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SECURING THE LINCHPIN
ICT FOR TEACHING, LEARNING, AND RESEARCH


MOVING FORWARD

Bandwidth was the leitmotif of the workshop. It is also an issue about which the presidents of the four Partnership foundations are deeply concerned. The Partnership has therefore decided to engage in a short investigation on accessing more and cheaper bandwidth. This activity will provide the Partnership foundations with sufficient information to make appropriate recommendations to their presidents on whether it would be appropriate to approach international satellite companies to request cheaper or free bandwidth for universities in any of the six Partnership countries.

Participants from the University of Dar es Salaam took the lead in bandwidth discussions during the workshop and in drafting an action plan. The University of Dar es Salaam has received a service contract from the four Partnership foundations to organize this investigation. A bandwidth team, drawn primarily from Addis workshop participants, will collaborate in this activity. The bandwidth terms of reference will be found in Appendix Seven.

A second bandwidth activity is being carried out by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). INASP is working with AfriConnect to survey and report on ways that organiziations can and are improving the efficiency of their current bandwidth utilization. More information will be found on the INASP Web site: http://www.inasp.info/pubs/bandwidth/index.html.

In addition to the Partnership bandwidth task force, Derek Keats has established an E-Learning Web site along the lines laid out in the small group sessions.

There was very little free time during the workshop, but there was ample opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas, and challenges—both met and unmet.Although many participants knew one another before the meeting, not all of them did. Gathering together in Addis Ababa gave everyone a chance to promote better networking opportunities and to bring new people into the ICT fold.

Professor Len Liverpool, University of Jos
"The Addis meeting provided us a unique opportunity to know about the development of ICT in the rest of the continent and to meet those what makes things work in the higher education sector. It also made us aware that we have made impressive gains in Nigeria without outside support. If we can now harness donor support our chances of making a quantum leap will be quite good. We are happy we participated and look forward to many new developments.”

Networking among workshop participants has continued. In Nigeria, the University of Jos and Obafemi Awolowo University have had an exchange of ICT-related visits. Obafemi Awolowo University, which plans to implement an OPAC system for its library, is also planning a visit to Dar to see the UDSM OPAC in action. The University of Jos is looking outward, as well, and is exploring how best to use a number of non-Nigerian participants as consultants and resource people.

Tufts University hosted Tobie de Coning and Lawrence Olakunle Kehinde following the workshop. Tufts also continues its work on developing collaborative curricula. The Tufts Graduate Program in Public Health has developed workshops on collaborative public health courses, which will be offered this summer for faculty from Kenya Methodist University, the University of Dar es Salaam, and Makerere University. Tufts hopes to use KEWL software for this activity.

Partnership foundations are also looking with interest at DATAD, as it begins its next phase. DATAD is a striking example of how technology can be effectively used to collect, manage, and distribute research information. During its first three years, DATAD focused intensively on capacity building at member universities and on data entry. The database will be available online and also on CD-ROM for African institutions that do not have sufficient access to the Internet. DATAD's phase two plans entail continuing data entry at the universities already participating in the project, adding new universities, work on copyright issues, and developing a sustainable business plan.

The presidents learn about DATAD

The University of Dar es Salaam library exhibited at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair in July 2002. Their exhibit in the UDSM pavilion was one of the most popular at the Fair. Shown here are the presidents of Tanzania and Zanzibar—His Excellency Benjamin W. Mkapa on (bellow left) and the Honorable Amani A. Karume (below right)—learning about the DATAD database.

Photos courtesy of the University of Dar es Salaam Library


© 2003 Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

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