[AfrICANN-discuss] Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Khaled KOUBAA khaled.koubaa at topnet.tn
Mon Aug 13 21:21:08 SAST 2007

Interesting article.
My question is when research group and think tank understand that if you 
want a real-like research you have to be in region and not in a nice 
office downtown DC :)

Anne-Rachel Inné wrote:
> For those interested -
> http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Online.html
>     Computing and Online Knowledge
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Computers in African Universities
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Are computers necessary for a university education? It is possible to 
> teach most subjects well and thoroughly without expensive technology. 
> But computers offer a solution to a problem identified by all the 
> students surveyed: outdated textbooks and course materials. They are 
> also vital for much of modern science, engineering, and business. 
> Leaving students without programming skills may leave them 
> underprepared for graduate school or unemployable in industry.
> Access to the internet is so desirable to students in Africa that they 
> spend considerable time and money to get it. Many students surveyed, 
> with no internet connection at their universities, resorted to 
> private, fee-charging internet cafes to study and learn. The fees are 
> not small: several US$/hr, exceeding in many countries the average 
> daily income. One student reports spending large amounts of time 
> walking to the internet cafe because he could not afford both the 
> internet fee and the taxi fare. (Imagine, by analogy, U.S. college 
> students walking for hours and paying $100/hr to do optional reading). 
> Connection to online knowledge is valued enough by students in Africa 
> that they will make that sacrifice.
> Internet cafe in Ghana (image from the BBC World News Service)
>   Internet cafe (Ghana)
> -- read this survey 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Essays/essays/Ethiopia_1.pdf> 
> from Ethiopia for the trauma of trying to write a research paper 
> without textbooks, research journals, instruction, or an internet 
> connection.
> Programming is essential for at least graduate-level science, 
> engineering, and business: all use computer-based data analysis, 
> modeling and numerical simulation. Computer use for data analysis can 
> also, if taught well, help focus science instruction more on problem 
> solving than on memorization of received knowledge. The students 
> surveyed here, mostly participants in an international postgraduate 
> program for science and math graduates, universally report that its 
> chief benefit was practice in scientific computing. They also cite 
> lack of programming instruction as one of the chief faults of their 
> undergraduate educations.
> -- read this survey 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Essays/essays/SouthAfrica_1.pdf> 
> from the comparatively wealthy South Africa for the conditions for 
> learning programming at understaffed and underequipped universities
> Hardware. The most common response that students gave to the question 
> "what can international donors do for African universities?" was 
> "provide computers." Although lack of instructors in programming may 
> eventually become an issue, at present the first need of African 
> universities is hardware. One student surveyed described programming 
> classes where all programs were written on paper; there were no 
> computers available for running them. Ahmadu Bello University in 
> Nigeria, with 30,000 undergraduates, had exactly 19 computers and 1 
> printer in its libraries in 2006 (see this study of Nigerian 
> universities <http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/%7Embolin/etim.htm>).
> $100 laptop from the One Laptop Per Child project. The first 
> production models are now available (early 2007).
>   $100 laptop
> One possibility for upgrading African universities' computing 
> facilities at low cost is to use the $100 laptops designed by the One 
> Laptop Per Child <http://www.laptop.org/vision/index.shtml>project. 
> The laptops were targeted at children (6-12 years), and several 
> governments and the UNDP have signed agreements 
> <http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/january-2006/100-dollar-laptop-20060128.en;jsessionid=a_Q884XX38gg> 
> to purchase and distribute them to primary schoolchildren. The OLPC 
> machines would be a tremendous resource for university students as 
> well. At minimum they can serve as e-books, accessing freely available 
> textbooks and other online course material (see below 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Online.html#curriculum>). 
> "Mesh networking" allows efficient connectivity and sharing of 
> material with any other OLPC laptop within 1/4 mile; an entire 
> university can then be "meshed" together and can share a single 
> internet connection.
> At maximum the laptops could also be used for scientific computing. 
