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AFRIK-IT  August 1998

AFRIK-IT August 1998

Subject:

Partnerships & Participation - Rural Telecomm Conference Update

From:

Susan Rimkus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Thu, 20 Aug 1998 02:30:31 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (312 lines)

        Partnerships & Participation in Telecommunications
        for Rural Development: Exploring What Works and Why
                        www.snowden.org

     U of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - October 26 & 27 1998
          Online Pre-conference - October 1 to 21 1998

                (Details on how you can participate
           in this conference at the end of this email.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
If you think access to a telephone is an issue of the past, consider the
photo on the North Spirit Lake First Nation (Ontario, Canada) web site at
http://www.knet.on.ca/nsl/cevents.html.

In many countries, fewer than 1% of rural people have access to a
telephone - globally, most rural people have never used a telephone.

In a developed country like Canada, many rural communities still do not
have basic telephone service, and many other communities are seeking ways
to obtain services on par with their urban peers in order to gain access
to the Internet and access telemedicine and distance learning
applications.  Advancing telecommunication for rural development has
become a key priority for many nations around the world, Canada included.

According to recent reports from the International Telecommunication
Union, many factors which relate to and influence "Communications for
rural and remote areas" are changing and are evolving very rapidly. Such
factors include:

        Technology is changing and progressing quickly, providing
        continually increased capability at progressively lower cost. This
        is especially true in radio technology, which is usually the
        technology of choice in serving the rural and remote areas of
        developing countries.

        Experience in implementing major Rural Telecommunications
        Programmes is expanding quickly as more countries recognize and
        respond to the requirement. This results in an increasing
        knowledge base which enables well proven conclusions to be reached
        regarding the "best practices"  which should be followed by
        countries in implementing major Rural Telecommunications
        Programmes.

        The demands for telecommunication services from residents of the
        rural and remote areas are rising dramatically, as are the demands
        of those elsewhere who want to communicate with these areas.

        Rapid gains are being made in understanding and taking advantage
        of the benefits in economic, social and cultural development for
        the citizens of rural and remote areas through integrated delivery
        of the applications which are made possible by the advent of
        telecommunication services.

Organizations involved in advancing rural telecommunications, from
Australia to Zambia are seeking to determine the best methods and
techniques for selecting appropriate technology options for rural
telecommunications, and the best methods of planning, implementing and
sustaining rural telecommunication development programmes.

Our conference focuses on learning more about the critical role played by
partnerships and the advancement of rural telecommunications: partnerships
between people in the private sector, government and civil society that
enhance rural development through telecommunication applications.

Across history and around the world, creative partnerships are at the root
of rural telecommunication services - whether it be early farm community
telephone systems and rural radio systems in North America, current rural
telecommunication services in Africa, rural telemedicine applications in
the outback of Australia, or high speed wireless rural data systems in
Canada.

- How are these creative partnerships formed?
- What are the challenges to creating and sustaining partnerships?
- What roles to partners play?  How do we measure social and economic
  impacts to justify investments?

Through case studies, presentations and working group discussions
conference participants will generate concrete statements of "best
practice," key recommendations, and ideas for initiatives that will move
forward the next generation of partnerships to enhance rural development
through telecommunications.

Below are details on the conference and how you can participate.

=============================================================
Partnerships and Participation in
Telecommunications for Rural Development:
Exploring What Works and Why

October 26 & 27 1998
University of Guelph
Guelph Ontario

Online Pre-Conference October 1 to 21 1998
http://www.snowden.org


Theme ________________________________________________________

Collaborations between agencies, communities, business, institutions and
government to improve telecommunications for participatory rural
development in Canadian and international contexts.


Intended  Audience ___________________________________________

Rural people, rural organizations & institutions, policy-makers, economic
& social development practitioners, agri-business, companies serving rural
areas, international development organizations, and telecommunication
industry representatives.


Keynote  Speakers ___________________________________________

        Iqbal Quadir    co-founder of Grameen Phone, Bangladesh

        Terry Mosey     Group Vice President, Product Portfolio
                        Management, Bell Canada

Iqbal Quadir will address the innovative partnerships and creative
thinking that are bringing the information revolution to the rural people
of Bangladesh.  Such partnerships and thinking are beginning to appear
wherever rural people, organizations, governments and service providers
see opportunities to use telecommunications to enhance social and economic
development. Mr. Quadir's work is helping to bring GSM 900 cellular mobile
phone service to 100 million rural inhabitants in 68,000 Bangladeshi
villages by financing 50,000 members of the Grameen Bank (a cooperative
bank owned by poor Bangladeshi people) to provide pay phone service, and
provide direct phones to individual subscribers. As the project develops,
fax, email and Internet services will be added.  The village pay phone
service is likely to become the largest wireless pay phone project in the
world.  The lessons being learned from the Grameen Phone model are just as
applicable in Canada as they are in a developing country.

Terry Mosey will address the future for rural telecommunications and
highlight Bell Canada's commitment to partnerships with
national/provincial stakeholders to improve rural service and help rural
users adopt useful applications enabled by new technologies.  Bell is
undertaking a major upgrade of telecommunication services in Ontario and
Quebec in order to, among other things, provide full digital service to
rural telecom users.  This upgrade has significant implications to rural
communities and organizations wishing to develop creative rural
development, health, education, management and personal applications of
this new telecommunication infrastructure.  Mr. Mosey will be addressing
the conference via a video link from The Ontario Rural Council meeting
being held the same day at another site in the north of Ontario.  This
interactive video link is provided by Bell Canada and represents one of
the many applications of advanced digital telecommunication infrastructure
for rural communities.


