UbuntuNet-Connect, the annual conference of UbuntuNet Alliance returns in November in the famous tourist destination country of Madagascar. This year, the flagship conference will be held under the theme: NRENs: "Facilitating Collaboration in the Digital Space." The conference, which is the 12th in the series of the UbuntuNet-Connect conferences, will be hosted by the Research and Education Network for Academic and Learning Activities, iRENALA, the NREN of Madagascar.
UbuntuNet-Connect brings together practitioners in the research and education networking community, researchers, policy makers, academicians, connectivity providers, and a pool of expertise from across Africa and beyond. In previous years, the conference has attracted sponsorship from leading commercial companies and service providers.
This year, the conference has brought exciting changes to the programme with interested organisations and companies invited to submit proposals for sessions apart from the customary Call for Abstracts. Thematic workshops, capacity building activities and administration meetings and social events have all been lined up as pre-conference and co-located events. Companies and organisation wishing to enhance their visibility to our audience of over 250 participants can do so by choosing a category of sponsorship in our Call for Sponsorship.
For further information, contact email@example.com
Chief Executive Officer, iRENALA,
The Board Chair Representative, iRENALA
The Chief Executive Officer, UbuntuNet Alliance
The Board Chair, UbuntuNet Alliance
WACREN, ASREN, GEANT, NSRC, XON, ICANN, AFRINIC, ISOC, TENET, ZAMREN
By joining forces, the R&E Networks are bigger players in relevant markets — such as the intercontinental connectivity market — than before. Hence, the R&E Networks can be much more ambitious and create a more far reaching result, yielding a sustainable high-performance global interconnect for research and education. By joining forces, the R&E Networks now have the potential to bring the Global R&E Network (GREN) within reach.
Over the last 5 year we’ve seen impressive results by R&E networks joining forces by implementing new capacity following the Global Network Architecture (GNA) guidelines. For example: The Advanced North Atlantic collaboration of 8 parties now jointly run a high capacity system across the Atlantic Ocean. There is also the Asia Pacific Ring that supports the R&E community with a similar system between Asia and North America. All intercontinental systems are built and shared along the principles of the GNA.
That collaborating under the flag of the GNA is a successful concept is proven by the trend that more collaborations keep coming up, covering more intercontinental capacity. Earlier this year 8 parties launched the AER system to interconnect Europe and Asia by several NRENs in both continents.
This presentation will explain the principles of the Global Network Architecture, show some of the achievements and will give the participants of UC2019 an update on the future plans that that will lead to a truly global R&E network.
Linking South and North America via a South Atlantic high-performance Research & Education Network (REN) with the nations of Africa’s researchers, students, and knowledge sharing communities has become an increasingly strategic priority. Africa offers research and education communities with unique biological, environmental, geological, anthropological, and cultural resources. Research challenges in atmospheric and geosciences, materials sciences, tropical diseases, biology, astronomy, and other disciplines will benefit by enhancing the technological and social connections between the research and education communities of the U.S., Brazil / Latin America, and Africa. For many years, we have seen the dramatic benefits of high-performance networking in all areas of science and engineering.
The Americas Africa Research and eduCation Lightpaths (AARCLight) project (NSF OAC-1638990) provided support for a grant to plan, design, and define a strategy for high capacity research and education network connectivity between the U.S. and West Africa. The study indicated a high level of enthusiasm to engage in collaborative research between the U.S., Brazil, and the African communities. There is collaborative interest in sharing network infrastructure resources in the US at AMPATH in Miami, in Fortaleza and Sao Paulo, Brazil where RedClara and ANSP connect at SouthernLight, and in Cape Town, South Africa. There is strong evidence of multiple ongoing domain science projects between the U.S., Brazil, and Africa that would benefit from a new South Atlantic link. The results of this planning grant successfully supported the need to light a 100G pathway using the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting to AmLight-ExP in Fortaleza, Brazil, and via the West African Cable System (WACS) cable to the Cape Town, South Africa open exchange point.
