UbuntuNet Alliance is the Regional Research and Education Network for Eastern and Southern Africa. It capitalises on the emergence of optical fibre and other terrestrial infrastructure opportunities to establish a high speed research and education backbone, which interconnects all National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the region. Tertiary education and research institutions throughout the rest of the world are connected to the Internet and to each other using fast low-cost fibre connections. This gives them a huge research and learning bonus as they are able to share resources across locations easily. Until recently, most of Africa has been missing from this interconnected world. However, this is changing with the emergence of UbuntuNet Alliance which enjoys close linkages with the Association of African Universities and the regional higher education bodies.
Towards the end of 2005 established and emerging NRENs in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa come together to found a new organisation: the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking. The driving vision was that of delivering very high speed internet connectivity in- gigabits (Gb/s) instead of the then kilobits (kb/s) between African Universities and Research Institutions. Today, membership of the Alliance has grown to 13, covering a huge land mass of the East and Southern Africa. The UbuntuNet Alliance is registered as a non-profit association of NRENs in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Amsterdam.