I admire your optimism re connecting Ibadan. But I had a Nigerian
academic visit me yesterday from the university there and his main
complaint was that the electricity supply was so bad that he often could
not even send a fax. In principle it would be wonderful if the problems
of some universities could be solved by the net. For example, if the
deficit in books could be ameliorated by the use of the net. ie they
could log in to our home page and download any papers that are relevant
(see "http://snipe.ukc.ac.uk/international/"). But I fear that we are
some way off that happy situation yet.
Director of International Conflict Analysis Programme
University of Kent
On Fri, 24 Nov 1995, Paul O'Nolan wrote:
> > Nigerian connectivity
> Mention of our sister research insitute, IITA, in Ibadan, reminds me:
> For an update on developments in communications in the CGIAR -- the
> Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research -- several
> of whose research institutes are in Africa, point your browser to
> We are keen to see IITA connected as soon as possible. We originally
> expected to be stuck with analog connectivity only but the pace of
> recent developments does seem to hold out the prospect of digital
> service to IITA in 1996.
> 1. I understand that 64kbps digital service is now available in parts of
> Lagos. This leaves us with a "last mile" (hah) problem to Ibadan.
> In several other countries around the world the situation regarding
> availability of digital circuits has changed a lot in the last 6-12
> months. There's no reason to think this trend will change.
> 2. There are new, small, competitors in the satellite carrier business,
> e.g., Unisat, which recently started operating in Uganda (& Siberia!).
> These will give Intelsat and others a run for their money.
> Overall, however, we will soon see regulation become a bigger problem
> than technology or cost.
> The relevance of the CGIAR's efforts for those concerned with national
> efforts to develop sustainable connectivity? What's technically and
> financially possible for international institutes today (tomorrow??)
> should be possible for national institutes before much longer. In some
> countries the international research centers will be the first users of
> national digital circuits and the demand should help to persuade the
> PTTs to provide the service.
> We are very confident that researchers in Africa will be electronically
> connected to the global research community in the near future and hope
> to have something in place to help us offer service and partnership
> electronically by then.
> Paul O'Nolan, Head, Computer Services
> International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR)
> Correspondence: Postbus 93375, 2509 AJ The Hague, The Netherlands
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