In an effort to promote sustainable development through research and education in Nigeria, Galaxy Backbone Limited and the Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative (Eko-Konnect) have signed a joint venture agreement to collaborate on a backbone network for research and education as a critical step towards the development of robust national infrastructure that provides reliable high-speed connectivity, access to research outputs, teaching, and learning materials for tertiary education in Nigeria.
Galaxy Backbone will provide datacentre services and a fibre-optic cable transport network through which Eko-Konnect will interconnect campuses and provide a number of “above the net” scholarly communication services including a real-time collaboration platform, trust and identity framework, develop relevant cloud services and pilot a shared research product repository.
In the first project commencing immediately, the joint venture will establish the hubs in Enugu and Awka, interconnect nearby institutions in Eastern Nigeria to peers in the Lagos area and environs, and counterparts in the global research network through the West and Central Research and Education Network (WACREN). Interconnection of clusters in other geo-political zones of Nigeria will follow in 2020.
Prof. Charles Uwadia, Chair, Eko-Konnect Board of Trustees welcomed the collaboration saying “This development gives the much-needed impetus to the several initiatives providing services for research and education communities in Nigeria. The availability of affordable and dedicated network and data centre services for educational institutions across the country will provide the necessary momentum to work towards the community-driven platforms required for long-term sustainability”
Commenting on the agreement Prof. Charles Esimone, Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka remarked that “As its first beneficiaries, there is great expectation in the South Eastern cluster of institutions at this development. Our efforts in recent years to improve connectivity speeds and provide advanced services to colleagues in this part of the country will now have the necessary infrastructure to realise our ambitions. I am very excited at the promise the future holds and the opportunity this presents for enhanced collaboration between institutions in the South East, other institutions across Nigeria and international peers.”
About Galaxy Backbone Limited
Galaxy Backbone is a wholly-owned enterprise of the Federal Government of Nigeria established and mandated to be the provider of ICT infrastructure and services to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (“MDAs”) of the Federal Government as well as other public institutions.
It was established in 2006 based on the need for the government to pursue a coordinated and harmonized approach to information and communications technology acquisition, operation and use in the public sector. It leverages its shared ICT services platform to integrate public sector institutions and other stakeholders for the purposes of mutual improvement, knowledge exchange and transfer towards attaining national development objectives. galaxybackbone.com.ng
About Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative
Eko-Konnect is a community-driven initiative which promotes the establishment of research clusters in geo-political regions of Nigeria, interconnected via a backbone to provide the high-speed networks that are essential for sharing, accessing and processing the high data volumes generated by research and education communities.
Established in 2009, Eko-Konnect provides technical support for the national node of the global eduroam® service and operates eduid.ng, the academic federated identity system required for national and global research cyberinfrastructures. Its mission and the net effect of these activities is the growth of the National Research and Education Network (NREN) in Nigeria and support of its constituent communities.