Eko-Konnect Users Conference brings together practitioners in the research and education networking community, including, ICT Directors, systems/network administrators and engineers, librarians, researchers, policymakers, and service providers from across Nigeria and West Africa. The conference creates a platform for the research and education community in Nigeria to discuss common challenges and opportunities in developing the sector through information and communications technology. 

This year’s event took place virtually due to safety concerns around the Corona virus pandemic. The theme of this year’s conference Resilient Infrastructures: Shaping the Future of Education and Research in Nigeria addressed the actions that need to be taken towards delivering NREN infrastructure and services required the necessary digital transformation that must urgently take place in the Nigerian R&E community in light of the impact Covid-19 has had on education and the spotlight is has shone on the lack of digital infrastructure and use at all levels of education and research and practice.

The conference also brought stakeholders from the telecoms industry and local and foreign funders to. Bring their perspectives on what they could do to improve on the situation Nigeria finds itself in. There were also deliberations on how NRENs could play a role in the models of innovation and entrepreneurship that can bring lasting impact and digital transformation in research and education. Sessions that covered key infrastructure requirements to enhance scholarly and research outputs like publishing infrastructure, development of education identity federations and participation in global REN federations were also discussed. Women also had their say in a dedicated session that dealt with the challenges they faced in being strong and vocal members of the digital technology sector and what more NRENs like Eko-Konnect could do for the promotion and inclusion of women in the digital space.

The event run over the 3 days (19 – 21 January 2021) was very well attended and Managing Director, Owen Iyoha stated that when subsequent physical user conferences resume (hopefully the 2022 edition) they would incorporate online participation.

Video highlight of the entire conference:

All the conference sessions are available on the Eko-Konnect Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpEkzD0WUQ654bq0YFKO8Pw

For more information including access to all the presentations at the conference explore the conference website at https://2021.eko-konnect.org.ng