>User-Agent: Microsoft Outlook Express Macintosh Edition - 5.01 (1630)
>Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 23:39:30 +0100
>Subject: News Update 7
>From: Russell Southwood <[log in to unmask]>
>To: News Bunny <[log in to unmask]>
>X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by gpo1.mail.iol.ie id
>News Update 7
>What follows is a short report on the setting up of an internet newspaper
>for Sierre Leone in London. If our correspondent is "off the mark" or you
>have factual amendments, mail them to us and we will include them in
>subsequent news updates. If you'd like to contribute, write and let us know.
>If you need information about a particular place or issue, just send you
>questions in. This version includes additions mailed to me about past
>stories and interesting additional points appear in double brackets.
>The next issue of News Update will look at Africa¹s largest internet market,
>o Sierre Leone
>Sierra Leone's leading independent newspaper is back in business - thanks to
>The paper, Expo Times, was forced to close more than two years ago and most
>of its journalists fled in the wake of the military intervention by the
>Nigerian-led West African force, ECOMOG. Two of the staff were detained for
>about a year and one of them, Conrad Roy, the former news editor, died in
>mysterious circumstances while awaiting trial on treason charges.
>Expo Times (slogan: "Exposing today for tomorrow") resumed publication via a
>website on March 15, with help from the US-based Freedom Forum and the
>British newspaper, The Guardian. On the first day it achieved more than
>3,000 hits from around the world.
>The paper is an example of what can be achieved with very slender resources.
>Its editor, Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, receives news from a network of
>correspondents by email and uses mainly borrowed equipment to put the paper
>together. The total set-up cost was just £230, which included registering
>the domain name
>(www.expotimes.net) and renting 25mb of web space for a year.
>Brian Whitaker, managing editor of the Guardian, who helped to set up the
>explained: "The aim was to produce something that looked professional and
>was technically very cheap and simple to produce. I felt that the writers
>be free to concentrate on re-establishing their journalism without being
>distracted by the technology.
>"The result is neat and colourful but the pages are quick to load - an
>factor in places like Africa where most of the readers won't be using the
>fastest modems or the most up-to-date equipment."
>Seaga Shaw has not given up the idea of re-starting print publication when
>conditions allow, but the internet version is reaching a new audience -
>particularly the Sierra Leonean diaspora in Europe, the United States and
>parts of Africa. Aleady the internet edition has shown that it can help to
>the scattered communities together. It also looks set to move into new
>advertising markets because many of these exiles run successful businesses
>their adoptive countries.
>See Expo Times ( www.expotimes.net)
>Wireless access in Uganda
>Within the past 2 months, two of the main ISPs in Uganda have started
>marketing wireless equipment heavily in Kampala. Interestingly, another
>company a radio equipment provider which is not an ISP has entered the
>market and undercut the ISP-offered prices for wireless equipment,
>installation and monthly internet access by a full 50%. Another company is
>now offering prices at still 20% lower. We're still talking about $1,000 or
>more for the set up of wireless communications, which makes it still far out
>of reach for the majority of
>Local organizations and individuals, but it is extremely promising that the
>prices are moving down so quickly..
>On the lower-end side, the Pay as You Go model imported to Uganda by MTN of
>South Africa has had an amazingly democratizing effect on telephone
>communications over the past year and a half. The prices of mobile phones
>are now *within reach* of the urban and peri-urban population who can afford
>radios, and far less expensive than a television. The network is reaching
>increasing parts of the country along most major roads.
>A "communication culture" is developing which was not nearly as pronounced
>just 18 short months ago. Devices which are smaller, cheaper, more mobile
>(thus easier to share) and less dependent on land-based infrastructure seem
>to be a better "fit" with African cultural and economic realities than PCs
>ever were or
>could be .
>o Back numbers
>If you missed the previous news updates let us know and we'll send you a
>4.1 covering Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda
>5 covering Madagascar
>6.1 covering Liberia
>This latest news update also appears on Kabissa.org
>(http://www.kabissa.org), which is a Balancing Act pilot project.
>For further information about Balancing Act and its pilot projects, contact
>Russell Southwood on [log in to unmask] or ring him on +44 0207
Patrick O'Beirne B.Sc. M.A. FICS. IT Systems Consultant
http://www.sysmod.com/ Tel: +353 (0)55 22294 Fax: 055 22297
Systems Modelling Ltd, Tara Hill, Gorey, Co. Wexford, IRELAND