Brain Gain Initiative
The migration of highly
skilled people is having a significant impact on higher education a
nd research, as
universities and research centres have to adjust to increasingly mobile, competitive labour markets, and strive
to retain highly
Many skilled expatriates, wherever they may be located, have the potential and the willi
ngness to contribute to
the development of their home country, and information and distributed computing technologies provide a new
way to enable distance cooperation.
In an effort to change this trend, UNESCO and HP joined forces in 2003 to develop sever
al projects, using
innovative technology to create a “brain gain” for regions that are particularly impacted by the exodus of
academics and scientists.
In 2009 UNESCO and HP agreed to scale up the initiative to help create a sustainable university e
structure for science, bringing together higher education institutions and research centres in Africa and the
Arab States region and allowing them to pursue innovative education projects.
By the end of 2011, this infrastructure could span some 20 higher e
ducation institutions in 16 countries
minded corporations and organizations join UNESCO and HP in this initiative.
A digitally literate generation of young people will be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by
access to virt
ual classrooms and virtual laboratories. Remote access to rare or expensive resources can help
budget universities enjoy access to infrastructure of the same quality as large, well
Africa and Arab States 2009
In early 2009, UNESCO and HP agreed to extend the African pilot (link please) to over 20 higher education
institutions in Africa and the Arab States region by 2011. The Brain Gain Initi
ative (BGI) should bring together
over 20 institutions in some 16 countries.
Through the use of distributed computing, UNESCO, HP and other partners plan to create the first African
regional university network and help reduce the number of skilled workers
, scientists, academics and
researchers that leave the region.
Innovative technology and funding support allows participating universities to re
establish links between
researchers who have stayed in their countries and those living abroad, connect academ
ics to international
peers, research networks and funding opportunities. Faculties and students at beneficiary universities are able
to work on innovative education projects with other institutions in their regions and around the world.
Fifteen new instit
utions have joined the BGI in October 2009 and four of the African Pilot institutions.
BGI Partner Institutions
Burkina Faso: O
uagadougou University, Laboratoire d’analyse numérique, d’informatique et de biomathématique
Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou University, Laboratoire de traitement de l’information et de la communication
Cameroon: Douala University
Cameroon: Yaoundé I University
Côte d’Ivoire: Cocody Unive
Ghana: Kwame Nkr
umah University of Science and Technology
Kenya: Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
Kenya: University of Nairobi
Kuwait: Kuwait University
Morocco: Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique
: University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Senegal: Cheikh Anta Diop University
Senegal: Gaston Berger University
Tunisia: Université de la Ma
nouba, Ecole Nationale des Sciences de l’Informatique
Uganda: Makerere University
Uganda: Mbarara University
Zimbabwe: Chinhoyi University of Technology
Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou University,
Laboratoire de traitement de l’information et de la
: Implementation of a high performance computing grid at Ouagadougou University
: Professor Oumarou Sie
Research component: research and development of research on algorithms and distributed
applications, take advan
tage of the grid for experiments. Supervision of Ph.D. and Masters
Training component: development of a curriculum for students in scientific Masters, so that
they are trained in how to use the computing grid effectively, development of training
for teaching and research staff. Teach modules to the target audience.
Partnership component: gather a group of research and teaching staff and labs who will
commit to awareness
raising as to the benefits of grid computing and will strive to kick s
local network of computing grids, particularly in West Africa, with UCAD (Senegal), UGB
(Senegal), along with Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Then work conjointly with other regional
networks to build up on this initiative and help a more global network
Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou University,
Laboratoire d’analyse numérique, d’informatique
et de biomathématique (LANIBIO)
: Ouagadougou University, Laboratoire d’analyse numérique, d’informatique et de
: Mathematical modelling &
computer simulation of pollutants transfer mechanism in the
drainage basin of river Sourou
: Professor Blaise Some
Conduct “Mathematical modelling & computer simulation of pollutants transfer mechanism in the
nage basin of river Sourou” research project. In particular (1) in cooperation with experts and other
institutions, collect and analyse data (measures, observation), identification of the shortages in existing
models, proposal to address them; (2) mathemat
ical analysis of data, establishment of new models
and analysis of the latter; numerical equation solving and numerical modelling, comparison with
Design mathematics forecasting models and make them available to institutions, researchers
understanding and control of aquifer pollution mechanisms in the drainage basin of river Sourou
and other similar drainage basins in Burkina Faso, and (2) the fight against aquifer contamination
(prevention, cleanup systems)
Make available to de
cision makers a tool for surveillance and control of drainage basin aquifers
Use of numerical results obtained to conceive software that will be usable in Burkina Faso and
elsewhere to act in real time and precisely against pollution cases in d
Cameroon Douala University
: Douala University
: Strengthening local capacities for the study o
f climate change and consequences through
: Professor Georges Emmanuel Ekodeck
Mobilize researchers in climate, atmospherics physics, hydrology, hydrogeology, biodiversity, to attain
er understanding of the effects of global climate change nationally. Ensure a better use of
existing (global as well as regional) climate simulation models; establishment of new models to follow
up on and foresee evolutions in malaria, water resources, wat
er flows to hydroelectric dams, evolution
in the surface of arable land, biodiversity.
