The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) Dr. Boubakar Barry, has solicited the support of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and ACETEL, to host the upcoming WACREN 2024 Conference at the university headquarters, in the first week of March in Abuja.

Dr. Barry, , led by the ACETEL team after visiting the centre, paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters as part of preparation for the conference.

To give his support for the event, the VC gave his approval for the hosting of the conference in NOUN, Abuja, at the new Multimedia facility, the Main Conference Hall as well as the Side Meeting Rooms.

The Vice Chancellor, affirmed the university’s readiness to support the conference to ensure its success.

WACREN is also working closely with ACETEL to have a one (1) day interactive session on Digital Education during the conference, this is part of their agreement to have a one day programme on Digital Education.

The mission of WACREN aims to build and operate a world-class network infrastructure, develop state of the art services, promote collaboration among national, regional, international research and education communities and build the capacity of the Research Education Network (REN) community.

On its part, the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), through the leadership of the Director, Prof. Grace Jokthan, is driving the initiative of putting up the interactive session on Digital Education for the conference, to discuss the Infrastructure and competencies that are required to ensure digital education is conducted in high standards.

Speaking during an interview, Prof. Jokthan said, “that is also part of the visit, to be sure that we are working together to have a one day programme that has to do with digital education as part of the WACREN conference, ACETEL is driving that agenda on behalf of the university, we have put up together a programme that we believe will be interactive, that will throw more light on the need for digital education”.

“This is the essense of the CEO’s visit”. she said.

Earlier, Mr. Barry along with the National University Commission (NUC) representative, Mr. Adeoye, met with the ACETEL team at the centre to talk about ACETEL’s preparations for the upcoming conference.

This is one of WACREN’s several visits to ACETEL, as its officials had previously, at different times paid courtesy calls on the centre to discuss the side-line interactive activity and to seek ACETEL’s readiness to support the conference.

Members of the team present at the meeting were, the Director ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, ACETEL Deputy Director, Dr. Johnson Opateye, Padagogical Expert in the team, Prof. Juliet Inegbedion, Secretary to the WACREN Conference Committee (NOUN) , Mr. Udochukwu Nwankwo.

According to Prof. Jokthan, the WACREN Committee set up by the university is headed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Technology, Innovation and Research (TIR), Prof. Godwin Akper.

She expressed delight that ACETEL is recognised as part of the Africa Centre’s of Excellence (ACE’s) that will host this conference and work with the university to ensure the conference is successful and to ensure issues of digital education are on top of such conferences, as that is the mandate of ACETEL in NOUN.

By: Loretta Edozie