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AFRIK-IT  April 1998

AFRIK-IT April 1998

Subject:

Re: Defining the Internet

From:

Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 11 Apr 1998 08:24:20 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

Nemo

In message <[log in to unmask]>, Nemo Semret writes:

> "Few"?!! Your statement may have been true in 1994, when the web
> consisted of "hey check my cool homepage". But in 1998, it must be a
> joke.  "Through mail"?!! Yes, ok, but that's like saying "most
> places you go by train I can reach by bicycle".  If anything, the
> web is underrated, and underhyped.

Let's call it content then.

I have been doing this since 1982, by the way :-)-O. I live in Africa.
I am a medical practitioner in a district hospital. Eg, I am one of
the prime targets here.

I am every single day on the lookout for useful resources.  There are
just only very very few useable resources on the Web. And those can be
accessed by email if necessary.

Just because you in New York think otherwise, ain't making it so.

> Now try telling the CEO of Cisco that they don't really need that
> 3.6 billion of icing on the cake.  That's US dollars, and "billion"
> is the one with 9 zeros.

First of all, I am not an American, I can count. Secondly whether
CISCO says in an advertorial it's 3.6 ain't making it so. Thirdly
which part of 3.6 Billion would come from developing countries?

And lastly, to talk about volume in this, development, context defies
comprehension.

> > That notwithstanding the fact that full Internet connectivity is what
> > we should be (and some of us are :-)-O) working for.

> It's great that you're doing it, but please, do not presume what
> people "should want"...

You missed the whole point. The point is that these particular people
are not the ones who *NEED* the Internet in any given African country,
they *WANT* it (rather want to play with it in their air conditioned
offices in the capital). And they are rather uninformed as to what the
Internet actually is and what it is useful for. Status Symbol?

It's my opinion, based on my actual experience that you should not
start by having a supplier come riding into town on a horse called
Leland. That approach will remain in the capitals, for the elites and
no development will take place.

So, and I have said this before, it might work much better, if all
these little projects USAID and the other donors support in a given
country get little, dedicated Internet budgets.

If there is a demand, there will be a supplier.  And if it's a local
entrepreneur (or NGO) the better. He will only get paid if he delivers
but on the other hand, if there are dedicated budget allocations he
will be guaranteed payment if he delivers.

And that approach will put pressure on TeleCom to provide the
lines. An issue we haven't mentioned.

> If someone in Africa says "I need the web", don't dismiss or
> discourage them, help them get access or direct them to someone who
> will,

That's quite superficial. It's not someone in Africa saying "I need
the Web". Been there, done that, moved on.


BTW, The fact that USAID's prime Internet Consultant tells us he has
no idea about IP is quite frightening, albeit expected.


el
--
Dr. Eberhard W. Lisse\         /              Swakopmund State Hospital
<[log in to unmask]>         *        |               Resident Medical Officer
Private Bag 5004       \      / +264 81 124 6733 (cell) 64 461005(h) 461004(f)
Swakopmund, Namibia     ;____/ Domain Coordinator for NA-DOM (el108)
Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees, Namibian Internet Development Foundation,
an Association not for Gain. NAMIDEF is the Namibian Internet Service Provider.

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