Speakers __________________________________________

A wide variety of people with "hands-on" experience in Canada and overseas
will be attending to make presentations and participate in the workshops,
including:

Sam Coghlan
        rural wireless data networks in Canada
John Desmond
        Nortel's wireless telecom services
Richard Fuchs
        rural telecentres in Newfoundland and Africa
Gerry Kenney
        CIDA and rural telecentres
Angelita Martini
         rural telemedicine in Australia
Hugh Maynard
        on-lne interactive agricultural extension, Quebec
        Farmers' Association
Scott McConnel
        evaluating the impact of rural telecom & Internet
        in Uganda and Kenya
Fred McGuiness
        telecommunication case studies from across Canada
Ricardo Ramirez
        evaluating the impact of rural telecom in
        Canada & internationally
Scott Robinson
        rural telecentres in Mexico
David Reid
        Community Access Project for rural
        communities in Canada
Don Richardson
        telecommunications for rual development
Larry Sanders
        telecommunication access issues for native
        communities in Canada
Dorothy Todd-Henaut
        Challenge for Change Project in Canada
Mark Waldron
        National Farm Radio Forum in Canada
Tony Williamson
        former director of the Don Snowden Program


Conference Design ___________________________________________

This conference has two components:

1)   The two-day face-to-face conference on October 26 & 27, 1998 will
take place on the beautiful campus of the University of Guelph in Guelph,
Ontario, Canada.  Guelph is a short 45 minute drive from Toronto with easy
access to and from Toronto International Airport (Pearson Airport).

The conference focuses on telecommunications for participatory rural
development. It looks at how lessons-learned in Canada might be applied by
people in other countries, and how lessons learned in other countries
might be applied in Canada.

2)  The free online pre-conference located at http://www.snowden.org from
October 1 to 21, 1998 will provide opportunities to discuss past, present
and future uses of communication technology in rural areas. The aim of the
pre-conference process is to identify and explore key issues related to
telecommunications for rural development across sectors.


Face-to-Face Conference ______________________________________

The face-to-face conference on campus at the University of Guelph on
October 26 & 27, 1998 will consist of half-day workshops designed to
generate specific recommendations to enhance rural telecommunication
project planning. Participants will work closely with one another to
develop recommendations and actions for the future.

The workshops include:

a.      Reviewing the Past:  Communication for Development Lessons Learned
b.      Telecommunications for Rural Development Today:  Generating
        Results
c.      Future Directions:  Recommendations for Project Planning
d       Measuring Rural Development Impact:  How and What to Measure?

Each workshop will receive an orientation from a panel of people with
expertise in the topic area.  Workshops will be interspersed with short
case studies of rural telecommunication projects and applications.  During
lunch sessions, participants will hear in-depth case studies of projects
that involve creative partnerships, new technologies and innovative
applications for rural development.

Poster sessions, video screenings and other media presentations are
invited for display at the face-to-face conference. We are open to
innovative ideas; please contact us with your suggestions.


Registration _________________________________________________

Registration at the 2 day face-to-face conference is CDN$ 349 + GST or US$
300 for non-Canadian residents. You may download a registration form from
http://www.snowden.org.  To register by phone, fax or mail, please contact
Conference Services at the University of Guelph at (519) 824-4120 ext.
2353 or by fax at (519) 837-8630.


Online Pre-Conference _________________________________________

The online pre-conference from October 1 to 21 is free and is open to
everyone.  You may register for it in advance at
                        http://www.snowden.org.

It will include the following discussion areas:

1.      Lessons Learned from Past and Present Participatory Rural
        Development Strategies
2.      Current Rural Development Activities Involving Telecommunications
        & Internet
3.      Future Activities: Building on Lessons Learned

Submissions are still welcome for the online pre-conference. Papers will
be used to focus on-line discussion. Such papers may also be published in
the conference proceedings. Submissions can be made in any language, but
the on-line pre-conference web site will be designed in English.
Interested participants should provide a 300-500 word summary of their
paper or presentation by mail or email.  Email submissions should be
included in the body of the message instead of as attachments. Summaries
should include a full title, the author's name, author's affiliated
organization if applicable, email address, telephone, fax and postal
address. A brief biography of the author would be appreciated.


Pre and Post Conference Receptions __________________________

Conference participants are encouraged to attend the complimentary wine
and cheese receptions on Sunday October 25, 8 to 10:00 pm at the College
Motor Inn, and in Peter Clark Hall on Wednesday October 27th from 5 to
7:00 pm.


Conference Hosts ____________________________________________

This conference is being held by the Don Snowden Program in partnership
with the TeleCommons Development Group and the Foundation for
International Training.


Conference funders ___________________________________________

Industry Canada
SR Telecom Inc
International Development Research Centre
Bell Canada
University of Guelph
Rural Secretariat - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Foundation for International Training
TeleCommons Development Group
Don Snowden Program for Development Communication

==============================================================
To receive a conference registration package, send your postal address to
[log in to unmask]  or go to the conference website at
http://www.snowden.org to print and fax/mail a registration form.

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