Based on these findings, AmLight-ExP , a high-performance R&E network supported by a consortium of participants and funding from the NSF is the steward of the SACS 100G link. With collaborative support from UbuntuNet Alliance, RNP, SANReN, and others, AmLight is taking steps to make this first South Atlantic R&E network path available to connect all three continents.
This critical infrastructure establishes a new South Atlantic route to integrate with AmLight-ExP, adding resiliency to the global R&E network fabric by adding a new path to Africa and Europe from the southern hemisphere. The SACS cable, shown on Figure 1 as a purple dashed line between Fortaleza, Brazil, and Luanda, Angola, is the first east - west subsea cable in the South Atlantic.
We will leverage network infrastructure in the southern hemisphere that is available to the R&E community including spectrum on Monet committed to the AmLight-ExP linking Miami, Fortaleza and São Paulo; a 100G Ethernet link on SACS; TENET’s capacity on WACS; the R&E exchange point in Cape Town-ZAOXI operated by SANReN (South African National Research Network) and TENET connected to WACS and the Ubuntunet Alliance Network connecting East Africa; and the South America eXchange R&E exchange point (SAX) in Fortaleza, operated by RNP and connected via AmLight-ExP via Monet to São Paulo and Miami.
The paper will present 1) the key partners in the AmLight-SACS collaboration, 2) the activation plan, 3) how the network will be instrumented for performance measurements, and to capture data for network analytics, and 4) science drivers that will benefit from the use of a South Atlantic network route between the U.S., South America and West Africa.
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is envisioned by the European Commission as an underlying platform which nurtures Open Science and Open Innovation in Europe and beyond. It is seen as an ecosystem of organisations and infrastructures from various countries and communities, supporting the open creation and dissemination of knowledge and scientific data as well as collaboration. It is envisaged to be open to the widest range of providers and research communities in common sharing of infrastructures, services, data and publications. It is building on a number of established initiatives from the fields of Research and Education Networking, Scientific Computing, Research Infrastructures, and Open Science - bringing together initiatives such as GEANT, EGI, EUDAT, PRACE, OpenAIRE and discipline-specific infrastructures ESFRIs amongst others.
NI4OS-Europe project, starting in September 2019 and lasting for 3 years, has a mission to be a core contributor to the EOSC service portfolio, commit to EOSC governance and ensure inclusiveness on the European level. The project is aiming to support the development and inclusion of the national Open Science Cloud initiatives in 15 countries in the overall scheme of EOSC governance; and spread the EOSC and FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable data) in the community and train it. Moreover the project aims to provide technical and policy support in on-boarding of the existing and future Value Added Service Providers into EOSC, including generic services (compute, data storage, data management), thematic (domain-specific) services, repositories and data sets – thus introducing new services that cover the whole spectrum of services related to Open Science, data and publications.
The project has a dedicated task supporting the liaison activities with other world regions including Arab/ENP states (via ASREN – Arab States Research and Educating Network), WACREN and Ubuntunet in Africa, and RedCLARA in Latin America.
The African continent is in a steep development curve regarding Research and Education Networking thanks to the AfricaConnect project series and is in a strong position to start nurturing the EOSC concepts and making sure that the African voice is heard in European and worldwide Open Science landscape. The presentation will outline the basic EOSC principles and give some examples of community engagement, cross-border collaboration, as well as concrete technical solutions in terms of different kinds of EOSC-related Value Added Services pointing to the possible candidates from the UbuntuNet region and beyond.
Key Words: AfricaConnect2, AfricaConnect3, Internet Connectivity, Research and Education Community, NRENs, global, connectivity, eduroam, digital divide, inclusion, eduGAIN, roaming, students, authentication, federation
GÉANT global activities and services
GÉANT, the pan-European data network for the research and education community across 38 countries in Europe has contributed and continues to contribute to a number of projects across the globe, keeping GÉANT at the heart of global research and education networking and reaching more than 110 countries worldwide.
In collaboration with partners, GÉANT ensures high performance connectivity is benefitting research while also making a range of services available to various user groups enhancing their ability to work together:
Towards the AfricaConnect3 project
Actively promoting the role of African Regional Research and Education Networks and the growth of the community, GÉANT has been successfully collaborating with the UbuntuNet Alliance in the AfricaConnect and AfricaConnect2 projects focusing on East and Southern Africa.
