Regional and International Initiatives

The UbuntuNet Backbone Network

UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking is an association of NRENs in Africa. The UbuntuNet Alliance exists to provide regional and international connectivity and Internet services to its member NRENs in Eastern and Southern Africa (“the Region”), on a non-profit basis. The Alliance provides specialised interconnections with other research and education networks worldwide – interconnections that are available only to bona-fide NRENs – and also connectivity to the general “commodity” Internet worldwide. The Alliance is in the process of designing a high-speed backbone network that will inter-connect the NRENs and provide them all with connectivity to major research and education networking gateways and general Internet gateways operated by the Alliance.
NRENs as local operators of the UbuntuNet backbone:- The UbuntuNet Alliance does not contemplate incorporating and seeking the required electronic communications licenses in each country of the region. Rather, in each country of the region, the Alliance intends to support the local NREN by contracting the NREN to provide and operate those portions of the UbuntuNet Backbone that lie within the country

The AfricaConnect Project: Completed

The African Union Commission and European Commission announced a major project, known as AfricaConnect, which undertook the initial deployment of the UbuntuNet Alliance Network backbone. This can be regarded as the first Phase of the overall vision of Africa Connect, a dedicated research and education network interconnecting the entire continent and to the rest of the global research and education networking community. The project budget was Euro 14.2 million of which EC funded 80% and the 20% by recipient NRENs
This is a result of a one-year study commissioned by the European Commission (FEAST) to explore the feasibility of deploying a regional backbone dedicated to NRENs in sub-Saharan Africa to each other and to GEANT
ZAMREN is a full member of UbuntuNet Alliance and actively participated in the AfricaConnect Project. ZAMREN made its contribution of Euro 250,000 towards the AfricaConnect project. The AfricaConnect Project 1 has been completed.
For more information visit AfricaConnect Project

The AfricaConnect Project 2: In Progress

AfricaConnect2 supports the development of high-capacity internet networks for research and education across Africa. It builds on existing networks in Eastern and Southern Africa and North Africa and will extend connectivity into West and Central Africa​.

By collaborating with AfricaConnect2, the pan-European GÉANT network strengthens Europe's links with the African continent and provides African research and education communities ​with a gateway for global ​collaborations.​​​ The AfricaConnect2 is currently going on.
For more information visit AfricaConnect Project

The NICHE Project:Completed

ZAMREN had secured project funding from the Netherlands Government under the NICHE (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity building in Higher Education) program. The three-year project was aimed at supporting the establishment of ZAMREN. The total project funding was Euro 2,250,000. However, the funds under this project were applied to capital investments and capacity building. UNZA, CBU, MU, Mukuba University (COSETCO)and Nkrumah were the recipient institutions in this project. The Niche Project has been completed.

Local Initiatives

Universal Access (ZICTA): In Progress

The Government of Zambia through ZICTA (the ICT Regulatory body) has embarked on an initiative to promote low-cost, quality, reliable and affordable ICT goods and services that are universally accessible to and meet the needs of the Zambian community.
Under this initiative, ZICTA has supported ZAMREN to provide optic fibre last-mile connectivity of UNZA, CBU, Mulungushi University to the ZESCO optic fibre grid. Last-mile connections of more institutions in the education and research category to the ZAMREN network are being planned and implemented. Institutions connected to the ZAMREN network are already enjoying a five-fold reduction in the cost of dedicated bandwidth. For more information visit ZICTA Universal Access

ZESCO Optic Fibre Project: In Progress

ZESCO has rolled-out fibre on its power grid through out the country. A component of this electrification project is optic fibre which is primarily used for power distribution control.
ZAMREN through an MOU has been accorded a free lambda path on this grid. This is a major factor in ZAMREN’s network architecture and provision of its services.
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