> They use the same Linux operating system as do scientific workstations 
> and can run the standard open-source software used for scientific 
> programming and publishing (e.g. Python, TeX). The laptops have 
> relatively small data storage and memory (128 MB), but are sufficient 
> for most programming courses and can be upgraded for more substantial 
> data analysis.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Online curriculum materials
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The students surveyed all mentioned out-dated and overly theoretical 
> curricula as a failing of their universities. This is a symptom of low 
> spending (lack of money to buy new textbooks or install laboratories) 
> and of isolation (professors have little access to science outside 
> their own graduate training). Both can be remedied given internet 
> connections.
> Lecture notes and curricula. There is a growing movement in the U.S. 
> and elsewhere to make university-level educational materials freely 
> available to all. A leader in this movement is MIT with its Open 
> Courseware <http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html> project, in which 
> professors place their lecture notes, problem sets, exams, and even 
> videos of lectures online for all to use, reaching 1.5 million users 
> each month (see also this summary 
> <http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/ocw-facts.html> and articles from 
> MIT <http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/ocw.html> and Information Week 
> <http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198000568>). 
> All of MIT's courses will be on the web by the end of the 2007. Other 
> universities participating in open courseware efforts include Tufts, 
> Johns Hopkins, U.C. Irvine, Univ. of Notre Dame, Utah State (see here 
> <http://www.ocwconsortium.org/use/index.html>), and Yale (see article 
> <http://www.careerjournal.com/myc/school/20070216-chaker.html?cjpos=home_whatsnew_major>). 
> The Open Educational Resources Commons 
> <http://www.oercommons.org/oer/oer-categories> also gathers university 
> course material and videos of lectures and demonstrations. The 
> movement is not confined to the U.S.: Britain's Open University, a 
> fee-charging distance-learning university, is now making some courses 
> freely available (see article 
> <http://education.guardian.co.uk/elearning/story/0,,1728283,00.html>).
> Textbooks. The movement to make educational materials freely available 
> extends to textbooks as well. Numerous authors have placed their work 
> online for others to use. Wiki Books 
> <http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page> includes texts on many 
> subjects. Individual highly-regarded textbooks available online 
> include the science text Motion Mountain 
> <http://www.motionmountain.net/>, with 30,000 downloads a year, and 
> others in computer science <http://www.htdp.org/>, physics 
> <http://www.lightandmatter.com/area1book1.html>, and many other 
> subjects. Project Gutenberg <http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page> 
> (2 million downloads a month), Google Books, and other digital library 
> projects are placing out-of-copyright volumes online for anyone to read.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Research journal access
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Economics of science publishing. Internet access and open courseware 
> can be a great asset for African universities, but cannot alone fully 
> connect African universities to the international scientific 
> community. African universities would still lack access to the 
> journals in which essentially all of academic research is published.
> The largest item in a university library budget is no longer books but 
> rather subscriptions to these journals. For a serious research 
> university, annual subscription costs are now in the millions: MIT 
> paid $4 million in 2006 for science and engineering journals alone. 
> These costs, and their steep rise (a 150% increase in the last 10 
> years) are a source of concern throughout the academic world. (See 
> articles from Brown University 
> <http://www.brown.edu/Administration/George_Street_Journal/vol24/24GSJ19c.html> 
> and Library Journal 
> <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA516819.html>). The rise is 
> not due to publishers' expenses. In 2004 the private journal publisher 
> Elsevier reported profits of nearly $900 million (and spent $2.8 
> million lobbying the U.S. Congress). U.S. universities are cutting 
> back on subscriptions (e.g. Florida 
> <http://www.libraryjournal.com/clear/CA6314773.html#news2> and 
> Stanford 
> <http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2004/2/6/facSenDiscussesJournalFees>; 
> see also this review 
> <http://www.createchange.org/archive/librarians/issues/silent.html>). 
> Developing-world universities cannot afford access at all. If African 
> researchers do publish in international journals, they cannot access 
> even their own published work. (Note that U.S. taxpayers are in the 
> same position, unable to read the research results their taxes have 
> paid for.)
> A subscription for a single research journal in certain fields can 
> cost more than total educational costs for six African undergraduates. 
