Hello all !!
I had the opportunity to attend the recent Rural Telecommunications
conferences in Canada, Guelph and
in Washington DC. In my opinion, they complemented each other in many ways.
For example; In Guelph the legacy of Radio and Rural community was spelt
out along with a sketch of what Internet and Rural community could look
like. If you can dream, you can fill in the details and extrapolate from
In Washington, the technical notes and the price tag of bringing Internet
to Rural Community was spelt by companies working on the Integrated
solution of the Vsat and Wireless Loop; one of the foremost battle ground
in making Telephony and Internet a reality to rural communities.
Another example is Mali. Tombouctou, is the most northern Saharan dessert
city on the river niger. The ITU
is supporting a Telecentre in Tombouctou and the Malian recipient of this
project gave a presentation in Guelph. In his closing remarks, he extended
an invitation to his audience to come by Tombouctou in person or
electronically. At the Washington Conference; a UNDP Africa Region
representative spoke about three different projects their office is
supporting in Africa. His objective was to highlight similarity and
difference in strategies being adopt to make things work. He chose not to
disclose the names of the country but described the countries by size,
population and population distribution. One of the countries had to be Mali
by the description. (Large Country by Size, Small population scattered but
situated in the south, Involvement with Leland initiative).
Currently Malinet, makes it possible to surf to Bamako. Hopefully the
Tombouctou Telecentre might allow one to surf (up the niger) to Tombouctou.
The Special 5th Anniversary Issue of WIRED has an interesting article on
attempts to surf the internet from Tombouctou. At the very least both
efforts would show what is possible. Full Circle efforts.
What other towns in between Tombouctou and Bamako have ISP services or will
be having one soon? Are the ISPs in Bamako planning extensions? If you do
know, do tell. By the way does anyone have direct email contact with an
ISP manager or a local ICT specialist in Mali to recommend ?
Adrian Q. Labor
Unganisha (Connectivity) Project, Programs Branch
Tel: (613) 236 6163 Ex 2284
Fax: (613) 576 7748
Email: [log in to unmask]