I am forwarding this message on behalf of Peter Benjamin. My IMP mail
program had trouble with the line lengths, which I tried to redress.  The
content is all intact, but Peter please verify if it's conveyed properly.   DZO

----- Forwarded message from Peter Benjamin <[log in to unmask]> -----
[ . . . ]
Towards a Community Information Network for Southern

This email is to ask if you would be interested in
developing a Community Information Network for
Southern Africa.  The primary goal of this initiative is to
support community ICT projects achieve greater access
to information systems to support development in
Southern Africa.

This idea came from various meeting late last year and
early this, especially the 'Dam the Digital Divide'
workshop organised by OSISA parallel to the ITU Africa
Telecom Conference.  Over 100 activists from
telecentres, schoolnets and other projects in Southern
Africa resolved that there was a need for some structure
to support community ICT projects in the region.

The Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA)
is interested in supporting this, and a project proposal
must be submitted to them by mid-May.  Other funders
have been approached and have shown some initial
interest.  This initiative could become part of the
'Telecentre Helpnet' proposed by IDRC, UNESCO and IICD.

This message is to ask if you would like to be
participate in this project. We are seeking partners in
each country in SADC, and will develop the proposal
collaboratively between those interested.

The team of 5 that have taken on drafting the proposal
Susan Mpe, Botswana             [log in to unmask]
Agnes Phiri, Swaziland          [log in to unmask]
Nicholas Mulusa, Zambia         [log in to unmask]
Matthias Masawe, Tanzania       [log in to unmask]
Peter Benjamin, South Africa    [log in to unmask]

Anyone else who wants to be involved in developing the
proposal is welcome to assist.  We will be putting this
together by the middle of May.  We are asking for your
support and involvement in this process, especially if you
are based in Southern Africa / SADC.

Below are the proposed outline of the project.  For more
information and to become involved, please email Peter
Benjamin at [log in to unmask]

Yours sincerely,
Peter Benjamin


To support development and social justice through
assisting Community ICT projects in Southern Africa.

There are many Community ICT projects in SADC, including telecentre,
Schoolnet, multi-purpose centres and community information projects.
Many of these projects lack support in many areas (including training,
access to services, technical support and financial resources).
CINSA aims to be a support network to assist community ICT projects,
and to make it easier to start similar projects.


=B7 Newsletter (electronic & paper)
=B7 Email list, website
=B7 Directory of projects, initiatives, people
=B7 Possible meetings (e.g. annual)
The telecentres in Latin America and the Caribbean are organized in a
grouping called 'Somos telecentres' ('We are telecentres' * see that we could learn from.

=B7 Training in: Management, technology, computer skills, services,
evaluation, train-the-trainers =B7 Certificate / diploma (accredited by
=B7 Mixture of both online training with some face-to-face

=B7 Share information on successful services, e.g. access to distance
education, e-commerce networks etc.
=B7 Develop 'how to guides', e.g. for community directory, community
=B7 Share existing resources, e.g. UNESCO Telecentre Cookbook,
Technology toolbox, Colle & Roman Training resoruces, Wits training,
CommUnity SA resources.
=B7 Develop and share needs analysis and evaluation techniques.
=B7 Share methods for information / content creation / indigenous

=B7 Develop a clearing house for technology questions on
various areas:
=B7 Power sources (solar, generators, other)
=B7 Connectivity (wireless, satellite, ISP)
=B7 Computer access (e.g. recycled computer projects,
simputer etc)
=B7 Offer technical advice & support
=B7 Link with similar initiatives (VITA, IDRC/UNESCO Telecentre Help
Desk, GCN Telecentre network)

=B7 Develop resources that can be used by others in the
network, such as:
=B7 Example business plans
=B7 Models for various service delivery
=B7 Evaluation plans
=B7 Training materials

=B7 Share reports, methods and experiences on research
and evaluation of CICT.
=B7 Conduct & commission comparative research
and evaluation across the various CICT in SADC.
=B7 Promote community methods in evaluation and
management of CICT.

=B7 Possibly, develop policy suggestions through the
network of CICT in SADC.  Feed experiences, ideas and
needs into policy processes, 'bottom-up'.
=B7 Possibly organise an input to the World Summit on the
Information Society in 2003.

Ideas on structure of the project
Aim to be a support for existing Community ICT projects
and a point of contact for any one interested in setting up
public access to ICTs in SADC (whether NGO, private,
govt etc.)