> Image from the U. of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services 
> Library. <javascript:;>
> <javascript:;>
> $14,000/yr for a single journal <javascript:;>
> more here 
> <http://astech.library.cornell.edu/ast/engr/about/car.cfm> and here 
> <http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu/information/news/exhibits/money/index.html>
> How can access be opened? One possibility is to persuade publishers to 
> make journals available at low or no cost to developing-world 
> universities. The UN has begun an archive for agricultural research 
> (AGORA <http://www.aginternetwork.org/en/>), and the WHO sponsors a 
> similar archive for health studies (HINARI 
> <http://www.who.int/hinari/en/>). (See here 
> <http://www.udsm.ac.tz/library/ejournal.html> for e-resources at the 
> University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania; note their use of AGORA). 
> Some individual publishers have also taken independent steps to open 
> access (see article about the Royal Society for Chemistry 
> <http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/84/8420sci1.html>). But a broader and 
> simpler strategy is to pass legislation mandating that all federally 
> funded research results must be placed in publicly accessible 
> archives. The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 
> <http://cornyn.senate.gov/index.asp?f=record&lid=1&rid=237171> (Cornyn 
> & Lieberman), introduced in the 109th Congress, would have required 
> this (see also this summary 
> <http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/frpaa/frpaafaq.html>). This 
> legislation would force a reshaping of the publishing world that would 
> have widespread support from libraries, universities in both the U.S. 
> <http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/frpaa/institutions.html> and 
> developing world, and scientists themselves. Most people agree that 
> the current system must change, but individual scientists feel 
> constrained to publish in prestigious existing journals and publishers 
> have no incentive to release copyright on their articles. U.S. 
> legislation can break this logjam. Open research access is supported 
> by many groups, including the American Library Association 
> <http://www.ala.org/ala/godort/godortresolutions/20060626308.htm> and 
> the Alliance for Taxpayer Access <http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa/> .
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Internet connectivity
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The proposals above for strengthening African universities with online 
> knowledge depend on being able to actually access that knowledge. That 
> would not have been possible a decade ago: the American Association 
> for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) found in 1999 that students 
> could not download research articles from a number of African 
> universities because data transfer rates were so slow that connections 
> were dropped (see report 
> <http://www.aaas.org/international/africa/oljreport/index.shtml>). In 
> 2007, using online resources in sub-Saharan Africa is a possibility. 
> Still, serious challenges remain.
> Explosion of demand for internet connectivity. Internet access is now 
> possible in all African countries and demand is growing from all 
> sections of society. The change is recent and steep. In 1996 no 
> countries in sub-Saharan Africa other than South Africa and Namibia 
> had connections faster than 64Kbps (still painfully slow to U.S. users 
> accustomed to a hundred times that), and many had none at all. By 2001 
> the entire continent had reasonable connectivity and the total number 
> of internet users was estimated as 5-8 million (see here 
> <http://www3.sn.apc.org/africa/afrmain.htm>). By 2007, users in 
> sub-Saharan Africa had grown fivefold to 33 million, nearly 4% of the 
> population. (See these data 
> <http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm>; growth is some 30% per 
> year). Many African universities now maintain websites (see here 
> <http://www-sul.stanford.edu/africa/africaneducation/african-universities.html>). 
> The internet cafe is a ubiquitous feature of African cities, along 
> with the storefront computer training school. Demand for access is 
> high outside major cities as well: see these articles by a local 
> entrepreneur starting an internet cafe in rural Kenya (1 
> <http://startupkenya.blogspot.com/2007/01/internet-in-village.html> 2 
> <http://startupkenya.blogspot.com/2007/01/laying-groundwork-for-rural-cyber.html> 
> 3 
> <http://startupkenya.blogspot.com/2007/02/cyber-cafe-with-edge.html>). 
> Maasai students in Tanzania have begun applying to university, because 
> the internet allows the first to enter a way to send information home 
> to others.
