NREN to be formed by April 2010 in Senegal


On 20-21 July 2009, a national policy dialogue meeting was held in Dakar, Senegal to discuss ways and means of establishing an NREN, a university networking organisation that will help address bandwidth issues.

About 50 participants from all 5 public universities, private universities, research institutes, the ministries in charge of education, scientific research and ICT, the Government ICT Agency, the Telecommunication Regulatory Agency and developing partners attended the meeting that was opened by the Minister of Scientific Research and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher education. Vice-Chancellors too attended the opening and closing ceremony.

The participants decided to work together towards the establishment of a Senegalese research and education network by April 2010. A Steering Committee has been established as well as 3 working groups on governance, technical issues and content.

The Government ICT Agency offered to provide connectivity between the participating institutions from its national fibre backbone with bandwidth in the gbps range; a dedicated fibre pair can be allocated at a later stage. Visioconference equipment that is already available will be made available to them too.

A declaration (attached) was produced, with an appeal to policy and decision makers, namely the President, the Ministers in charge of higher education, research and ICT and to Vice-Chancellors.