The project would enable universities and research institutions in Ghana through GARNET to have high-speed networks that would foster inter-institutional collaboration, research and human networking between universities in the sub-region(s) and other international universities.
A statement issued by Mr Benjamin A. Eshun, the President of GARNET, to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, said GARNET as a member of the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACERN), would be participating in the AfricaConnect2 project.
It said the AfricaConnect2 would develop high-capacity internet networks across the entire African continent and connect them to the European GEANT network, allowing students, researchers and academics in Africa and beyond to collaborate.
It observed that the connectivity boost would not only advance research and education locally with opportunities like e-learning and cloud computing, but it would equally benefit scientific studies the world over in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, food security, malaria and other infectious diseases.
It said African research and education network associations WACERN, the UbuntuNet Alliance and ASREN had partnered with their European counterpart GEANT in a € 26.6 million EU co-funded project to provide dedicated high-speed Internet all over Africa.
It indicated that this follows the success of the AfricaConnect project, which contributed to the creation of a high-speed R&E network in Eastern and Southern Africa between 2011 and 2015.
It said in making this a reality, GARNET had installed the first set of equipment to collocate at the datacenter of the National Information Technology Agency.
The statement said this would be the first exchange point for higher education traffic in Ghana and connection to this would be built by the last mile arrangement between member institutions and their network providers but coordinated with GARNET.
The statement said a central part of the recently announced Africa- EU Partnership, AfricaConnect2 would fulfil both continents wish to connect research and education communities across borders and accelerate scientific breakthroughs.
“Science, technology and innovation figure high on the African and European agenda as means to attain socio-economic development objectives,” said Françoise Moreau, Head of Unit at the EC Directorate-General FOR Development and Cooperation.
“That is the reason why under the joint Africa-EU Strategy, both continents have decided to deepen their cooperation to promote knowledge and skills base societies and economies.
“The EU therefore, welcomes the start of AfricaConnect2, which will build upon the successes of AfricaConnect in improving scientific knowledge and will further reinforce cooperation between research communities of the two continents, for the benefits of all,” she added.