Enhancing ICT Development in Africa: a framework for collaboration between NEPAD and African Research and Education Networks
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This paper presents a collaborative approach between NEPAD and Research and Education Networks towards the realization of Centers of Excellence for ICT Development. Centers of Excellence that focus on the development of a critical mass of ICT expertise in R&D and innovation are key to moving Africa into the next phase of ICT development. The framework for the NEPAD Centers of Excellence is based on a model that brings together academia, private sector, government and civil society as stakeholders. Research and Education Networks (RENs) have a key role to play in the establishment of Centers of Excellence both through the underlying infrastructure and services that they provide as well as through their linkages to a wide pool of diverse expertise. The collaborative approach places NEPAD in the position of facilitating the creation of an enabling environment for RENs and the Centers of Excellence. This includes advocating for good policy-making in research, education and ICT development and working with the relevant legal and regulatory authorities on mechanisms that facilitate cross-border networking. The establishment of Centers of Excellence for ICT Development is complementary to the establishment of RENs in that while the RENs provide the physical networks between institutions, the Centers of Excellence provide human and institutional networks.