Collect climate and hydrological data, test existing models, write computer programmes and models
that are specific to the project, run the models and analyse results.
Teaching activities, development on courses on atmospheric pollution, renewable energies.
Communication activities, tell the general public about causes and consequences of climate change.
Cameroon Yaoundé I University
: Yaoundé I University
: Information system for risk management through remote detection (SIMART)
: Professor Emmanuel
Elaborate a curriculum (for both distance and on
site training) on (1) remote detection and
management of environmental risks (2) geographical information systems for students following
courses in telecommunications, electronic
s, computing. Also, disseminate knowledge on distributed
computing obtained through participation in the UNESCO
HP Brain Gain initiative.
Elaborate simulation tools for urban pollution and modification of the coastline: train team members,
collect data, c
reate the GIS and run it as a computer simulation.
Deploy the urban pollution and flood remote detection, alert and visualization system, make it available
through the web and on resource constrained devices. Also, awareness
raising activities to the bene
of relevant departments/facilities, as well as the general public.
Côte d’Ivoire Cocody University
: Cocody Universi
: Climate modelling and distributed computing (MOCCAD)
: Mr Abdourahamane Konare
Training on distributed computing, with support from ICTP experts.
Mobilize the resources brought through the initiativ
e to support the development of a regional climate
modelling tool and foster the emergence of a regional climate modelling centre.
Mobilize the resources brought through the initiative to support the development of a Master’s Degree
on climate modelling a
nd scientific computation, open to students in the subregion.
Hold training seminars and create distributed computing courses focused on themes that are relevant
for the region.
Ethiopia: Mekelle University
: Mekelle University
: Distributed grid computing for climate change adaptation and biological modelling/simulation
: Dr. Enquebaher Kassaye
Establish a grid computing facility to facilitate the operation of grid
computing powered research
projects in the areas of Biological and Climate Change Adaptation Modelling and Simulation, for the
benefit of academics and students,
researchers, at the regional and national levels. Offer the grid
computing facilities free of charge to its users.
Train technical staff (server and operations management) and instructors and researchers in using the
grid computing environment for scienc
Conduct research project in Modelling and Analysis Environment for climate change analysis and
Conduct research project in Modelling and Simulation Environment for biology, medicine and other
natural sciences and engineering.
Ghana: Nkrumah University of Science and
TechnologyNkrumah University of Science and
: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
: Mobilizing the Ghanaian Diaspora for Renewable Energy Research and Development
: Professor Abeeku Brew
The project will identify specific areas and applications of Grid Computing for
energy research in order
facilitate to promotion of Grid Computing within and without KNUST. The specific objectives are:
To provide a forum for discussion between energy professionals within and outside the university to
identify specific areas of Grid
exploitation in Petroleum, GIS, and Renewable Energy;
To identify available grid applications for energy research in the context of Ghana’s developmental
To promote Grid Computing concepts within and outside KNUST;
: Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
: Computer supported collaborative e
waste management research towards developing
waste management strategy
: Mr Simon Maina Karume
Develop a collaborative web
waste information system, i.e., an e
information clearing house for information exchange and collaborative learning: develop a web
bulletin board for educating the general public about effects of e
waste and the need to adhere to strict
procedures of e
Use the collaborative web
based platform and organize an online curriculum symposium to refine the
waste management curriculum developed by MMUST and Computers for Schools, Kenya
Conduct investigation of existing e
waste management systems and post findings in the clearing
house for other researchers to access. Develop web
based content for the modules in the e
management curriculum and post it in the clearing house f
or students and lecturers/researchers of
concerned departments to access.
