UbuntuNet Alliance, the Regional Research and Education Networking organisation for Eastern and Southern Africa, has announced the appointment of Dr Pascal Hoba as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The appointment is with effect from January 1, 2015, Patricia Mtungila, UbuntuNet Communications Officer told Nation Online
“Dr Hoba will be based here in Lilongwe. The coming of Dr Hoba to Malawi strategically positions research and education institutions in the country to benefit from the UbuntuNet network, a super speed and affordable Internet network being rolled-out with funding from the EU,” Mtungila said.
“We believe that Dr Hoba’s leadership will fast-track the roll out of the UbuntuNet in Malawi which may be the long-awaited solution to slow and overly expensive internet costs in our universities and research centers,” she added.
Hoba is coming from the Association of African Universities (AAU) in Accra, Ghana where he has been Director of Knowledge Management Information and Communications since 2005.
In his role at the AAU, Hoba was also Coordinator of the Europe-Africa quality Connect project and the Database of African Theses and Dissertations.
He is credited for initiating the Open Access process with the DATAD programme as a regional repository center.
“Becoming CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance presents a privilege to serve the NREN community which I personally contributed to as first Project Coordinator at the AAU in charge of the RENU (Research Education Networking Unit),” says Hoba.
“Under this responsibility I organised for AAU, the parallel event at The World Summit on the Information Society summit (WSIS) in November 2005 which officially launched UbuntuNet Alliance,” he explains. “It is also a huge responsibility for me. Indeed, there is a positive legacy left by the former CEO and it is my responsibility now to take the Alliance to next level which means consolidating the achievements, bring new services and resources and building a strong regional organisation that supports the NRENs and all organisations that promote education and research networking. With humility, innovation, determination and, of course, hard work, and with the collaboration of the community, I am sure we shall surely write another story of the UbuntuNet Alliance.”
With over 15 years experience in Higher Education, Hoba has served on a number of Africa-wide initiatives and boards such as the ICT Advisory Committee of the Pan African/Indian e-Network Project at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa; and the Executive Committee of the Pan-African Leadership Institute for Library Management based in Alexandria in Egypt.
Hoba is seen at UbuntuNet as the right person to take the Alliance to the next level of being the hub of innovation in ICT and research for propelling Africa to the realisation of its development goals.
Hoba has authored several scientific papers on strategic information and edited a number of books including: The Contribution of Higher Education to National Educational Systems: Current Challenges for Africa published in 2007; Agents in Development, African Higher Education Networks and Policy Entrepreneurship.
The new UbuntuNet Alliance CEO graduated in business law from Law school of Aix en Provence, France he also holds a Masters Degree and PhD in Scientific and Technical Information from the University of Marseilles in France where he also worked as Lecturer in Information Communication from between 1999 and 2005.
His long successful career in communications has also seen him to international development agency ADEA/IIEP/UNESCO as Programme Officer in Paris, France. Dr Hoba presents the dawn of a new era in service provision and efficiency in UbuntuNet Alliance.
UbuntuNet Alliance is the regional Research and Education-Networking organisation for Eastern and Southern Africa headquartered in Lilongwe, Malawi. It builds and operates UbuntuNet, the regional high-speed backbone network interconnecting National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the region and connecting them to other regional RENs in the world and the Internet in general.
The Alliance is a member-based organisation registered as a Trust in Malawi. It was founded by the Malawi Research and Education Network (MAREN) and four other NRENs of Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa. Currently, its membership consists of 15 NRENs: Burundi (BERNET), DRC (Eb@le), Ethiopia (EthERNet), Kenya (KENET), Madagascar (iRENALA), Malawi (MAREN), Mozambique (MoReNet), Namibia (Xnet), Rwanda (RwEdNet), Somalia (SomaliREN), South Africa (TENET), SudREN (Sudan), Tanzania (TERNET), Uganda (RENU), and Zambia.
In Malawi, MAREN, the UbuntuNet Alliance member, works to interconnect all research and education institutions and connect them to the Internet and other research and education networks regionally and globally via UbuntuNet. MAREN is based at the University of Malawi Central Office in Zomba.