ZAMREN Staff Visit KENET to learn on best practices

KENET hosted Zambia’s Research and Education Network (ZAMREM) team during a networking visit on April 10-12, 2018. ZAMREN had tabled their request to visit KENET to learn on best practices that increase efficiency of KENET as a National Research and Education Network (NREN). Mrs. Kalunga Makoni, Finance Officer, and Ms. Lombe Mkonde, Client services Officer had an opportunity to interact with their KENET counterparts, Ms. Esther Muriuki, Services Accountant and Nelisa Mwongera, Community Relations Lead. The interactions during the visit also sparked interest in the initiatives taken and challenges faced by local NRENs.

“We chose KENET because it is one of the fastest growing NREN in Africa. It was either RENU, the Ugandan NREN, or KENET, and we decided to go with KENET,” Mrs. Makoni said.

During their visit, the ZAMREN team were acquainted with the KENET organization structure as they met all staff in the Services and National Operations Center (NOC) department.  They were taken on a tour in KENET offices, and data centre. The team also visited one of our member Institutions, United States International University which also hosts KENET branch offices and data centre.

The team sat down with KENET for sessions where they learnt structure strategy and Activities in the Client Services Section, methods and practices of monitoring and evaluation of services, member Institution profiling vis-à-vis business risk management, enterprise services, and above the net services for increase on revenue base. In the Finance front, the team learnt how debtors in relation to Credit Risk Policy, debtor profiling in relation to disconnections, effective Debtor Management, billing System, impact of Other services to revenue and external support: Grants, Donations, Partnerships.

ZAMREN is an emerging NREN, with 17 years in operation and a dozen staff working supporting the needs of research and Education communities in Zambia. It was founded in 2006 by higher education Institutions in Zambia to maintain an ICT infrastructure that would increase interconnectivity among education and research Institutions. Being a landlocked country, Zambia like many landlocked countries incur extra costs for ICT infrastructure.  However, ZAMREN has been able to provide advance ICT services to 97 research and education Institutions across Zambia.

Winding up the visit the ZAMREN team were taken on a tour of the City, considering it was their first time in Kenya.