Collaboratively craft an environment
waste management strategy for Kenya.
Establish an e
waste recycling centre at MMUST to cater for e
waste generated in Western Kenya.
Disseminate research findings by posting them on the clearing house and the bulletin board,
publishing them in e
Disseminate knowledge about distributed computing through seminars and workshops to science,
engineering and environment science le
cturers/researchers. Said lecturers/researchers to identify a
project within their department that can benefit from distributed computing technology.
Implement the distributed computing project that has been identified.
University of Nairobi
: University of Nairobi
: Diasporas and distributed computing for development, towards
creating a regional centre of
excellence for distributed systems and modelling
: Professor William Okelo
Train support and technical and research staff in grid, cloud and volunteer computing hardware,
tize the user community on the existence of the node.
Investigate the application services needs of user disciplines, train computing professionals on how to
use and submit their work to the node.
Develop, in collaboration with user disciplines, useful a
pplications services on the grid, develop the
web services software and packages.
Involve local and regional participation in joint research and resource sharing and collaborations,
conduct joint conferences/meetings in which research results are shared a
Support subproject 1: Nucleic Acid Structural Biology Platform for 3D structure predictions of RNA and
Support subproject 2: Medical Image Processing using Volunteer Computing.
Support subproject 3: Monte Carlo simulation techniques to track and image radiation transport
tional pour la Recherche
Scientifique et Technique (CNRST)
: Development & strengthening of the Moroccan computing grid “MaGrid”
: Mr Redouane Merrouch
Extend the computing and storage capacity of the existi
ng main MaGrid cluster hosted at CNRST
Provide training on installing, managing and using the node and computing grid, administration of
services and the infrastructure.
Hold an application gridification school (i.e. how to port to the grid existing appl
ications, in various
Strengthen links with expatriate experts.
Mobilize the resources brought through the initiative in support of MaGrid’s contribution to
LHC/ATLAS. Install analysis and simulation tools within MaGrid, raise awarenes
s and promote the use
of MaGrid within the Moroccan scientific community.
Support the establishment, from 2010, of a grid computing/distributed computing training module within
the existing “Computational Physics” Master’s Degree, Faculty of Sciences, Rab
: University of Nigeria, Nsukka
: Sustaining the Research and Grid Computing Components of the
University of Nigeria
: Dr. Benjamin A. Ogwo
The project aims at strengthening the research and grid computing components of the Project through
expanding existing facilities in the grid computing laboratory, furthe
r research on different aspects of
animal and plant tissue culture, as well as updating the Project’s website. Specifically, this
collaboration focuses on the Centre’s ongoing tissue culture research on mushrooms, cassava and
indigenous plants for local st
Concrete objectives include
1. Establish more experiments on animal and plant tissue culture techniques in mushrooms, cassava
and other local staples relative to the gains on the first phase of the Project.
2. Develop training modules on tissue culture for researchers and students of the University of Nigeria
and affiliate institutions, drawing from resources gained for the first phase of the Project.
3. Expand and upgrade existing facilities at the Universi
ty of Nigeria grid computing laboratory.
4. Updating and revising the UNESCO
HP website in order to make it more user friendly for the
collaborating local and Nigerian scientists in the Diaspora.
5. Disseminate the findings of the three major experiments
on plant and animal tissue culture.
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: Cheikh Anta Diop University
optimale de ressources distribuées hétérogènes sur des Grilles de calcul pour la
: Mr Ibrahima Niang
The project will promote the use of grids and grid computing in scientific research in
project objectives include:
Train faculty and PhD students on the utilization of grids/grid computing
Train engineers in grid administration and configuration
Optimize distributed and heterogeneous grid resources
Build Senegalese expe
rtise in the field of grid computing
Enhance collaboration with the Senegalese Diaspora
South and South
Gaston Berger University
: Setting up a distributed socio
economic infrastructure for a knowledge
: Mr Moussa Lo
Study and disseminate within the institution grid computing know
Include training modules on grid
computing within existing Master’s degree. Foster the use of grid computing within existing labs and
projects (e.g. project MOMIES
Modèles Mathématiques et Informatiques de l'Eau et du Sable
Mathematical and Computing M
odels for Water and Sand)
Study semantic web and social web in the framework of the development of a living socio
encyclopedia of Senegalese communities. Train researchers. Conduct field work to gather the initial
corpus and geographical data.
nstall and develop software and hardware infrastructures (GIS + semantic layer) on which the
encyclopedia will operate.
