National Science Foundation Workshop on Science and Cyberinfrastructure in Africa

New submarine fiber optic cable systems are changing the landscape for Africa’s participation in the global research and education network fabric by making lambda level connectivity a real and affordable possibility. By leveraging the existing investments in US-European and US-Asian connectivity, there are substantial benefits for scientific communities, which has created a surge of interest in the region to build research and education networks on both a national and regional scale.

Climate, weather, and atmospheric research is multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary. The land-ocean-atmosphere dynamics in Africa create complex challenges for both research and applications in the scientific community. The workshop seeks to benefit from NCAR’s Integrated Science Program’s summer colloquium on African Weather and Climate by learning about CI needs and requirements for enabling greater collaboration between African and US scientists.

The participants in the NSF workshop are invited to collectively define scientific questions and articulate broader impacts about climate change and severe weather in Africa that could guide investments for enhanced CI, such as improved communication networks and computing capability. Enhanced CI, coupled with effective communication to stakeholder communities, could improve societal resilience in responding to the broader impacts of climate change and severe weather in Africa. This may include impacts on agriculture, energy production, access to water, conflict, human health, ecological biodiversity and the ability for African scientists to communicate with their scientific counterparts around the world.

The goals of the workshop are to facilitate discussion between the scientific community and the network personnel building infrastructure and services to support their work in Africa, enhance interdisciplinary US-Africa scientific collaborations, organize the community input, and produce a report to inform NSF on the scientific enabling opportunities, and to better understand the value to US-Africa science and engineering collaborations in establishing stronger data networking capabilities. Successful outcomes for the workshop potentially include recommendations to NSF on the motivations, needs, and opportunities in establishing US-Africa R&E network connectivity. Sponsorship for the workshop will be provided by the NSF, Google, and the Network Startup Resource Center, in collaboration with NCAR.

Additional Information