Longer term aim:  increase access to ICT and 'information society' for all
in SADC by promoting small business and public access

Governance by a board made up of people from throughout SADC
(hopefully with inclusion of SADC, TRASA, African Connection
and other relevant bodies)

Longer-term sustainability of project: possibly move to a
membership network for organizations & individuals

Structure: With a representative organisation in each SADC country, nodal
points in 4 countries (possibly LINK in SA, CIEUM in Mozambique and


Ebonet is a commercial ISP active in establishing Public Access Points or
Telecentres. They have two projects: "EMail for Everybody" is a
partnership with the National Post Company, should operate as an
independent company owner of the Telecentre. Telecentre Project: A
proposal to Provincial Government of Luanda has been written (the
capital city of Angola). A small program was promoted by ANGONET
(, a public room with Internet Access for local NGOs
without their own facilities to use Email. Haymee Perez Cogle, PAcomm,
[log in to unmask]

Susan Mpe National Youth Centre [log in to unmask],
[log in to unmask]
Ndipo Mokoka Worldview, Botswana [log in to unmask]

There are telecentres planned at the following centres: Maseru Resource
Centre, Mafeteng Resource Centre, Mohale's Hoek Resource Centre,
Leribe Resource Centre, Thomas Mofolo Library, Lesotho
National Library Service, National Teacher Training College Library,
Lerotholi Polytechnic Library, The British Council Library. Zawedde
Nsibirwa, British Council [log in to unmask]
Thotoane Pekeche Transformation Resource Centre, Lesotho
[log in to unmask]

Namaacha and Manica Telecentres 2 pilot telecentre have been
established by the University of Eduardo Mondlane, supported by the
IDRC. Polly Gastor CIUEM
[log in to unmask]
Fernando Neves Syscom [log in to unmask]
Americo F Muchanga Universidade
Eduardo Mondlane [log in to unmask] Emma
Sylvester Bradley EDCI Research
Centre [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]

Ben Amathila Namibia [log in to unmask]
Raashied Galant Namibia MISA [log in to unmask]

The Universal Service Agency is the statutory body to support telecentres.
It has set up 80, primarily in rural areas. Contact: Dipuo Mvelase
[log in to unmask]

The LINK Centre (Learning, Information, Networking & Knowledge) of the
University of the Witwatersrand has set up a newsletter (called
CommUnity * unity through communications) and website of over 600
community ICT projects in South Africa Contact: Peter Benjamin
[log in to unmask],

The British Council held the conference on Building the Information
Community in Africa (BICA) conference in February 1999 which brought
together over 200 telecentre activists, researchers, regulators and

The Government Communication and Information Service is establishing
20 Multi-Purpose Community Centres, including telecentre services.
These include a range of government services. Contact:
Michael Currin [log in to unmask]

Anriette Esterhuysen Assoc for Progressive Comms.
[log in to unmask]
Heather Ford Electoral Institute for SA
[log in to unmask]
Emmanuel Njugan APC [log in to unmask]
Alfred Toodz Kgolangana [log in to unmask]
Chris Armstrong National Community Radio Forum
[log in to unmask]
Jonathan Miller, Jonathan Miller & Associates
[log in to unmask]
Esme Modisane MACIS, GCIS
[log in to unmask]
Sandile Nolowonde Green
[log in to unmask]
Glen Jordan Intavision [log in to unmask]
Mike Jensen Many projects       [log in to unmask]

Agnes Phiri UNDP, Swaziland [log in to unmask]

Sengerema Telecentre is an ITU-UNESCO-IDRC telecentre planned for a
rural area of Tanzania. The executing agency will be TTCL, the national
telephone company.
Mr T. E. Mlaki Project Leader Sengerema Telecentre P.O Box 4302,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Enock Yonazi Tanzania Commission for Science & Technology
[log in to unmask] Maneno Mengi
[log in to unmask] ICT and
telecentre work in Tanzania Rakesh Kukreja Tanzania ICS(T) Ltd
        [log in to unmask] John Kajiba Tanzania ESRF
[log in to unmask] Felician
Nckeye Sengerema telecentre     [log in to unmask]
Matthias Masawe Tanz.
Comm. for Science & Tech [log in to unmask]
Theophilus Mlaki Tanz. Comm.
for Science & Tech [log in to unmask]

Chipata Telecentre The Chipata Chamber of Commerce (CoC), Eastern
Province, Zambia, near the Malawi border, has launched a telecentre in
Chipata as part of the Africa Connection rally in May 1999. This
telecentre is targeting the local business community and the Chipata CoC
anticipates that the telecentre will reach break-even point in six to nine
months. It is a joint venture with Lusaka-based ISP ZamNet which is
providing the leased line link to the Telecentre. Shula Habeenzu
[log in to unmask] Nicholas Mulusa Comms Authority, Zambia
[log in to unmask] Golden Nachibipga NGO Coordinating Cttee,
Zambia [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]

World Links - School-based Telecentre Zimbabwe World Links for
Development Program has established 11 school-based telecentres.
The "twelfth" centre a mobile van was just recently launched. Contact:
Anthony Bloome [log in to unmask]

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) ZFU is developing a project to support
the implementation of public access communication and information
centres (telecentres) in rural areas. 10 pilot telecentres are being
established in the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe. Contact: Sven
Enarson [log in to unmask]

ORAP Rural Connectivity and Info Cafe Organization of Rural Associations
for Progress (ORAP) is establishing telecentres for training, information
provision, and rural connectivity. Contact: Patience P. Ndebele
[log in to unmask]

Batsina Mike Chiuhanga City University
[log in to unmask]

Peter Benjamin
LINK Centre, P&DM,
Wits University
Tel:  +27 11 717 3583
Fax:  +27 11 717 3910
Cell: +27 82 829 3353
Email: [log in to unmask]

----- End forwarded message -----