The AfricaConnect2 project spans across the entire African continent, where GÉANT is also working with two other regional partners WACREN (West and Central Africa) and ASREN (North Africa). For 4,5 years, the project has provided African research and education communities with unrivalled opportunities for global collaborations.
In line with the Digital4Development strategy, DG DEVCO has decided to pursue financing the AfricaConnect3 project for four additional years.
Aiming at increasing the use of digital technologies by African education and research institutions, AfricaConnect3 will build on the success of the two previous projects and go beyond:
In addition to managing, expanding and upgrading the connectivity for researchers in Africa the project will have a greater focus on outreach and establish a multi-stakeholder platform to discuss policy, financial and regulatory issues.
Furthermore, the project will concentrate on the development of dedicated trust and identity services, cloud-based e-infrastructure and pilot federated identity management for libraries and open science platforms.
Finally, AfricaConnect3 will strive to improve sustainability of NREN and RREN in Africa.
The presentation will look back at the success of AfricaConnect2, lessons learnt and describe that plans for AfricaConnect3.
Research contracts departments at Universities are under administrative pressure as a result of the large volume of contracts as well as the complexities surrounding the legal aspects of research contracts. The contracts office plays a critical role in protecting the University by limiting potential and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. For Stellenbosch University - Reporting to Management and Council is an important consideration as more than 50% of SU’s total income was obtained from third-stream income over the last three years, of which the biggest part (about 85%) is administered by the Research Contracts Office.
SIS Global intends to Present a paper covering our Research Management Solutions in the context of this white paper
As a research-intensive institution, Stellenbosch University is dependent on funding from all over the world. 73% of the university’s research contract income is from overseas, and such funding is subject to strict compliance and legislative requirements. However, the university was using a legacy research contract system that was conceived in 2003.
With changes in legislation, the university did not have the technological capabilities to adhere with the South African government’s compliance and reporting requirements.
SIS Global is both a Unit4 Partner and a Microsoft partner and based on their global expertise recommended appropriate solutions based on their understanding of the university’s requirements. We will deliver a paper which provides an overview of the benefits of our solutions that are focused on the assisting the research community – For Stellenbosch University a new centralised Research Contract Management system was built within Microsoft Dynamics CRM,
The system includes all the fields required by the university to adhere to compliance requirements and report effectively on all new and future legislation from the government and other funders
In future it is possible that the Unit4 Research Management solution developed in conjunction with Oxford and Cambridge Universities will be able to compliment this system and will provide Pre award management along with full project costing and pricing in the future
Today, with data that is cleaner and higher quality, better reporting all-round is facilitated with reports presented in easily digestible formats. Everything is housed centrally on the system with no need to collate data from multiple separate sources and many tasks automated.
Business efficiency is dramatically improved by streamlining administrative processes. For instance, in the Department of Science and Technology , tasks that previously took weeks to complete manually now takes minutes on the system,
“Thanks to SIS Global, my dreams of a fully-functioning Research Contract Management system have become reality,” adds Cornelia Malherbe -Director Research contracts, Stellenbosch University
“Without Unit4 Research Costing and pricing , making applications would be like trying to fly a 747 without instruments “ MIS Director and Director of Research services - Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The progression in Information Technology and Communications has played a pivotal role in the healthcare sector, amongst the trending technologies wireless communications and wearable sensor technology have caught the attention of the health sector. It has opened up the opportunity of real time healthcare monitoring systems where timely diagnosis and treatment can go a long way in reducing unnecessary loss of lives primarily due to negligence of healthcare givers and due to low nurse-to-patient ratio. The main purpose of the proposed system is to facilitate efficient and timely patient monitoring services to critically ill patients.
1. Implementation of mobile collaboration technology with the use of hand-held mobile devices allowing healthcare professionals to view, discuss and assess patient issues in real time.
