Powering up future communicators

A joint digital platform will allow students of communication and journalism in West and Central Africa to share their knowledge and ideas.

Students of communication and journalism at higher learning institutions across 13 African countries can look forward to extensive virtual collaboration.

“The initiative will become a platform for online news-sharing and discussion of broad subjects of interest to the future communicators,” says Effah Amponsah, Communications and Marketing Officer at the West and Central African Research and Education Networks (WACREN).

Users invited to take part

The All Varsity News Network (AVNN) is being created by WACREN in partnership with strategic partners in and outside the region, especially with the sister regional organizations UbuntuNet Alliance and ASREN, but also with other organizations such as GÉANT.

The first step towards AVNN came in Accra, Ghana, in June 2019 as WACREN, in collaboration with the Ghanaian Academic Research Network (GARNET), held a two-day international stakeholders’ workshop.

“The AVNN platform will offer a number of functionalities including audio-visual features, messaging, forum and archiving. Users will be invited to take part in optimizing the platform,” says Effah Amponsah.

Setting the agenda

Besides the direct benefits to the students of communication and journalism, a broader impact can be expected over the following years.

“The creation of AVNN reflects a bigger move towards making NRENs more visible and strengthening their case within local institutions, governments and regional bodies,” says Effah Amponsah, continuing:

“WACREN foresees a day when the final users of the network – students and researchers – are empowered through AVNN to join the discourse and even set the agenda for conversations in the areas of modern tech for research and education in the region. For WACREN, the ultimate goal is – through AVNN users’ voices – to get governments and regional decision-makers to invest more in exploring NRENs potential and how NREN services can benefit educational institutions and research centers in West and Central African countries.”

WACREN currently has participating National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Published: 07/2020