It is a very good idea to launch this kind of debates and they will be
constructive only if the participants exchange objective criticisms
instead of misinterpreting one another's suggestions.
Communiction is the foundation of technology and internet would be a good
thing for African technologcal development. However, I think Africa needs
basic infrastructure such as roads, simple telephone etc.more than it
needs the internet. For those who know our continent,it may take you days
from your home town/village to the capital city, and several hours/days
before you have access to a telephone line. Therefore, internet cannot be
a national priority at all because maybe 5% to 10% of the population
would benefit from it and its influence in rural development would be
insignificant. Nevertheless, internet is needed in Universites, research
On Thu, 2 May 1996, Valerie Bruce wrote:
> Cliff wrote:
> >Do you mean to suggest that if people in Africa gain the ability to publish
> >their own web pages they will publish the same stuff we're used to so far
> >because their education is based on Western principles?
> I didn't say that, but probably. The internet is certainly Western
> dominated. But how do I know?
> Brushing past the
> >mistaken notion that all educated Africans are educated in the West,
> I didn't say "all".
> are we
> >to assume that Africans are so shallow as to be wholly formed by their
> >education alone? Can we assume that of Americans?
> Did I say "shallow"? No. Nor did I suggest it.
> Actually, one's education has a great deal of influence on onself, usually.
> An important part of the formal education process is to socialize the
> individual to be a responsible contributing member of society, one who obeys
> the rules, and participates positively. In classrooms societal values and
> appropriate behaviors are taught. This is hopefully reinforced in the home.
> People who are born in one culture and spend their earlier years there, and
> who then go into a totally different culture in their latter school years,
> are influenced by both cultures.
> >What is the problem with the "elites in gov't and in universities" having
> >access to the Internet?
> It's not a problem. As you say, that was the case in the west until
> recently. But
> some people - and I said "some" - believe that if African countries got
> internet access then all citizens would have access to it, and, in fact, the
> internet would solve the problems of Africans, and the continent would
> emerge into the 21st century. Some people believe the internet is the
> savior of all the African people. That the internet is what the average
> peasant needs. I'm talking about now, not 20 years from now. Who knows
> what the situation will be like in 20 years. Or even 5 years.
> Valerie Bruce
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