Make the encyclopedia available to communities; present it and raise awareness, encourage its use.
Incorporate UGB’s grid note within
the national efforts to develop and network these tools, ideally in
cooperation with managers of the node that is already operating at UCAD.
: Université de la Manouba, Ecole Nationale des Sciences de l’Informatique (ENSI)
infrastructure for academic cooperation and resource sharing in Africa and the Arab States
: Ms Leila Az
Develop capacities in the establishment of grid infrastructures and the development of application on
Conduct the Neuroweb project as a pilot grid activity, so as to develop capacities in distributed
nalyze and communicate on skills acquired to encourage other institutions to develop
their own applications and join the e
Establish an e
learning tool so as to learn how to develop grid applications. Train support (technical)
and research staff in grid technologies.
Establish a network with national and international well
skilled partners. Develop joint supervision of
’s degrees and PhD theses together with HEPIA (Switzerland), promote the exchange of
expertise between both institutions, especially thanks to expatriate experts.
Deploy a national grid, develop its services and guarantee that it delivers satisfying perfo
relying on latest advances in grid computing technologies.
Establish and strengthen cooperation with other institutions in Africa and the Arab region, strengthen
cooperation with international partners and expatriate experts so as to promote scien
tific and economic
Uganda Makerere University
: Towards Fostering Localized Innovative ICT Solutions
: Professor Idris Ahmada Rai
Identify four projects proposing ICT
based solutions to address local challenges and use the funds
defined in the budget to facilitate implementations of these projects. Visit other institutions participating
in the Brain Gain Initiative from different par
ts of Africa/the Arab States region in order to forge
collaborations and try to establish long term collaborations, mainly with ICT units. Sign MoU with some
of these institutions.
Organize seminars to train staff and students from both Makerere Universit
y and other Ugandan
institutions on distributed computing, thus enhancing the existing relationship with other public
Further the existing collaboration with researchers in the Diaspora via visits both ways.
Establish a grid node at
Present the project in university activities
seminars, conferences and workshops.
Uganda Mbarara University of Science and
: Training and implementation of e
: Ms Theodora M. Twongyirwe
(1) Increase use of ICT in teaching and research
Develop an e
learning management policy.
Establish an e
learning resource unit that will coordinate e
learning activities, vet proposals on e
monitor and evaluate e
learning activities at the institution, promote e
Train trainers of t
rainers in e
learning, and then all teaching staff in e
Establish the appropriate distance learning education infrastructure and software.
(2) Provide greater access to university education by developing capacity in distance education
learning degree programmes. Notably, use e
learning at the Faculty of Medicine to train health
workers in a rural set
up; at the Faculty of Education to train primary and secondary school teachers in ICT.
Widen the participation in education from e.g. s
tudents with disabilities or with care responsibilities, who can
only take courses from home.
Ensure visibility of these activities by engaging in community outreach. Make secondary schools aware of
distance learning opportunities; train primary and secon
dary schools teachers; train leaders, especially women,
to advance the involvement of girls in research and technology; involve radios and other media.
learning networks based on academic interests groups and research collaborations.
the potential of distributed/grid computing at the institution
Install the initiative's specific hardware and software, which will support the implementation/strengthening of a
grid node at the institution.
Disseminate the grid/distributed computing kno
how obtained through the initiative.
Have the Institute of Computer Science host a research project to investigate uses of grid/distributed computing
in supporting health, education and enterprise development in rural areas.
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Chinjoyi University of Techn
: Use of grid and cloud computing applications as technical interventions to manage brain drain
: Dr. Raphael Jingura
The project proposes to use grid and cloud computing technologies as technical interventions to turn
brain drain into brain gain by linking local academics and researchers with their international
counterparts; and build their capacity to participate in ma
instream research activities.
The specific objectives of the project are:
Advocate and popularize grid and cloud computing as research tools in the University
Develop a t
infrastructure in grid and cloud computing for University faculty
Set up an inst
itutional platform for grid and cloud computing
Establish a Diaspora digital connection model for the University