2. Improving the health care givers clinical expertise and reduce chances of misdiagnosing patients.
3. Reducing mortality risk due to failure to provide timely assistance to patients.
In this paper a real time patient monitoring system for critically ill patients that are in Intensive Care Unit is being proposed. It is an alarming system based on threshold values. The developed system is comprised of wearable sensors and android handheld device. The system is adaptable and has the ability to extract physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature of patient. The extracted physiological data is being transmitted to Android handheld device using Bluetooth low energy which is then stored in a database.
A system that wirelessly monitors a patient’s physiological parameters in real time and transmits the data to an android hand held device via Bluetooth of a nurse at real time. Thus, providing audible alerts to the care giver and text message alerts to a doctor upon detection of abnormal patient readings. There is also provision of a distress button in which patients can press for 2 seconds that can immediately alert a doctor and request for assistance.
The proposed system framework is a portable primarily based Healthcare system. The scope of this system is the development and implementation of a real-time monitoring system for critically ill patients admitted in hospitals using wireless and IoT technologies.
The emerging digital learning landscape demands collaborative approach from educators to provide student centred learning environment. The University of Eswatini in its new strategic plan identified the need to implement blended learning which combines online digital media with traditional classroom method to provide an electronic as well as face-to-face learning platform. This shift in teaching paradigm necessitated the need for collaboration between different stakeholders especially the educators, technologists and information specialists. In order to provide a balanced blended learning space the educators require ICT skills, specifically digital media manipulation and implementation as well as digital resources to enhance their teaching methods. This created an opportunity for libraries to transform itself as digital resource repositories and librarians as digital resource auditors. This paper illustrates how the university of Eswatini Library used this opportunity to create an Open Educational Resource Repository which is used as the digital repository for blended learning tools and librarians as resource auditors in the digital learning landscape.
Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines OER as "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." In order to streamline access to the OER resources especially to use them in the blended learning tools which the educators develop, the university of Eswatini Library developed an Open Educational Resource Gateway. This gateway is available at http://www.library.uniswa.sz/oer. The development of OER Gateway allowed the lecturers to freely use content from OER repositories and sources especially multimedia and images. The focus of the gateway is to provide a one-stop entry into the world of Open Educational Resources. With months of research the gateway was established with links to various repositories and OER projects around the globe.
This paper demonstrates how libraries which traditionally act as knowledge repositories continue to support and collaborate in the digital learning landscape to provide digital resources for changing learning environment. Various steps taken to populate the OER gateway especially analysing and group the content into various broad categories for the lecturers to use them and how the gateway has been updated both for the desktop users as well as for the mobile users, the advantages of providing content on the move and pushing the content as and when it is published and providing the desired content as a service are analysed in the paper. Screenshots of the desktop as well as the mobile app for OER are provided. This paper also looks at the challenges in sustaining such a huge project and the future of this project.
It is globally accepted that scientific literature is critical to efficiency in both education and research. Access to quality scientific information is a prerequisite to quality learning and teaching in higher education and the basis for research activities that address the current problems that face the society. At the same time overwhelming evidence indicates that students, faculty members, and researchers in higher education and research institutions in many parts of the African region have limited access to up-to-date, peer reviewed global research knowledge to inform their teaching, learning and research activities. This situation is occasioned by many factors among them spiraling prices of scientific literature contrasted with shrinking budget allocations to institutional libraries that are tasked with acquiring and providing information access to the scientific communities. This paper examines the increasingly global trend towards of licensing and providing access to digital scientific literature through library consortia models. Principally the paper argues that the library consortia models of collaboration provides improved opportunities for access to large quantities of current and quality scholarly literature to support educational and research enterprise in the African region especially in the digital space. By joining, establishing and supporting library consortia initiatives across the continent, research and HEI institutions in the African region will benefit their members by enhancing resource base of their individual institutions, can increase their buying power through enhanced cost-benefit in licensing and continuous access to global knowledge in form of e-books, e-journals and research data. The paper will examine first, the current challenges in access to scientific literature in the African region and secondly demonstrate how library consortia model can help address some of these challenges. Thirdly it will examine the fundamentals of establishing and managing a sustainable library model among even sometimes competing institutions. The paper recommends among others greater collaboration and pulling of resources together among research institutions through library consortia, the need for continuous capacity building among consortia stakeholders leaders of institutions, faculty members, researchers, librarians, and end users of consortia services. Above more there is need for transition to digital libraries and greater advocacy efforts for library consortia models.
