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AFRIK-IT  April 1996

AFRIK-IT April 1996

Subject:

Re: Internet influence on rural development

From:

Abubakr Alkhalifa <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Abubakr Alkhalifa <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 17 Apr 1996 04:46:32 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines)

Greetings Afrik-ITers!   "as Jeff says"
 
I am an Economist from one of the poorest countries  - Sudan -  currently
studying Computer & Information Sciences in one of the most advanced
countries - USA -.  I am "tickled to death" by a simple idea, which I am
investigating.  Here is the idea:=20
 
----------
The best achievement of humankind  *I.T.*  should participate in fighting=
=20
the worest misery  of  humankind  *Poverty*  =3D=3D=3D>  (I.T. vs. Poverty)
----------
 
On Wed, 10 Apr 1996, Richard Heeks wrote:
 
> Similarly, they were a little puzzled why - in a world in which 1.3
> billion people live without access to clean water; in a world in
> which the same number live in absolute povery; in a world in which
> the priorities of rural people are thus access to clean water, access
> to credit, access to incrementally-improved, locally-produced,
> appropriate agricultural technologies, and access to local
> alternative income sources - why we were prioritising the Internet?
 
The answer is:=20
Use it - the Internet - in empowering those 1.3 billion people with the
critical, vital, complex, inaccessible, and/or unavailable information=20
that they desperately lack.
 
Here is an example that I have used on a similar discussion on DEVEL-L:
 
Fact:   In Sub Saharan Africa, there are 0.08 physicians/1000 people. =20
Yes, 8 (eight) physicians for every 100,000 !!!!=20
 
Suggestion:   If we have 1 nurse/10 villages, we can provide him/her with
an Information system to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of the
patients who might otherwise die before any of them is seen by a doctor.=20
 
Internet's role:   The Internet can allow such a nurse to consult with an
on-line "physician-on-duty" via a talk session or plain e-mail, to submit
a "symptoms form" to an expert system physically residing in the other
side of the Globe, or request emergency medications for her patients.=20
 
Not only this, but:   I.T. can assist the poor in many areas, such as:
 
=B7 Health: e.g., Diagnosis and treatment of diseases.=20
=B7 Nutrition: e.g., Optimization of expenditure on food.=20
=B7 Endangered Practices: e.g., -Valid- traditional medicine.=20
=B7 Agriculture: e.g., Agricultural extension, production, and marketing.=
=20
=B7 Education: e.g., Literacy, training, distant education.=20
=B7 Communication: e.g., Early warning systems, regional collaboration.
 
Moreover, the Internet can provide a medium for analyzing, designing,
downloading, remote processing, and communicating these information
systems.=20
 
Information has a high competitive advantage, if we do not direct it toward=
s=20
strengthening the poor, it will widen the poverty gap by empowering the=20
rich strata.
 
On another message, I will suggest a proposal for testing this approach at=
=20
no cost for the poor people.
 
Abu
--=20
_________________________________________________________________________
 
Abubakr Alkhalifa=09=09"I.T. vs. Poverty"
612 Montclaire Way=09=09Graduate Student
Mobile, AL 36609=09=09School of Computer & Information Sciences
USA=09=09=09=09University of South Alabama
Tel/Fax: (334)[log in to unmask]
_________________________________________________________________________

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