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AFRIK-IT  February 1996

AFRIK-IT February 1996

Subject:

Re: AFRIK-IT Digest - 13 Feb 1996 to 14 Feb 1996

From:

Carleton Chinner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Fri, 16 Feb 1996 08:55:35 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (60 lines)

Menghestab Haille writes:
 
>Richard Lucs writes:
> > I have a small business in Poland and we sell bar code technologies. [..]
 
> You seem to care only of of your profit margins. Who is going to help the
> millions with out enough food!!!. [..]
 
This is turning into political grandstanding of the first order. I
thought the point of this forum was to provide a means of spreading
IT technology to Africans. The small business that feeds two, beats
the ideology that starves a thousand, in my book.
 
> Good luck with your business proposal in Ghana. I don't think you are going to
> introduce new technology via the intenet.
Does Ghana have cheap barcoding technology available? (I'm making
the assumption that the technology is cheap, otherwise Mr Lucas is
being a bit of an optimist)
 
> Before the market reforms in Poland you did not need to work at all to get
> an orange - the government provided it for you!!
While we're grandstanding... Before the market reforms, was it
possible to get an orange? :-)
 
> > But the most important point to note is that it is not an issue of
> > government policy at all, [...]
>
> Utterly rubbish. It is the responsibility of a government and should also be
> government policy that unsustainable projects are not allowed. [..]
 
IMHO governments should only interfere to the extent of enabling
private business to function. I don't see the asian tigers
complaining too loudly, and while I don't believe Africa has the
population density, or resources to grow at that speed, I still think
it's important that we do grow.
 
A pertinent example, from this forum, is the ongoing debate on
internet in Rwanda. Look at what Dr Lisse has achieved with minimal
resources, and more or less without goverment support. Saying that
Dr Lisse is an exception, is a gross insult to Africans in general.
There are plenty of resourceful people available, they just need the
opportunity to succeed. Waiting for the average goverment to get
its act together is just going to stifle that creativity.
 
> No one is against the internet in Africa inluding other technologies. No one sug
> gested that internet or IT is not going to benefit the ordinary person.
> The point is WE Africans will decide what we need and what we don't.
> We don't want business amateurs to try out their products in our countries.
 
WE Africans dont have the luxury of choosing who invests, nor IMHO
should we have. I think we all remember when "Made in Hong Kong" was a
symbol of low quality. SInce when did any government have the
crystal ball needed to determine which new idea will succeed or fail?
Who's to say that the email/fax idea Mr Lucas mentioned wont succeed.
 
What we Africans need is far less rhetoric, and far more in the way
of constructive suggestion. Isn't that why we have internet?
 
Carleton Chinner

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