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Enhanced internet connectivity significantly impacts research at Gobabeb Namib Research Institute

Enhanced internet connectivity significantly impacts research at Gobabeb Namib Research Institute

The Gobabeb Namib Research Institute, for the first time in many years, is now able to connect with sufficient bandwidth to the rest of the world courtesy of Telecom Namibia.

The work of the Institute is largely cloud-based and this requires sufficient bandwidth for faster computer processing. The Gobabeb Namib Research Institute Centre is located 120 kilometres southeast of Walvis Bay in Namibia’s largest nature reserve, the Namib Naukluft Park.

Telecom migrated the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute to Speedlink, enabling stable, faster internet connectivity at the Institute.

The successful migration which cost more than N$ 200,000, took approximately two weeks, from 01 June to 14 June.

Telecom Namibia CEO, Dr. Stanley Shanapinda stated that the company’s main objective as a national telecommunications operator is to catalyze realizing Vision 2030 by creating the necessary infrastructural conditions.

“Surely this, development demonstrates Telecom Namibia’s commitment to invest in infrastructure development in our quest to assist the government in building a strong culture of innovation, research, and entrepreneurship to achieve our national goals of economic growth and development,” he added.

According to Shanapinda technological limitations have been a stumbling block to efficient communication at the centre, as researchers had to travel to Walvis Bay for connectivity.

“The migration is a clear indication of our eagerness to move towards digital transformation, as access to the internet, with sufficient bandwidth, is essential for the development of an information society,” he said.

Dr. Gillian Maggs-Kölling, Executive Director at Gobabeb Namib Research Institute expressed how the migration and enhanced internet connectivity have significantly impacted the research institute, as stable internet connectivity is the professional and intellectual life support.

“Being a research institute, we rely on having reliable, fast access to online resources, to communicate with colleagues worldwide, to access databases important to our work, and to share our work using social media. Namibian post-graduate students need to access the most recent literature for their studies and to be able to communicate with global experts in their field of study. Tertiary training initiatives offered at Gobabeb for Namibian graduates are more and more optimizing digital platforms to engage with specialists for specific areas of instruction. Day-to-day management of the operations of the institute is also becoming increasingly dependent on a quick and secure internet connection. Thus, our internet network is truly our professional and intellectual life support. Our remote location has always made our work difficult. The technology migration removed a significant bottleneck in our operations as a centre of scientific excellence.”

Connectivity is vital for centers such as Gobabeb to run and should be seen as a basic requirement. Lack of connectivity severely hinders the ability to perform simple functions, conduct research, and compete for grants. Telecom Namibia is excited to enable the centre to participate fully in a global context.

The research facility consists of the community research center, a library, laboratories, an office block, a meeting hall, the iconic water tower, staff houses, and accommodations for visitors. Since 1998 Gobabeb has been a joint venture between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Desert Research Foundation Namibia (DRFN).


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