Our History

In January 2006, Vice Chancellors of leading public and private universities together with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of some research institutions met in Entebbe, Uganda, and resolved to establish a research and education network. This network was to be a vehicle for facilitating the human networking needed to boost intellectual output and trigger research-led transformation of higher education in Uganda.

A task-force to spearhead the operationalisation of their resolution was set up then. Since then, RENU has gradually but steadily developed as Uganda's National Research and Education Network (NREN).

RENU's first collaboration focal issue was the reduction of the cost and improvement of connectivity for its member institutions. The unit cost of bandwidth in Uganda has dropped from more than US$ 3300 per Mbps per month in 2006 to the present level of about US$ 500 per Mbps per month by commercial ISPs.

One way RENU tried to catalyse reduction of the connectivity cost was by establishing a bandwidth consortium for willing member institutions.

As the leading user of international connectivity and assisted by technology developments, the R&E community has greatly contributed to the ongoing reduction of the unit cost of bandwidth in Uganda and the growth of private users of Internet services, indeed as was the case in many other countries.

Meanwhile, in July 2010, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) granted RENU a license to establish and operate a national private network to serve the connectivity needs of all eligible R&E institutions.

Two years later in November 2012, RENU's efforts were greatly boosted by the advent of the AfricaConnect project, which was a product of almost a decade of efforts by a small but globally distributed community of dedicated "social entrepreneurs". Thus the story of RENU is a story of faith and perseverance to actualise the ending of extreme isolation of Uganda's researchers and higher education practitioners from their national, regional and global peers, through the "Ubuntu" philosophy (the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity).