Statement by Robert Aymar, Director
of the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche
Nucléaire (CERN) on "African Research and Education
Report from multi
18 November 2005
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
CERN with its extensive knowledge of
Information and Communication Technologies participated
actively in the first WSIS in Geneva in 2003, in order to
explain the role that science has played and continues to
play in the development of the information society.
Subsequent actions have concentrated on
two important items:
1. Making scientific knowledge,
educational information and best practices available as keys
CERN, since its foundation in 1954, has
published openly all its scientific results, and
electronically for 20 years, including scientific software.
The World Wide Web was invented at CERN and placed in the
public domain for the benefit of all.
CERN actively supports the Open Access
movement, which aims for universal and lasting availability
of all knowledge, cultural heritage and educational best
practices. CERN advocates the establishment of open
electronic knowledge repositories worldwide.
2. CERN invites scientists and
governments to promote the creation of national research and
education networking organisations to take ownership of the
special needs for such networks in their home countries. The
aim is to connect all universities and places of learning at
sufficient bandwidth, allowing all scientists to learn from
each other and to participate in state-of-the-art science.
CERN together with ITU and the United
Nations University recently organized a workshop on research
and education networking in Africa. This workshop brought
together most of the organisations engaged in science and
education, funding agencies, civil society and business
It is now a turning point in Africa,
where connecting all universities to the internet at
sufficient bandwidth is within reach.
Two principal points were raised in this
Ownership: It was emphasised that the
momentum for improved networking must be driven by
grass-root initiatives from universities and other
educational institutes. They should take ownership, propose
common solutions and strategies.
Passing the message to governments:
Governments should adopt conducive policy and regulatory
environments to promote investment in broadband network
infrastructure for the use of the African research and
education institutes. The network’s availability, quality
and performance needs to reach levels, attained in similar
institutions in other continents.
In conclusion, I strongly call for the
connection of the universities around the world to the
international networks at sufficient bandwidth. I further
urge the support of the Open Access movement to boost the
uptake of scientific knowledge and practice, for the benefit
Thank you for your attention.