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Greetings Afrik-ITes!

There seems to be quite a bit of coughing here in Gaborone -- a
significant percentage of staff have the flu, which seems to be
affecting much of Southern Africa.  Quite cold temperatures at
night, though pleasant enough during the day.

These two days, Thursday and Friday, have been spent in intensive
discussions with USAID staff about ways information technologies can
most effectively be employed to enhance networking among our various
partners in the region.  In this particular field these would
include chambers of commerce and industry organizations, central
bankers, freight haulers, regional railroad organizations, and the
relevant sector coordinating units of the Southern Africa
Development Community.

Of course much is already being done in this area.  For example, it
was noted that key staff of the South Africa Reserve Bank have
made substantial use of Internet technologies in their efforts to
harmonize the region's payment and check clearing systems.  I suspect
they have something to do with www.sadcbankers.org.  We'll be
consulting then to determine what assistance USAID might most
appropriately provide, not necessarily to them directly in Pretoria,
but within the whole of SADC.

I would welcome hearing from persons involved in this sector.

Tomorrow is the weekend of course.  I'm looking forward to a break
from report writing to spend the lunch hour at Mokolodi, the small
private game park which was recently visited by President Clinton I
believe.  There's a restaurant there that is one of my favorites,
though alas they do not offer lasgna.  Those of you who received
December holiday cards from me will recall the photo of the Mokolodi
cheetah watching me from across a bit of water.  Most of the more
popular attractions are far to the north of Botswana, and some day I
hope to visit them, but Gaborone is also a pleasant place to visit.

Cheers!
Jeff @ Gaborone
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