UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
(a) sensitization of all categories of African communities --- decision and policy makers in the public sector, farmers, women, researchers, private sector enterprises, etc --- of the environmental international agencies, such as UNEP and PADIS;
(b) strengthening the IT and networking capabilities of national environmental initiatives, such as the Nigerian Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), to deal more effectively with the environmental challenges within their borders; and
(c) encouraging and ensuring individual Africans to become more effective users of IT and networking technologies, specifically to address environmental concerns in the context of sustainable development activities in the Region.
The implementation of recommendations contained in this report should go some way in helping the GEF to address these basic objectives in Africa during the next couple of years. In this manner, a solid foundation would have been laid for appropriate consolidation and progress in the longer term.
(1) Sustainable development has been defined as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
(2) Information technology (IT) is the term used to describe technologies that enable us to record, store, process, retrieve, transmit and receive information (Behan & Holmes, 1990). It encompasses modern technologies such as computers. facsimile transmission micrographics, telecommunications and microelectronics.
(3) Capacity building, as used in this study, refers to the process of creating or enhancing indigenous (African) human and institutional abilities to use communications and information technologies to perform specific tasks in order to attain environmental management objectives, as a vital component of sustainable African development objectives.
(4) Diffusion in the context of this study implies adoption and assimilation.
(5) Information is defined as knowledge put in a message form that is readily and easily transmitted or transferable to end users for use in their decision making Aiyepeku, 1993 and David, 1992).
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I. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
ACBIT African Capacity Building for Information TechnologyII. THE CONSULTANTS
AM/FM Automated Mapping/ Facilities Management (life-system)
ARCIS Africa Regional Centre for Information Science (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
ARSONET Africa Regional Standards Organization Network
BBS Bulletin Board System
CABECA Capacity Building in Electronic Communications for Africa
CASIS Consortium of African Schools of Information Science
CODESRIA Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
CRAT African Regional Centre for Technology (Dakar. Senegal)
DSS Decision Support Systems
ECADC East and Central African Development Community
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
EDICESA Ecumenical Documentation and Information for Eastern and Southern
ELCI Environment Liaison Centre International (Nairobi. Kenya)
EMBISA A Religious Development Group
ESANET Eastern & Southern Africa Network
ESI Ecole des Sciences de l'lnformation (Rabat. Morocco)
FEPA Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Ni9eria)
FIDONET The "people's network" whereby individual bulletin board operators
agree to a regular automated exchange of messages between their
systems. This results in a web of linked Fido bulletin boards spanning
countries and continents. now numbering over 15,000 systems on six
FORMECU Forestry, Management, Evaluation and Coordinating Unit (Nigeria)
GDSS Group Decision Support System
GEF Global Environment Facility (of the World Bank)
GIS Geographic Information System
HealthNet Health (Information) Network
HSDB Hazardous Substances Data Bank
IDRC International Development Research Centre (Ottawa, Canada)
INTERNET The world's largest computer network - a network of thousands of
networks using TCP/IP
IT Information Technology(ies)
MANGONet Microcomputer Access for NGOs Network
MIS Management Information System
NGONET Non Governmental Organization Network
NPC National Planning Commission (Nigeria)
OAU Organization of African Unity (Addis Ababa. Ethiopia)
ORSTOM French Institute of Scientific Research for Development through
PADIS Pan African Development System (of the United Nations' Economic
Commission for Africa)
PADISNET Pan African Development Information System Network
RINAF Regional Informatics Network for Africa (a UNESCO project)
RIONet Global network of the French research institute, ORSTOM
RTECS Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
SADC Southern African Development Coordination Council
SAPES Southern Africa Press Service
SARDC South African Research and Documentation Centre
SISA School of Information Studies for Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
SOPHIE Selection of Procedures for Hazard Identification and Evaluation
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/lnternet Protocol
TDB Toxicology Databank (of the US National Library of Medicine)
UNDP United Nations Development Programme (New York)
UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Addis Ababa.
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme (Nairobi. Kenya)
UNINET-ZA South African universities' academic and research electronic network
UUCP Unix to Unix Copy Program
WHAZAN World Bank Hazard Analysis Software
W. Olabode Aiyepeku, Professor of Information Science and ARCIS Director since November 1990, is the coordinating consultant. He specializes in Information in Public Policy, Development lnformation Systems (design & evaluation), and Human Resources Development for Information.
Akin Iwavemi, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria He specializes in energy, environment and development economics.
Isola S. Y. Ajiferuke, Lecturer at the Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His research interests include measurement of information, information systems analysis and design, and modeling and simulation of information systems.