Now-a-days, researchers have to be highly qualified professionals and innovators. On the one side researchers are requested to be on a permanent search for new ideas that could be monetised directly or indirectly in the market. On the other side funders of research projects start seeing the funds provided as investment and expect ‘indirect’ returns of payment - in the medium/long run - in order to guarantee the sustainability of the project.
Not only researchers feel the pressure through the prioritisation of innovations. Industry expects the same from its employees. This brings the challenge to the education system with the task to equip future employees and researchers with skills necessary to create innovative ideas. The different educational level will follow different approaches. The higher education and the TVET sector can provide conditions to systemise teaching innovation and innovation management within certain fields of expertise and reach out to different academic disciplines touched by the respective innovative idea.
Against this background, the Ethiopian ‘The Carpentry Community’ [https://carpentries.org] together with R-Ladies Addis Ababa [https://r-ladies-addis.github.io/rladies-addis/] have introduced monthly R-Hackathons/Hackfests for those who are R-literate and willing to contribute to the search for innovative ideas. Participants from all Ethiopian universities and from all faculties as well as from selected TVET colleges have been invited to participate in these R-Hackathons/Hackfests from remote. The first R-Hackathons/Hackfests have started in August 2018. This paper intends to evaluate the outcome of the Hackathons/Hackfests conducted since then.
The objective of this work is to show how the multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional approaches have been implemented. The information available will be scrutinised in order to find out whether best practices in collaboration for problem solving could be derived.
In brief, R-Hackathons/Hackfests are structured as team works for 6-hours. Data bases are provided in focus of a specific field, where innovative ideas should be created. The outcome of these 6-hours-Hackathons/Hackfests are problem statements and drafts for possible calls for proposals. The results are posted on a joint platform and could be presented to potential funders for an in-depth exploration and subsequently for opening a call for proposals.
The structure of this paper will
Libraries in higher learning institutions remain to be the knowledge management platforms. These libraries support universities in performing their core roles of teaching, learning, research, consultancy and outreach. This study is set to investigate how digital collaborative tools and services assist academic libraries in provision of their services for supporting the teaching, learning, research and consultancy and outreach services in higher learning institutions. Specifically the study: determined activities in academic libraries requiring collaborations, identified digital collaborative tools and services commonly used in academic libraries, determined how digital collaborations between academic libraries and patrons were made, determined factors influencing adoption of digital collaboration tools and services in academic libraries, investigated the impact of digital collaborations in access of services of academic libraries, and compared the level of adoption of digital collaborations between academic libraries in developing and developed countries. The study involved publications with empirical evidences on use of digital collaborative tools and services in academic libraries from developing and developed countries. The study used a systematic review methodology. Through this methodology, all empirical evidences on use of digital collaboration tools and services in academic libraries were collated basing on pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to a specific research question. The criteria were set so as to eliminate bias and improve objectivity. Empirical evidences on usage of digital collaboration tools and services in academic libraries were summarized in a data collection form by research question. Findings indicate that collaboration tools and services help academic libraries meet more patrons than could be through traditional techniques. Moreover, most of the library routine roles can be facilitated through collaboration tools and services. Findings indicate that more academic libraries in developed countries use collaboration tools in provision of their services than it is for academic libraries in developing countries. Illiteracy among library patrons on how to use some digital collaboration tools and services and limited ICT infrastructure within academic libraries and inadequate access to ICT facilities among user is found to hinder the usage of digital collaboration tools. It is recommended that academic libraries in developing countries should optimize the use of digital collaboration tools and services so as to keep a warm relationship with their patrons and increase the usage of the services they provide. It is concluded that the digital collaboration tools and services in academic libraries is essential for supporting core higher learning institution’s roles of teaching, learning, research, consultancy and outreach.
