GOVERNMENT has applauded efforts by the Ubuntu Net Alliance to partner the National Research and Education Networks (NRENS) to bring internet connectivity at universities.
Speaking during the 17th Ubuntu Net annual meeting last week, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development secretary Fanuel Tagwireyi said Zimbabwe was indebted to Ubuntu Net Alliance, which is working with NRENS across east and southern Africa.
Tagwirei said the Zimbabwe Research and Education Network was being assisted to facilitate and support research and collaboration for the transformation of the higher education and research sectors.
He said the collaboration was set to provide affordable broadband connectivity and related network services.
“I am confident that through the Ubuntu Net Alliance, new developments in areas such as connectivity, value-added services, like Trust and Identity, Cloud and Storage, Digital Object Identifiers, and Digital SSL certificates, collaboration and learning, cyber security and capacity building will continue to be enhanced so as to promote our research as a nation, region and con continent,” he said.
Tagwireyi called on higher and tertiary education institutions to drive the process.
“This infrastructure is set to benefit higher and tertiary education students by providing the necessary environment to create high tech business enterprises necessary for the new economy,” he said.
“This initiative also supports young entrepreneurs in the search of scientific solutions to national, regional and international challenges and leads towards the commercialisation of research results that would have gone through the incubation process in the innovation hubs since we have established innovation hubs, industrial and agro-innovation parks at universities and colleges.”
Zimbabwe Research and Education Network board chairperson Talon Garikayi said local universities have formed a registered association called the Zimbabwe Vice Chancellors Association, which meets regularly to discuss common issues impacting them.
He said bandwidth from Ubuntu Alliance Net in the second phase should see tariff costs coming down.
The Ubuntu Net Alliance comprises 16 countries which include Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique Burundi, Rwanda, Somali and Madagascar, among others.