Shem of Kenya in his contribution to the AFRIK-IT list on the issue :
"Africa and the Internet" made the following observation:
>It is like over the past six months, on average two African countries
>have been joining Internet (full connectivity) every month. I hope this
>trend >could continue. However, I am afraid the trend seems to be slowing
To the contrary, I don't think things are slowing down. I would say things
are rather picking up and moving much faster that we predicted. For example
in the second half of 1995 alone, countries like Mozambique, Ghana,
Namibia, Uganda and Kenya got connected.
We also know that in the pipeline queuing to connect soon are counties
like: Tanzania (via University of Dar es Saalam, Computer Center), Lesotho
(possibly via the National University of Lesotho or a private operator),
Botswana, Ethiopia (through the efforts of the BITE Group), Senegal and so
on. On the whole, Northern, Southern and Eastern Africa is almost covered
and West Africa is on the move as well.
Initiatives like RioNET (ORSTOM -- France), RINAF (Unesco), CABECA (IDRC,
UNECA/PADIS), HealthNET (SatelLife), to name but few, no doubt made their
impact (Fido/UUCP connection-wise) and will continue to do so to speed up
the race for full connectivity to the Internet.
New Internet-connectivity-related initiatives underway are going to speed
up the connectivity of the African continent to the Internet even much
faster. Lets take for example, initiatives like those proposed under:
AIF -- The Africa Internet Forum (World Bank, USAID, US State Department,
NASA, UNDP); ANI-- The Africa Networking Initiative (UNECA, Unesco, ITU,
IDRC, Bellanet); AfricaONE (AT&T), The LELAND Initiative; The UN Secretary
General's Special Initiative on Africa (Informatics component) and so on...
Also lets not forget national initiatives and efforts in a number of
'not-yet-Internet-connected' African countries and individual efforts by
'technology champions' doing their best to move things forward and faster.
One has every reason to be positively 'up-beat' and optimistic about the
prospects of connectivity continent-wide.
In fact, the prediction is that, most of Africa, if not the whole of Africa
will be fully connected to the Internet in the next 12 months. Things are
certainly moving faster than we thought. The issue is no longer whether or
not Africa will be connected and when. What then is the issue?.... I will
take that up in my next posting.
Clement Dzidonu Ph.D.