Appreciate your thoughts, Bill.  No, no one claims to have all the answers.  There are many worthwhile activities funded by both African and international aid agencies designed to enhance Internet connectivity and effective Internet use in Africa.  AVSC's proposed online "comprehensive virtual training course on infection prevention" seems a good example.  Yet before you deride the contributions made by USAID's Leland Initiative, I suggest that you give a little more thought to how Leland's contribution over the last two and a half years may ensure that just a few more African health professionals have access to your online resource.

Material assistance aside, the Leland Intiative has sought to work with its African partners to enhance human resource capabilities to better manage the Internet connectivity they own and to effectively use the Internet as a development resource.  Some of these efforts have included:

Network Operating Center staff training in countries where the Leland Initative has facilitated gateway and secondary-city connectivity.

Counsel and technical training for Internet Service Providers.

Assistance to African ministry and regulatory officials in determining appropriate pricing structures for in-country Internet access.

Development-focused Internet end-user (and training-of-trainers) training for over 1,000 Africans, including training in Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Benin, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.  With the same number expected to be trained (using African and U.S. based trainers) in the coming two years.

Support of Internet-application projects with African partners in health, agriculture, democracy and governance, economic growth, and education sectors.

Support for African participation at African and international  Internet and telecommunication workshops and conferences.

For further detail, feel free to consult:

If you would like to suggest ways in which those interested in Internet promotion in Africa might more effectively mashal their resources, what better forum than this.  I look forward to your suggestions.

Brian Bacon
AED/Leland Initiative

>>> William Lester <[log in to unmask]> 11/03 12:25 PM >>>
Actually, the Leland Initiative is an excellent example. At every meeting I've attended where the Leland Initiative was discussed, it's been the consensus of the foreign aid organizations that this is exactly the kind of project NOT to do. Some USAID-funded organizations (mine, for one) have been very vocal in their opposition to the Leland Initiative, and very dubious of the advertised results (or lack of). Still, no one claims to have the answers, but I truly believe that many organizations are at least more sensitive to the real issues.

Bill Lester [AVSC]

>>> Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]> 11/03 11:41 AM >>>

In message <[log in to unmask]>, William Lester writes:

> One of the "myths" that continues to circulate is that all foreign
> aid projects (i.e. USAID) throw equipment at Africa without
> developing local resources.  While that may have been the case in
> the past, my experience has been that there is a marked swing in the
> other direction.

The Leland Initiative is not a good example...