FEAST PROJECT NEWS

FINAL IN THE NEWS

The work of the FEAST Project team continues to have an impact:


FINAL REPORT RELEASED

22 March 2010
The final report summarising the study and including conclusions and recommendations is now available in the document list. The contract for the implementation phase is being negotiated between EC and DANTE and the preparations for procurements are expected to start during April-May 2010.


FEAST WORKSHOP

25 February 2010
During the last year, the FEAST study has explored the feasibility of the AfricaConnect initiative and a roadmap for its implementation. AfricaConnect will develop a regional backbone connecting National and Regional Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to each other and to GÉANT. The study results were presented at the FEAST workshop in Brussels. Deputy Director-General of the Information Society Zoran Stančič made the opening speech. The workshop was attended by African Ministers and high-level representatives of the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Secretariat and the African Union, as well as by African and European NRENs, e-Infrastructures experts and attendees from the Commission Directorates General EuropeAid, Development and Research. The workshop was a success and gathered support and commitments for the upcoming start of AfricaConnect (expected mid-2010).


FEAST BROCHURES

8 February 2010
KTH has released a FINAL FEAST brochure entitled: the Feasibility Study for the Africa Connect Initiative. This brochure contains a summary of the findings and recomemndations of the FEAST project.

1 December 2009
A FEAST PROJECT brochure giving an overview of the results and outlook from the project has been published. The brochure provides a summary of the highlights.

FEAST ROADMAP PUBLISHED

24 November 2009
The FEAST partners are pleased to announce the publication of the ROADMAP of the work to be carried out and the issues to be dealt with in establishing a sub-Saharan regional research and education network (REN) between the NRENs of the countries identified to be in a position to participate in such a regional network.

An updated readiness table has been prepared since the publication of the roadmap.

The countries identified to be in a position to participate in such a regional network are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.


FEAST PROJECT PARTNERS participate in UbuntuNet Events, Kampala, Uganda 11-13 Nov 2009

On 11 November 2009, members of the FEAST PROJECT held a closed one day meeting with the UbuntuNet Alliance Board and CEOs and CTOs from African NRENs.

Partners from the FEAST PROJECT participated in the Opening New Frontiers for Research and Education Networking in Africa events organised by the UbuntuNet Alliance and RENU. The two day workshop took place at the Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda on 12-13 November 2009.

The meetings were hosted by the Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU).


Article on the FEAST Project appears in the June 2009 edition of the DeCLARA Bulletin

A recent article in the DeCLARA Bulletin reports that the FEAST project is more than a feasibility study for the African research and education communities connectivity - a real chance for making a better world.

DeCLARA Bulletin is published by CLARA's PR team to report recent news about CLARA, the RedCLARA network, ALICE, the CLARA member NRENs, the advanced networks to which RedCLARA is connected and all those informations related to projects, networks and applications that are developed within the advanced networks community.

FEAST Project track at IST Africa 2009

The FEAST Project partners organised a whole day track on Research and Education Networking at IST-Africa 2009 on THURSDAY 7 May 2009 in Kampala, Uganda. The track consisted of four 90 minute sessions:

The Research and Education Networking Track session programme can be downloaded in PDF.

In summary, the delegates agreed that there should be a focus on external challenges whilst not forgetting that some African countries have their own serious national issues to overcome.

It was noted that local champions are needed to push forward networking and associated ICT infrastructure development. It is vital to build awareness of the value and benefits of connecting all African nations. Political, economic and regulatory issues must be solved to encourage the development of sustainable NRENs. The NRENs; Donors; University and other Institutions; AAU; AUC and the commercial ISP sector should be targeted with the appropriate messages.

It was agreed that it would be beneficial to bring about dialogue between the NREN and commercial ISP sectors to discuss ways in which collaborative synergies can be found. The two communities are complementary serving different communities and are not in competition.

Access to information is key for Africa to enable its scientists and researchers to collaborate on an even footing with their peers around the globe. Such developments will bring with them social inclusion and improvements in health, education and agriculture.

It is expected that by the time of the next IST-Africa event in 2010 significant progress will have been made. The FEAST feasibility study will be completed and AfricaConnect should be well advanced.

FEAST PROJECT BROCHURE

The FEAST project partners have just produced a project information brochure to disseminate information about the project and its objectives whilst the project is running.

Printed copies of the brochure can be obtained from John Dyer at TERENA, details on the contact page.

The FEAST Project - Introduction

FEAST picture

The European Commission (EC) has awarded a contract to the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, and its supporting partners TERENA and DANTE to carry out the FEAST feasibility study. The ten-month study will run until October 2009. Several European NRENs have pledged their support to the project, as has the Italy-based International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

A major objective of FEAST is to work with key stakeholders to provide the EC with a roadmap to implement the AfricaConnect initiative. The initiative, co-funded by the Africa-EU Partnership Agreement, will support the establishment of sustainable and extensible regional backbone networks dedicated to the interconnection of Africa NRENs to each other and to the world via the pan-European GÉANT Network.

"Research networks now link the globe, enabling truly worldwide collaboration between scientists and researchers wherever they are located," said Dai Davies, general manager, DANTE. "Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the last unconnected areas, making this feasibility study and the AfricaConnect project vital for bridging the digital divide and enabling high speed African participation in regional and global projects."

The AfricaConnect initiative will provide the African NRENs with higher capacity transit to the general commercial Internet as well as access to research and education resources and peers around the globe. Local ownership, from the institutional level and up, as well as compatibility of use and connection policies in the global context are all important factors in the planning of the AfricaConnect initiative.

These developments come in the context of changes in the African communications markets: a rapidly emerging terrestrial fibre market is leading to a transition from a high price, low volume market to a low price, high volume market. However, African research and education institutions still get less than one per cent of the Internet capacity that their European peers can use at the same cost.

Getting Involved

Potential stakeholders are invited to contribute to a new study on the viability of interconnecting existing African research and education networking infrastructures and connecting them to the European backbone network, GÉANT. The feasibility study (FEAST) team welcomes contact from interested politicians, telecommunications regulators, heads of research and education institutes and other relevant stakeholders in the region, as well as from European NRENs wishing to support the initiative.

Take Part in the Survey

The first part of the feasibility study is gathering information. All aspects effecting the development and interconnection of the region need to be assessed in conjunction with the stakeholders. Part of the data collection process involves collecting from existing, developing and planned National Education & Research Networks (NRENs). The FEAST partners have developed a survey questionnaire which we would like all NRENs and NRENs in construction to complete. Survey forms are available for download from the document area of this site.

Finding out more about FEAST

You can express your interest and support for the project or obtain more information by sending an email to:
interest@feast-project.org