> Internet use in Africa, 2007, and growth in usage from 1997-2007 (New 
> York Times, data from World Bank, Miniwatts Marketing Group) 
> <javascript:;>
> <javascript:;>
>     Growth of internet in Africa <javascript:;>
> (NYT, from 2007 World Bank data)
> NYT article: (link) 
> <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/business/yourmoney/22rwanda.html> 
> (pdf) 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Reports/NYT_AfricaOffline.pdf> 
> High costs. The most remarkable aspect of the rising demand for 
> internet connections in sub-Saharan Africa is that it is occurring 
> despite the the highest connection costs in the world. The African 
> consumer (or university) pays 50-500 times more than an American for 
> an equivalent connection (e.g. $3,000/month instead of $30/month for a 
> 1 Mbps connection; prices vary by country). African universities 
> therefore cannot afford the bandwidth they need to make efficient use 
> of online resources. The average African university, with tens of 
> thousands of students and faculty, has the same aggregate bandwidth as 
> a single household connection in the U.S. (see article 
> <http://www.idrc.ca/es/ev-84498-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html> or this study 
> <http://www.foundation-partnership.org/pubs/bandwidth/index.php?chap=chap2&sub=c2c> 
> by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa 
> <http://www.foundation-partnership.org/index.php?sub=about>). The 
> principal reason for high costs is the lack of optical fiber 
> infrastructure (discussed below).
> Low capacity. High costs unfortunately go hand in hand with low 
> capacity. Sub-Saharan Africa currently has the lowest data 
> transmission bandwidth in the world (below even the steppes of Central 
> Asia) and is falling further behind: its capacity is growing more 
> slowly than in any other region. A 2006 report by the Association for 
> Progressive Communications (APC) states: "Bandwidth is the life-blood 
> of the world's knowledge economy, but it is scarcest where it is most 
> needed ..." The report also concludes that sub-Saharan Africa has the 
> world's "highest unmet demand for telecommunication services". (See 
> report summary <http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/apc0612.php> or full 
> pdf 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Reports/open_access_EN.pdf>). 
> Africa has the world's lowest internet bandwidth (data througput) to 
> North America, and its capacity is growing more slowly than in any 
> other region: the continent is behind and falling further behind. 
> (Figure from the International Committee for Future Accelerators 
> (ICFA) Standing Committee on Inter-Regional Connectivity (SCIC), Jan. 
> 2006 <javascript:;>
> <javascript:;>
>     Internet capacity worldwide <javascript:;>
> Optical fiber links. Optical fiber infrastructure is the cheapest and 
> most efficient way of transferring data. Only 14 of 49 sub-Saharan 
> countries have any fiber connection to each other or to the rest of 
> the world (NEPAD, 2004). The remainder must use expensive satellite or 
> radio connections. A single cable runs along the West coast of Africa. 
> Few overland networks penetrate the interior, and East Africa is 
> completely isolated.
> Submarine optical fiber cables around the world. Color of cable 
> denotes bandwidth. Note how poorly Africa is connected, and the total 
> absence of cables to East Africa <javascript:;>
> <javascript:;>
> World submarine optical cables <javascript:;>
> Absence of a $200 million investment in an East African cable is 
> likely hurting local economies many times over. Interest in building 
> such a cable has however risen in recent years. The first proposal, 
> made in 2002, would be funded by a consortium of private operators 
> (the East African Submarine System, or EASSy). As of July 2007 four 
> separate proposals for East African submarine cables are in play; the 
> expectation is that one will succeed. (See article 
> <http://fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?x=5059738&als%5BMYALIAS6%5D=Fibre:%20Questions%20need%20answering&als%5Bselect%5D=%3Cdiv%3ENo%20item%20found%3C/div%3E> 
> from Fibre for Africa). Only one of these proposals is based on an 
> open-access model. No international donors have offered majority 
> funding to date.
> Lack of guaranteed open access is a concern because a single cable 
> operated as a private monopoly will not generally reduce costs for the 
> consumer. Although West Africa is now linked to Europe by optical 
> fiber (the SAT-3 cable), communications costs there are generally no 
> lower than via satellite. In the absence of strong regulatory 
> agencies, the consortium of investors who funded the cable have kept 
> bandwidth costs prohibitively high. The SAT-3 pricing strategy has 
> been termed "high cost, low volume": bandwidth is sold for 
> $4500-$12,000 per Mbps/month and the cable is underutilized. (Prices 
> differ by country; the $4500/month figure was obtained only after a 
> 2-year court fight in Ghana). Even the low Ghana price is 20 times 
> higher than could be offered by a non-profit cable (less than $250 per 
> Mbps/month, estimate by Eric Osiakwan of the African Internet Service 
> Providers Association <http://www.afrispa.org/>). The original SAT-3 
> operating licenses expired in June 2007 and are being renegotiated, 
> possibly opening an opportunity to drop communications costs for W. 