Federated Identity is a service offered by RENU that allows RENU Identity Federation member institutions to use the same identification data to obtain access to secured resources of all organizations in the group. In research, the use of sensitive information such as personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), is increasing in tandem with researchers’ big data skills. In response, Identity Federation offers economic advantages, as well as convenience, to organizations and their users. NIH ICER Uganda’s Protected Network is an environment with technical controls in place that provide research groups with essential security measures needed for studies using sensitive information. Over the years, the environment has supported research projects and groups and has served as a foundation for specialized and protected IT infrastructures in the social sciences, population studies, and medical research. This presentation will describe key features of the Protected Network and outline the IT infrastructure design and organizational features that the NIH ICER used to establish this resource for researchers. Key features include: Service and Identity Provider infrastructure, Authentication, Identity Management and several demonstrations where we currently use this infrastructure.
Despite access to a robust, global community of research and education networks, many researchers around the world continue to struggle to transfer and access data effectively and efficiently. Researchers often do not understand the value REN services can bring to their research, or worse, are simply unaware that these services are available to them. In order for our community to address this, a proactive effort across many stakeholders (global, regional, national, local, campus, etc.) is needed. First, we need to know who is and who isn’t using our networks; second, we need to know how these users are currently interacting with our resources; and third we need to know how to effectively interact with end users to help improve their experience. This talk will argue that proactive engagement with end users to identify and solve networking issues is critical to the sustained success of a REN organization. It will highlight tools and practical strategies that International Networks at Indiana University has developed for identifying researchers and look at successful methods we have used for engaging and interacting with researchers and research communities.
Cette plate-forme se veut être un outil de travail collaboratif qui facilitera un bon nombre de prestations et services dispensés au sein d’une Université publique, extensible à ce qui nécessite aussi des échanges de données ou autres entre Universités.
Le vécu quotidien de la population universitaire (constitué par les Etudiants, les Enseignants-Chercheurs et le Personnel Administratif et Technique) en suscite la mise en place, ne serait-ce qu’à voir le flux de données à gérer en permanence.
La plate-forme en question impliquera certainement des entités incontournables comme :
- les institutions financières au niveau desquelles les droits d’inscription des Etudiants sont versés en partie,
- les entités détentrices de bases de données de tous genres,
- les gestionnaires de bourses aussi bien locales qu’extérieures,
- les responsables d’actions de transfert (avec ce que tout cela prend en considération et quel que soit le type) entre Universités,
Il est vrai que paiement est le leitmotiv du moment, mais cette action peut être menée dans des domaines hors Enseignement Supérieur et Recherche Scientifique, à partir du moment où le numérique s’impose naturellement dans le processus à mettre en oeuvre.
Whether we like it or not, the age of digital collaboration using web-based collaboration space is upon us. Through digital collaboration, we can now work across technologies, across channels and across geographic boundaries to promote efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in organisations.
Purpose of study: This study examined the experiences of three institutions in using real-time communication to promote the culture of collaborative ecosystems in education. Methodology: The research was a survey of three institutions in Southern Africa involved in Open and Distance Teaching. These were purposively sampled. The research utilised survey monkey questionnaire to gather real-time feedback. Key messages to be shared: Results pointed out that digital collaboration nurtures the culture of collaborative ecosystems in that it promotes real-time collaboration, strengthens camaraderie, is a hub for teamwork, removes roadblocks to productivity, enables the use of multiple platforms, facilitate the integration of tasks, offer very similar functionalities, empower employees, enable solicitation of end-user feedback among others. Collaboration areas mentioned included using mobile-video tools, video conferencing, multi-author editing, continuous communication and project management among others. Use of appropriate, affordable and compatible collaboration technologies such as Basecamp, Google Hangouts, Skype, SharePoint, HipChat, Microsoft Teams etc were also mentioned. Use of the right platform, platform integration and adoption where management integrates collaboration tools into work processes rather than force work processes to accommodate tools was mentioned as key. This includes technology acceptance from the shop floor. Staff are supported in using new software to increase technology adoption. The supportive environment includes that staff are fully trained, educated and can offer constructive feedback. The research concluded that institutions must keep eyes and ears open, pool their collective skills and resources, foster teamwork and reward digital collaborations to promote productivity. The research recommends that educational institutions must explore collaboration solutions, nurture collaborative culture and integrate digital collaboration into educational operations to promote productivity in the digital era.
