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Valerie Bruce writes:
 
> I see you're in Zambia.  Can you tell us about the state of computer
> technology there?  My perception is that a very few elites (gov't/foreign
> aid agencies/universities) have internet access, and that the internet is
> only relevant to those few.  Right?
 
Unfortunately, not Zambia but South Africa, where internet access is
snowballing at an alarming rate.  This not being a bad thing, but it
is frustrating as service providers cannot provide quality service,
especially to people like me who live in a rural area.  An unfortunate
hangover from the old government, where money was spent on helping
the urban white, first.
 
This situation is likely to continue for some time, as the telco's
infrastructure is geared toward beaurocracy rather than the
technical.  Which will lead to dissapointment when it is realised
that things like the Megaphone project (A million new rural phones)
can't be accomplished with local resources.
 
> (1)  how the introduction of the internet has affected gov't, business,
> religion (missions, for example), the ordinary citizen in Zambia
The one major effect was the re-establishment of links with the
greater academic community.  Academics spent the first year playing
catch-up with the world.
Now, of course, we have access to the same intellectual resources as
everyone else, a great equaliser at some level.
 
> (2)   the future, with respect to widening use of this technology
Personally, I'd like to see more debate on particularly African
problems.  Things like illiteracy, basic health, multiculturalism,
etc.  The more Africans connected to the net, the greater the spread
of information in Africa, with all its benefits.  I forsee a time
when the weight of this technology begins to shape governments.  As
people see how the rest of the world lives, thier thinking is
updated.  If you don't think this is already happening, consider that
there are only seven countries in Africa not on the net.
 
> (3)  the social impact of the technology.
Fascinating.   I recently heard that the SOS Children's Village in
Mamelodi has been put on the net.  Imagine the effect this will have
on a street child.
 
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* Carleton Chinner        *
* email: [log in to unmask] *
* phone: +27 (426) 400320 *
* fax:   +27 (426) 400014 *
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*     Why is a duck?      *
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