> Africa. (See article <http://www.cipaco.org/spip.php?article903> and 
> commentary 
> <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/eric/2006/11/07/open-access-sat3/>). The 
> Association of African Universities <http://www.aau.org/index.htm> has 
> pleaded for, if nothing else, special rates for universities (see 
> article 
> <http://www.scidev.net/content/news/eng/scholars-call-for-communications-cable-access.cfm> 
> ).
> Note that predatory pricing by the SAT-3 monopoly consortium is not a 
> purely African problem. Although many of the SAT-3 consortium members 
> are African telecoms, the three largest investors were non-African: in 
> order of stake, TCI (at that time a subsidiary of AT&T) + AT&T itself 
> (U.S.A.), France Telecom (France), and VSL (India/Singapore). The U.S. 
> stake in the cable may now have passed to Comcast. (SAT-3 ownership 
> <http://fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?x=5039398&als%5BMYALIAS6%5D=SAT3%20consortium%20contract%20emerges&als%5Bselect%5D=4887798> 
> information is carefully guarded).
> The E. African cable proposals, also consortium operated, have raised 
> similar concerns about monopolistic pricing (see commentary here 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Reports/RichardBell_EASSy.pdf>, 
> and here <http://www.ralden.com/C1/EASSy/default.aspx>, analysis by 
> the APC 
> <http://fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?conds%5B0%5D%5Bcategory........%5D=%27Why%20we%20need%20affordable%20international%20bandwidth%27&als%5Bselect%5D=4051582&als%5BMYALIAS6%5D=Why%20we%20need%20affordable%20international%20bandwidth>, 
> and the APC report 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Reports/open_access_EN.pdf> 
> mentioned above). (EASSy consortium members 
> <http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/back/balancing-act_359.html#internet>include 
> AT&T (USA), Verizon/ex MCI (USA), France Telecom, BT (UK), Saudi 
> Telecom, VSNL/Teleglobe (India), and Etisalat (United Arab Emirates), 
> as well as 29 public and private Africa-based telecoms). A single East 
> African cable operated on the SAT-3 model would yield no price 
> benefits for E. African consumers, would provide minimal economic 
> benefits and would leave E. African universities isolated. Either 
> multiple competing cables or regulated or non-profit operation are 
> necessary to lower costs for African internet users.
> Updates 
> <http://www.fibreforafrica.net/main.shtml?conds%5B0%5D%5Bcategory........%5D=%27News%27&sort%5B0%5D%5Bstart_date......%5D=d&als%5Bselect%5D=4887798&als%5BMYALIAS6%5D=News> 
> on both SAT-3 and E. African cables are posted by Fibre for Africa. 
> The subject is also frequently covered in the online newsletter 
> Balancing Act <http://www.balancingact-africa.com/> which reports on 
> telecoms and internet in Africa.
> Reverse Subsidies. An additional factor raising connectivity costs for 
> Africa is a perverse pricing structure in which African users 
> subsidize all data transfers to and from the continent. (Imagine that 
> you paid telephone charges on both incoming and outgoing phone calls, 
> while your neighbor paid for neither). These charges alone nearly 
> double the cost of African internet usage, costing Africa between 
> $250-500 million/yr. They also further entrench the stalemate: the 
> African market remains small, investment in infrastructure is 
> discouraged, and the companies that provide international bandwidth 
> (IBPs) can continue to insist on predatory pricing arrangements.
> Why does international connection cost matter so much to local users 
> within Africa? Because the lack of optical fiber lines and local data 
> aggregation points means that even traffic within Africa is typically 
> routed through Europe. An email sent from the Central African Republic 
> to nearby Kenya, for example, is routed through London via two 
> satellite connections. One means of remedying the pricing inequity is 
> an international trade agreement. Another is to build up local 
> land-based networks and regional aggregation points to reduce the need 
> of European connections in the first place. Aggregation also pushes 
> the international providers to come to Africa instead, after which 
> they would bear connection costs equally.
