The Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) supports Nigeria’s research and academic institutions through the provision of a modern, efficient, and affordable network infrastructure. In this way, NgREN aims to encourage innovation, communication, and collaboration among these institutions, thus encouraging national development. Led by a board of directors and executive management team, NgREN comprises four Technical Working Groups dedicated to distinct aspects of network development. In January 2015, the organization held the inaugural meetings of its Technical Working Groups at the Peter Okebukola Building in Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria.
With a membership comprised of network engineers, the Network Operations Technical Working Group combines areas such as infrastructure design, maintenance, and policy, working toward the deployment of an IPv4/IPv6 infrastructure. The Network Services Working Group focuses on building the support structure for this research and education network and will build a framework of policies and guidelines for technical support services. The Network Security Technical Working Group also works to ensure the overall stability of the network, including sustainability, safety, and appropriate use, as well as developing protocols for defending the network infrastructure from threats and service disruptions.
Additionally, NgREN includes the Communities of Practice Working Group, which fosters collaboration among individuals and institutions with shared interests and goals related to network infrastructure development.
Founded in 2012, the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) aims to promote innovative research, collaboration, and communication among member universities and other institutions across Africa and worldwide. One part of this mission is achieved through the many practical services the organization offers, such as the creation and maintenance of digital network infrastructure and the provision of network applications like videoconferencing. Another part is fulfilled through NgREN’s facilitation of targeted, online community forums.
NgREN’s Communities of Practice are designed to bring together people with common expertise on a particular topic or theme in the hopes of advancing professional practices and spurring development in specific areas. By fostering links and active collaboration among institutions and other academic and professional groups worldwide, the communities can help participants to centralize and grow their knowledge base and visualize key matters within a broader context.
To launch this element of its mission, NgREN selected a number of strategic communities to serve as the initial group. These encompass areas such as food security, environmental degradation, renewable energy, and vocational training. Interested participants can join any Community of Practice by contacting the topic leader or NgREN directly.
Established in February 2012, the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) has already made great strides in improving communication among schools and research institutions across Nigeria. Founded with funds from the World Bank and through the cooperation of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC) and the National Universities Commission (NUC), the organization has strived to create a national network that can ensure access to broadband Internet connections, as well as a network monitoring center to keep the connections working smoothly. In recognition of these efforts, Nigerian president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan hosted a September 2014 event at the Presidential Villa.
The president emphasized the degree to which work remains to be done, especially in expanding the network to reach institutions of higher education across Nigeria. However, in an address to the NUC Governing Board, he praised NgREN for its exceptional efforts, highlighting the program as an important part of his administration’s overall agenda. Currently, the network accommodates 27 universities, but in additional remarks, the vice president, Namadi Sambo, noted his support of President Jonathan’s wishes that the network be expanded further. Professor Julius Okojie, the NgREN board chairman and executive secretary for NUC, spoke for all in attendance in declaring the project an important part of bringing Nigeria’s educational system into the 21st century.
In a presentation titled “Creating Digital Multimedia Academic Content for Online Education through the NgREN Platform,” Howard University professor Folahan Ayorinde showed Nigerian educators the advantages of using digital tools to expand educational opportunities and create better learning environments. Organized by the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) in order to raise awareness of its platform’s capabilities, the presentation welcomed numerous participants from each of the NgREN clusters. Participants included vice-chancellors or deans and heads of departments, all of whom were interested in bringing these new technologies to their universities and teaching staff how to use them.
Professor Ayorinde’s presentation covered multiple topics within the realm of digital multimedia use in academic settings. NgREN, a high-speed network designed to link member campuses, enables the delivery of academic materials to Internet-ready devices, collaboration among teachers at distant institutions, and research-sharing across departments. The NgREN videoconferencing platform provides numerous opportunities for the academic community, including access to distance learning and digital multimedia content, which promises to expand the reach of educators across Nigeria. The session concluded with suggestions for future meetings as NgREN continues to expand throughout the country’s universities and schools.
A presentation on creating academic content through digital multimedia recently took place via the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN). NgREN, which seeks to provide top-quality network infrastructure to foster communication and research at its member institutions, made use of its videoconferencing platform to facilitate the presentation, which was delivered by a professor at Howard University in the United States.
The presentation had three goals. First, it sought to make NgREN member institutions familiar with tools for collaborative teaching and learning that can create highly accessible academic content. Second, it nudged them toward using those tools for distance and on-campus learning. Third, it encouraged member institutions to adopt tools like the ones presented for the purposes of collaboration and research.
Representatives from every cluster of NgREN, including students, deans, staff from information technology departments, directors of research, and vice chancellors, attended the presentation. After the presentation concluded, they expressed gratitude for NgREN’s efforts in putting it together and were invited to suggest topics for future lectures.