AfricaConnect2 and EUMEDCONNECT3 take to the stage at HQ of League of Arab States
Cambridge, 12 December 2017
The 7th edition of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) flagship event - e-AGE 2017 – took place on 3-4 December in the palatial setting of the Headquarters of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo – usually where Arab Heads of States meet and Arab politics is made.
Securing an enduring place on the global R&E map
Held under the patronage of HE Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, LAS Secretary General, the event attracted 80 delegates from 21 countries and offered a high-quality programme with updates on R&E developments across the Arab region and on new opportunities for international cooperation.
During the opening session, ministers and senior officials stressed the importance of technological literacy as a key factor for socio-economic and scientific progress and recognised the role of initiatives such as AfricaConnect2 and EUMEDCONNECT3 in enabling international collaboration and in forging citizens of the world. Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, gave a positive keynote speech about GÉANT and its role in regional projects, considered as reflecting the EU’s efforts to integrate the Arab region into the global R&E map.
In his keynote speech, Michael Foley, former Lead Distance Learning Specialist at the World Bank, made a passionate plea for NRENs being and acting as access pathways to global knowledge, which was reiterated in various user presentations, such as from Iman Abu El Maaly, EIFL (Electronic Information For Libraries) representative from Sudan, who stressed the role of NRENs in enabling libraries to live up to their mandate of being curators of knowledge.
Attendees also heard first-hand accounts of data communications requirements from within the user communities, among others, from SESAME, the first synchrotron radiation facility in the Middle East, the Egyptian earth observation institution NARSS and the VI-SEEM project which offers training and data management services for the HPC communities in the Eastern Mediterranean and South-East Europe.