> Current actions. Many governments in Africa are now planning and 
> building infrastructure to reduce the need for intercontinental 
> traffic. East African countries have been most aggressive in pursuit 
> of this goal, with Rwanda as the strongest leader. Rwanda, Kenya, and 
> Uganda are all constructing inland optical fiber backbones (Uganda 
> with funding from the Chinese government). Tanzania is at least in the 
> planning stage (see report "Optical Fibre for Education and Research 
> Networks in Eastern and Southern Africa" 
> <http://www.arp.harvard.edu/AfricaHigherEducation/Reports/OpticalFibre.pdf>). 
> Connectivity Africa 
> <http://www.idrc.ca/acacia/ev-87391-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html>, sponsored by 
> Canada's International Development Research Center, has also done 
> preliminary work on aggregation in six countries (South Africa, 
> Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania). A coalition of 
> African Internet Service Providers has proposed a broad outline for 
> regional aggregation and cost reductions (the "Halfway Proposition" 
> <http://www.afrispa.org/Initiatives.htm>). And the United Nations and 
> the Rwandan government are sponsoring a telecommunications conference 
> in Kigali in October 2007 to bring together African governments, 
> businesses, and global telecommunications firms to discuss 
> infrastructure and regulatory changes to boost connectivity ("Connect 
> Africa" 
> <http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/connect/africa/2007/summit/index.html>). 
> Note however that all of these efforts still depend on construction of 
> an East African submarine cable. It is difficult to orchestrate any 
> solution to Africa's connectivity problems if the continent remains 
> digitally isolated.
> Additional factors for universities in particular. One additional 
> factor in connectivity costs that may affect African universities in 
> particular is lack of capital to buy equipment that would result in 
> eventual savings. A AAAS study 
> <http://www.aaas.org/international/africa/oljreport/recs.shtml> of 
> connectivity in African universities in 1999 found, for example, that 
> Makerere University in Uganda paid steep monthly phone bills for a 
> dialup connection because they could not afford a one-time cost of 
> $18,000 for a radio link. These kind of situations may or may not 
> exist in 2007.
> Helping universities in Africa. Several organizations work with 
> African universities to help use existing bandwidth more effectively. 
> The U.K. International Network for the Availability of Scientific 
> Publications <http://www.inasp.info/programmes/> works with African 
> university libraries. The eGranary Digital Library project 
> <http://www.widernet.org/digitalLibrary/index.htm> places widely used 
> free academic materials on local servers in African universities so 
> that they can be accessed with only a local connection.
> Many organizations are working to lower bandwidth costs for 
> universities and increase capacity. Several countries in Africa have 
> formed National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) seeking 
> high-speed and affordable connections for universities, and have 
> organized as the UbuntuNet Alliance <http://www.ubuntunet.net/>. 
> (Participating nations are Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and South 
> Africa). The target goal is university connections equivalent to those 
> of the developed world: 1 Gbps or more. The Partnership for Higher 
> Education in Africa 
> <http://www.foundation-partnership.org/index.php?sub=about> (including 
> the Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller Foundations) has helped a 
> consortium of 13 African universities to lower connectivity costs. The 
> Partnership has donated over $5 million 
> <http://www.fordfound.org/news/view_news_detail.cfm?news_index=155> to 
> make satellite bandwidth available to the consortium at $2330 per 
> Mbps/month instead of $7300 (see also here 
> <http://www.foundation-partnership.org/index.php?sub=pr&pr=2>). This 
> effort will be welcomed by students and researchers. It is not a 
> long-term solution, however, and some local connectivity activists 
> argue that giving subsidies to foreign satellite firms actually 
> hinders long-term solutions. Even with the Partnership's support, 
> universities would pay over $1800/month for the same household-scale 
> connection that Verizon advertises in the U.S. with an introductory 
> rate of $9.99/month. Purchasing the bandwidth of a normal U.S. 
> university (1 Gbps, the UbuntuNet target) would cost an unaffordable 
> $2.3 million/month. The digital divide will ultimately be bridged only 
> with optical fiber, and those investments are large in scale.
> Last update: July 23, 2007
> -- 
> Anne-Rachel Inne
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> AfrICANN mailing list
> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
> https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo.cgi/africann

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/africann/attachments/20070813/5a0b2867/attachment-0001.htm

More information about the AfrICANN mailing list