Mauritius is open to collaborate with various institutions across Africa and elsewhere, and with 15 National Research and Education Networks (NREN) already established across Eastern and Southern Africa, the UbuntuNet Alliance will be able to help establish a fit-for-purpose roadmap for the local NREN.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, made this statement, this morning, at the opening ceremony of a workshop on 'Building a Roadmap for the Establishment of the Mauritian National Research and Education Network' held at St. Regis Mauritius Resort, in Le Morne. The Chief Executive Officer of UbuntuNet Alliance, Dr Matthews Mtumbuka, the Responsable Océan Indien of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Mrs Jayantee Gukhool, and other personalities, were present at the ceremony.
Vice-Prime Minister Dookun-Luchoomun highlighted that the NREN can provide high-speed reliable network for academic and scientific collaborations, with bandwidth optimised for research and educational applications. It can also provide access to regional and international online resources, as well as help link institutions to regional centres and international collaborating partners, thereby reducing academic isolation and providing access to high cost instrumentation and laboratories. She pointed out that a Mauritian NREN can also be used to allow the sharing of local resources between our education and research institutions such as the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council, the Tertiary Education Commission and Universities.
Furthermore, she pointed out that Mauritius has already gone beyond its boundaries and established links with other countries and blocs for the promotion of higher education and research. The latest partnership, the Minister recalled, is between her Ministry and the French Government for the project Hubert Curien - Le Réduit, for funding the mobility of researchers between Mauritius and France. In addition, the Ministry is currently discussing with the World Bank for the hosting of the next Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology workshop in Mauritius, she said.
The full-day workshop is organised by the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology, Mauritius, in collaboration with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the UbuntuNet Alliance and the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology. It aims at providing a platform for sensitising the major stakeholders of a Mauritian NREN of the importance of the latter and how to proceed with the technical, financial and governance challenges linked to its implementation. NREN experts from the UbuntuNet Alliance, ZAMREN and SomaliREN will, during the workshop, share their experience with some 50 participants and discuss the way forward for Mauritius to build its own NERN.