I come out of the woodwork in response to Katim Touray's question about
mailing lists in Senegal. When I saw it, I contacted my friend John Metzger
([log in to unmask]) in Dakar and asked him about it. He wrote back today
suggesting that most are in French: is that of interest? If so, I'd suggest
getting in contact with him directly.
Some of you may remember me from years back when I was working for the USAID
Famine Early Warning System Project. I certainly recognise some names on the
list from the AFRICANA list, which appears to have all but fallen completely
asleep. My job at FEWS was to run their private Fido e-mail network which
connected their dozen or so offices in Africa, mostly across the Sahel.
Since then I've done lots of internet strategy consulting work, mostly in
Europe for NGOs and international organisations there (like Transparency
International--http://www.transparency.de). For the last year or so I was
employed by a UNESCO project (http://www.unevoc.de) to find ways to
encourage their international network to get on the Internet and use its
resources (ie the web, email and listservs). I did have a fascinating
consulting stint in Madagascar in February last year, training the staff of
a rural information centre on the use of internet. We set up a website
together, and continued to collaborate on it long after I left Madagascar.
It can be reached at http://www.kabissa.com/moramanga . Unfortunately since
then the management of the project has changed hands and since the new year
I have been unable to reach them, via email or any other means.
Currently, the most interesting project I am involved with is with a group
of about 10 human rights organisations in Nigeria (in Lagos, Abuja, Port
Harcourt, and Kaduna), who together won a grant from the EU to get hooked up
to the Internet to facilitate their their advocacy work. This will pay for
the computers they need (from local distributors) and access to Internet for
a period of two years. My task will be to evaluate the project over the next
6-8 months, as well as to assist with the strategic planning of the project
once the connectivity is in place. By the way, the way it is to be done is
far from decided, so if any of you have any advice for us, please let me
know. For example, the current idea is for them all to connect via a single
ISP called Linkserve, which has dial-in numbers in Lagos and Port Harcourt,
and for the groups in Abuja and Kaduna to dial into Lagos. I am not entirely
happy about the trunk calls to Lagos, but then am not very familiar with the
ISP situation in Nigeria.
I have appreciated 'listening in' on the discussions on this list, and look
forward to more of it in future. If you are interested in more details on
any of the projects I described above, I would be happy to provide it. In
particular, I do want to continue supporting the folks in Madagascar, but
have come up against many barriers. I wrote a short report following the
consultancy, and would be happy to share this with any of you as well. Let
me know and I can send you a copy (by post or by email in PDF format).
32, Court Place Gardens
Oxford OX4 4EW
tel/fax: +44 (01865) 715 013