Nov 2 – 3, 2017
Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
Africa/Addis_Ababa timezone

Call for Abstracts

Enabling Intra-African Collaboration for Research and Education

2nd - 3rd November 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Call for Papers

Authors are invited to submit abstracts for presentation at UbuntuNet-Connect 2017, the 10th Annual Conference of the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking.  The UbuntuNetConnect series of conferences has been held for the past nine years and is regarded as one of the premier conferences in Africa.  UbuntuNetConnect 2017 will take place from 2 to 3 November 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and will be hosted by the NREN of Ethiopia, EthERNet.

The theme of UbuntuNet-Connect 2017 is:

“Enabling Intra-African Collaboration in Research and Education”

Purposeful collaboration between independent persons or entities is interesting and important at any level. Collaboration occurs at grass roots level, as it were, between individuals as educators and/or researchers.  It occurs between institutions, within countries and also across national borders. Research collaborations range from the mere sharing of ideas and authorship of scholarly papers to the joint planning, investment in and participation in complex investigations and experiments.

Most NRENs are founded as private entities to give structure and legal persona to the systematic efforts of their nations’ universities and research institutions to interconnect with each other and collaboratively provide and share REN services. Library consortia attempt, through sharing, to gain access to scholarly publications for their reader communities. The well-known Wi-Fi roaming service called eduroam is an impressive example of purposeful, well managed collaboration between the universities of many countries on several continents.  Identity federations are dramatically facilitating the access of researchers to remote resources.

Of course, the Internet itself is a stunning example of a massive global infrastructure that is collaboratively operated by thousands of independent network operators.

The NRENs of Africa and the three regional RENs of Africa[1] all have crucial roles to play, individually and collaboratively, in enabling collaboration between individual educators and researchers and between education and research institutions in Africa.  The UbuntuNet Alliance hopes that UbuntuNet-Connect 2017 will elucidate the complexities, clarify the requirements and inspire all players to invest effort in and realise the benefits of collaboration.


Papers should preferably address the sub-themes described below. However prospective authors are encouraged to submit any contribution that is interesting and relevant to research and education networking.

Sub-Theme 1: How collaboration works
Papers could present surveys, theoretical contributions and/or case studies of purposeful collaboration in research and/or education in Africa.  Authors should preferably focus on the practice of collaboration as such rather than on details of the subject matter or outputs of the collaboration. Relevant aspects of collaboration include rationales, approaches, techniques, enablers and hindrances, roles of NRENs and regional RENs, outcomes and lessons learned from successes as well as from failures.

Sub-Theme 2: Stimulating intra-African collaboration
Papers could present surveys, theoretical contributions, innovative new proposals, and/or case studies of governmental interventions, bottom-up innovations, systems and/or services that stimulate the launch of new collaborations and support ongoing collaborative activities. Relevant aspects include the governance of shared infrastructure services; how to set up and manage expensive shared resources; pricing and charging for shared service; the roles of NRENs; the roles of the regional RENs.

Sub-Theme 3: Technical support required for intra-African collaboration
Papers could present surveys, theoretical contributions, technical analyses, innovative new proposals, and/or case studies of infrastructure deployments, systems and/or services that enable the launch of new collaborations and support ongoing collaborative activities. Relevant aspects include the technical management of shared infrastructure services; connectivity and associated value-added services that support intra-African collaboration; analyses of usage patterns, network data flows and other indicators of intra-African REN activity; interconnecting the regional RENs.

Invitation to submit Abstracts

Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts of at most 500 words that clearly indicate the key messages to be shared.  Abstracts may be sent, preferably as word documents, to, to arrive no later than Friday 11 August 2017.

Collaboratively authored contributions are encouraged and welcome.  All abstracts will be double-blind-peer-reviewed by an international panel. Successful authors will be asked to prepare full papers, which the Alliance will publish in the Proceedings of UbuntuNet-Connect 2017.


UbuntuNet-Connect conferences provide major commercial and publicity opportunity for services and technology companies. A separate invitation will be extended to those who wish to sponsor the conference.


Enquiries may be addressed to


[1] : viz. the UbuntuNet Alliance, the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) and the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN)