UbuntuNet signs contract with Malawi to develop internet infrastructure for research and education
UbuntuNet Alliance, the research and education network for Eastern and Southern Africa, has signed a contract agreement with the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Civic Education and Communications Technology to provide affordable, fast and dedicated Internet connectivity and other research and education networking tools and services to the country’s universities and research institutions via the Malawi Research and Education Network (MAREN).
The contract agreement comes under the Digital Malawi Project, a Government of Malawi project being funded by the World Bank Group to the tune of K52 billion to extend and improve access to critical ICT infrastructure for the public and private sectors; improve ICT governance; improve access to government services; and facilitate provision of e-services thereby enhancing public service delivery.
Under the contract, UbuntuNet Alliance will make available1200 Mbps to MAREN for a period of 10 years through a newly procured link between Blantyre, Malawi and Maputo, Mozambique.
The implementation of the contract is expected to improve Internet connectivity as well as make available large volumes of bandwidth to students, researchers and staff at universities and research centers in Malawi at reduced cost.
In countries such as Zambia, Uganda and Somalia, just to mention a few, connection of the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of these countries to the UbuntuNet Internet Network has helped reduce internet connectivity cost for universities by over 70 percent.
UbuntuNet Alliance CEO, Eng. Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka says: “UbuntuNet Alliance is very excited to be able to collaborate with the Malawi Government and the World Bank through providing large, fast and stable internet connectivity to Malawian universities and research institutions via our local entity MAREN. We hope to leverage this relationship with the World Bank to replicate this to more countries in our region of Eastern and Southern Africa so that more institutions can benefit from the unique offering that we provide in this sector.”