The Namibia National Cyber Security Competition (NNCSC) is a yearly event that began in October 2015. The competition is run on an attack-and-defend basis using client server architecture. Teams are assigned an industry based computer system/network scenario which they service and defend. Before the competition the participants are trained on attack and defense procedures and two weeks before the competition they are given specific details about that year’s competition. Since NNCSC’s inception the winning team has been invited to participate at the International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational (ICCDI) hosted by Highline College in Seattle, USA. Namibia University of Science and Technology cyber security team won the first and second NNCSC and travelled to Seattle in June 2016 and 2017. Other participating teams from other nations and from within the USA (from other states) failed to make it to Seattle because of the high travelling funds required. The excessive amounts required for travelling and accommodation brought into life the idea of cohosting the competition on the cloud from two centers and each participating team would have to choose the location it wants to participate at. Virtualization technology is used for both the students’ computer systems that they are defending and for the attacking teams’ access into the competition arena. In addition, zoom and slack technologies are used to enable collaboration between the participating student teams. This paper highlights how the use of cloud computing, virtualization, zoom, slack and remote desktop access have enabled the continuation of ICCDI which promotes the growth of cyber security skills. These technologies have facilitated and improved the ICCDI competition platform and enhanced the level of virtual collaboration between educational institutions involved, government and civil society. Thus, enabling the goals of the competition to be achieved. The goals of which are to: sensitize industry, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders on the exposure risks associated with cyber systems and to suggest and implement solutions to mitigate these risks
MoRENet, the Mozambique Research and Education Network, actually interconnects more than 150 research and education institutions around the country. Despite the quality of services and the wide range of products offered, some beneficiary institutions do not have the same perception partly due to a lack of technical skills, preparation and knowledge by the focal points.
MoRENet focal points, the ICT professionals at the service of the beneficiary institutions, serves as bridges between MoRENet and final service users. The local quality perception of MoRENet's services depends greatly on the actions of these professionals, which in turn depends on their preparation and level of knowledge in managing and using the resources. It is their responsibility to make delivered the services to the end users: students, researchers and other actors in the academic and scientific community. Lack of knowledge or difficulty in using MoRENet services and resources, penalizes the final beneficiaries for not having part of the services available.
At the beginning of the year during the planning activities of MoRENet Academy (the MoRENet's innovation development and training unit), a survey was conducted for the beneficiary institutions to meet the focal points’ training needs, focusing on technical training. The study was enriched with information gathered by the network support center who provide technical assistance to the focal points, and records the difficulties they face when dealing with MoRENet services. The study is also fed with data from courses offered by MoRENet since April 2019 that shows the trend of participation on traditional classroom and online courses, that confirms the findings of the survey conducted, and helps to visualize the need to adopt training options and alternatives methods to minimize those constraints.
The study found that although the focal points of almost all surveyed institutions have academic qualifications in ICT fields, they have ICT training needs that goes from basic to advanced skills, from general knowledge to specialized technical areas, including specific training on services offered by MoRENet.
The study found that traditional classroom courses are of great value for transmitting knowledge with hands-on content made in laboratories, but they can have few participants at a time, and that individual participation entails considerable costs, especially for participants living in regions far from the training centers. It has been found that online courses are by far the form of mass training in short times, but with satisfactory results for general and theoretical concepts, with the possibility of offering low cost courses.
The adoption of modern digital collaboration tools that includes video conferencing in their various forms to offer technical trainings allows the NRENs explore at the same time the advantages of traditional classroom methods requiring technical and hands-on, and the online digital courses that serve many participants in a short time and at very low costs, thus achieving a complementarity that only exploits the advantages of both modalities, fully responding the NRENs technical training needs.
ILIFU: An African Research Cloud for Data Intensive Science on the Pathway to the SKA