Hello! This article was passed to me by Ghanaian Dr. Edmund Browne (MD) <[log in to unmask]> who is now finishing his second doctorate's in the UK, and whose main interest is educational networking via the Internet, and developing computer-assisted medical/nursing/health training programs for students in Ghana, and elsewhere in Africa. Please contact Edmund directly to exchange ideas on this subject. I thought this article might be of interest to some... This portends better days to come for Ghana! (-: Regards, Cecil ______________________ Cecil Washington Ghana Distance Learning Computer Literacy Program Operation Crossraods Africa [log in to unmask] Tel/FAX: 310-632-1582 ======================================================================= ...from the 31st October issue of the Ghanaian Times: I N T E R S A L E A R T H S T A T I O N L A U N C H E D An Intelsat Standard Earth station, to serve as an international gateway for the provision of Internet services to Ghana has been commission in Accra. The Internet network procured and installed by Network Computer Systems Limited (NCS), will make available in Ghana direct connections to the US and other parts of the world. The Internet technology enables the integration of networks into a large information system infrastructure to provide services such as world-wide electronic mail information movement, remote log in access to data bases. Other services offered are the world-wide web, gopher, telnet and usenet. The technology can be attained in three ways, namely through subscription connection through local providers and also interconnecting various parts of an organization. Mr. Edward K. Salia, Minister of Transport and Communications who commissioned the facility yesterday, said the ceremony is a clear manifestation that the government's telecom reform policy has begun to yield results. The policy he stated, aims at a rapid expansion and provision of efficient telecommunication services through limited competition, as well as the liberalization in the provision of value-added services such as the Internet and cellular facilities. Mr. Salia commended NCS the pioneer Internet service provider in the country, for its vision and commitment to put Ghana on the Internet map, in spite of the numerous problems it encountered due to the inadequate telecom infrastructure in the country. "Today Ghana probably has the biggest hub in sub-Saharan Africa" he said with pride. The minister expressed the hope that cost-saving and system flexibility facilitated by the gateway would enable NCS to provide an affordable Internet service to a lager segment of the population which a has access to computers, like the educational institutions Public and Civil Service departments, banks and the business community. He urged NCS to participate more effectively and competitively in the multi-million data processing industry that offers massive employment to young professionals and data entry clerks in countries like Jamaica and India. Mr. Salia announced that at least three other Internet service providers have been authorized to commence business in the country. He said before the end of the year, Ghana Telecom will be privatized under a virile and experienced investors, while a second network operator would be authorized to operate. According to Mr. Salia, it is the significant progress in the country's telecom policy that encouraged U.S. vice president Al Gore to launch the Leland Initiative with Ghana in June 1996. Under the program, the Government of the U.S. through USAID, is offering an Internet service assistance package to some African countries. Dr. Nii Quaynor Executive Chairman of NCS, said the facility goes direct to Virginia U.S. where the core of the Internet business is. He said by its entry into Internet market, Ghana is ahead of all sub-Saharan African and is net to only South Africa. Dr. Quaynor commended all those who in diverse ways contributed to the success of the project. The NCS has revised its monthly subscription (from $100 to $200 per month down to just) $45.per month. Kwame Peprah, Minister of Finance, who chaired the function said the Internet system is one way hope steps and jumps to the developed countries and therefore appealed to all to take advantage of this new technology. ======================================================================= [there are a few typos above, but they are insignificant] For further background reading on the development of telecommunications, E-mail and the Internet in Africa, you might take a look at Michiel Hegener's interesting article [77K] posted at http://www.toolnet.org/~hege. If you don't have access to the WWW, but can receive attached files, I'll be happy to send it to you...just send me a message with "Africa: Telecommunications" in the subject. Regards, Cecil cc: Advisory Board: Ghana Distance Learning/Computer Literacy Program ----------------------------------------------------------------- Some members: Dr Edmund Browne, MD <[log in to unmask]> Dr Osei Darkwa <[log in to unmask]> Bill Owen <[log in to unmask]>, "Bill Owen c/o Kofi ARTHIABAH" <[log in to unmask]>, and "Bill Owen c/o" <[log in to unmask]> Eric Yankah <[log in to unmask]>, Dr Steve Eskow <[log in to unmask]>, Dr Nii Quaynor <[log in to unmask]> Max Freund <[log in to unmask]> "Gideon Hayford Chonia/University Of Zurich/founder of GhanaNet/SchoolNet"<[log in to unmask]>,<[log in to unmask]> NOTE: Please contact Bill and Osei if interested in serving pro bono in an advisory capacity in this effort. Thanks!