support the development and consolidation of high-capacity regional internet networks for R&E across Africa and their interconnection with the pan-European GÉANT network, creating a continental gateway for collaborative research and education across and beyond Africa.