How to fast-forward digital transformation

The necessity of digital resources for research and education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is set to be central in discussions at the 6th annual conference of the West and Central African Research and Education Network.

Starting on 15 March, the online conference organised by the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) in partnership with Agence pour le Développement du Numérique (ADN Benin) is titled ‘Digital transformation for development’.

It will also focus on e-learning, open science and open access, ethics and governance, as well as responses and solutions to COVID-19 and beyond.

Dr Boubakar Barry, the CEO of WACREN, said in a statement that this year’s theme was quite pertinent, considering the urgency of digital transformation brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s quite clear that the world, especially our education sector, cannot proceed successfully into the future without recourse to digital. Digital has now become a need-to-have, not a want-to-have,” he said.

Serge Adjovi, the director-general of ADN Benin, agreed that the gathering was an opportunity to focus on the new challenges in the higher education sector, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Participants are expected to include higher education policy- and decision-makers, academics, national research and education networks, ministries and agencies in charge of higher education and digital transformation across the region.

WACREN aims to build world-class infrastructure and services for the research and education community, including affordable, high-speed connectivity for students and researchers.

WACREN works with national research education networks and sister networks under the ongoing AfricaConnect co-funded by the European Union.

ADN Benin is an agency in charge of implementing the digital strategy and projects of Benin’s government, which aims to make the country a hub of digital services in West Africa.

Registration for the conference, which will be in English and French, has opened. To register, go to the conference website. University World News is a media partner.