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    Hi everybody,
 
    I am Paulo Pizarro and I am Angolan. I am responsible for the telephone
switching systems and networks area at TECNOSERVE, which is a private Angolan
telecomunications company. I have been also working with HF data communication
equipment at TECNOSERVE. I am about to finish my university course on
telecommunications engineering.
    I sure that IT plays a very important role in Africa development. But for
this being true the African governments must undertake a policy of
restruturing the whole telecommunications system starting from changing their
old public telephone switching systems (still electromecanic in a lot of
African countries) to privatisation, and widespread the telecommunications
infrastruture to the whole country and not only to the main cities.
    The actual characteristics of the telecommunication infrastruture in most
African countries are:
    - Most of the telephone lines in Africa are bad so they cannot accomodate
hi speed modems.
    - The power fluctuations are very hi and constant, affecting all
telecommunication equipment.
    - The communications infrastruture is not widespread to the whole country,
and even inside the main cities there are many people that do not have a
telephone facility.
 
    Another problem is that there is just a few research from the inside,
everything comes from the outside, maybe because of low investments in
education at university level. So if everything comes from the outside -
developing world - how can then we sustain any project going well without
having to call people from the outside?
    The IT providing wide information for everybody and long distant studies
must be a good thing for Africa, if well implemented.
 
    It is all for now,
    Best,
 
    Paulo