UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Africa and Sciences: The Availability of Computer Communications, Dr. Paul Godard

Africa and Sciences: The Availability of Computer Communications, Dr. Paul Godard

Dr. Paul Godard
Gondwana asbl
Université Catholique de Louvain, Plant Biology Dept, CISAFA project
5/14 pl. Croix du Sud, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Phone : 32 (10) 47 34 68 — Fax : 32 (10) 47 34 71 — E-Mail : godard@bota.ucl.ac.be

This paper has been published in Telecommunications and Development in Africa (1994) Kiplagat B.A. & Werner M.C.M. Eds, IOS Press, Amsterdam; the book is edited by the Telecommunications Foundation for Africa (TFA) and published under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Abstract
The intention of this document is to dress the actual status of electronic networking in Africa from the user view side. What are the networks in Africa? What are their limitations, from Fido technology to Full Internet access? Which services do they offer? What is the cost of an connection to Internet? Before answering these questions, the article introduces the major electronic networking services, the most common management protocols in use, and the hardware & software requirements for an individual user.

Then, the current status of electronic networking in Africa is described in detail in terms of networks and services availability; comparative maps and table are given. Following the last recommendations about electronic networking in Africa, the Gondwana project addresses the awareness and sensitisation aspects. This is a large-scale project which intends to establish an electronic communications network and information system for research, development and training on sustainable systems of land and resource use in Africa.

Introduction
Africa’s poverty and developmental problems could be eliminated to a large extent through the use of science and technology as the driving force of economic and social progress. On the other hand, a good scientific or technological base needs a sound information system to sustain it.

Although the African region is notoriously known for its weakness in information systems, the communication infrastructure can vary from very good to abysmally from one country to another. Recent developments in microcomputer technology and communication software make it possible to envisage the provision of a comprehensive and efficient system for the dissemination of information. Personal computers are increasingly available in Africa and, with the limited addition of a modem and an appropriate communication software, they can transfer data over poor quality telephone lines at minimal cost.

These recent telecommunication technologies can immediately benefit to Africa even before global networking is spread over. Low cost solutions are indeed already available to give individuals access to electronic networking.

Electronic networking refers to any form of information exchange between computers through various method of interconnection. Advantages are multiple : speed and inexpensiveness (many messages in one phone call), reliability of transmission (error-correcting modems) and easiness of set-up and use. Why re-invent the wheel, when there are people out there who are willing to share information?…

Electronic Networking Services
There are two basic kinds of services : computer mediated communications which allow people to exchange messages and resource sharing that offers access to computing resources such as files and databases. Either type of services may be interactive, when messages are delivered and read immediately, or batch when messages are received after a certain delay.

Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)
CMC services may be primarily either one-to-one (electronic mail), one-to-many (mailing lists & bulletin boards systems) or many-to-many (conferencing systems) users.

Electronic Mail (e-mail)
E-mail allows an individual user to post a message to another user who is registered on the same or an interconnected network.

The message is delivered to the addressee’s registered mailbox either immediately when all the links are interactive or after a delay that might reach several days in the other cases; the frequency at which the target user checks his mailbox also influences the total delay between posting and reading the message; this can be immediate in the best case when the user is always connected to his network and receives an in-box notification.

The reliability of e-mail varies considerably, especially when network boundaries are crossed. Nevertheless, most network systems usually inform the sender when messages can not reach their destination.

Mailing or Distribution List
Networks that support e-mail by individuals to individuals often extend to support mailing lists. These distribution lists involve people who want to hold extended discussions on the same subject. When a user is interested in a subject discussed on a specific mailing list, he has to subscribe by sending an e-mail message. Then, when his subscription becomes active, he receives all the messages posted to the list.

These mailing lists are normally supported by the same software than for e-mail. Although at the beginning this feature is a good advantage, it can becomes a real problem for verbose lists to archive back messages, retrieve and manage information.

Computer Conferencing System or Electronic News (e-news)
The computer conferencing system differs from the mailing list in scale, both in the numbers of people within a conference group and in the numbers of groups. One copy of a message is kept per host rather than one per user as for e-mail. Automatic separation of messages into categories are usually supported.

A true conferencing system can thus displays lists of categories and lists of subjects of messages per category in which the user can select or avoid messages by subject, sender or any logical combinaisons of these and other attributes.

Bulletin Board System (BBS)
Because BBS usually have a small number of topics and unsophisticated user interfaces and are rudimentary single machine conferencing systems run by a system operator (sysop), they should be considerated as intermediate systems — between mailing lists and conferencing system — where users post messages as if on a physical pegboard and with no real idea of who will read them or reply to them.

Resource Sharing

Remote Login
Most interactive networks support remote login which is the use of a network to access a remote computer as if one were logged in on it from a local terminal.

File Transfer
The ability to get a file from a remote host and put it back is called file transfer. The major file transfer services is file transfer protocol (FTP) — and its associate anonymous FTP for which the user does not need an access password. The most generally usable file transfer format is plain text in 7 bit USASCII.

Although this service is faster and easier to use in interactive mode, it is also supported on top of e-mail as batch file transfer for some public databases or libraries of information.

Remote Device Access
This service provides a way to use devices — such as printers, drives, CD-ROM’s — on other systems as if they were connected on the local system.

Management Protocols
To keep complexity manageable, protocols are designed in layers, building up from those near the hardware to those near the user. The International Standardisation Organisation reference model called the Open Systems Interconnection (ISO-OSI) has 7 basic layers : physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application.

The major protocol suites used in wide area networks (WAN) are the Internet (which layers organisation is close to the ISO-OSI model), the coloured book (UK & Australia), MAP/TOP from GM & Boeing, XNS from XEROX, DNA from Digital, NCA from Appolo and SNA from IBM. These protocols are designed with the assumption of dedicated links between nodes and networks. Among the protocols adapted to intermittent connections (dialup protocols), the major ones are UUCP, Fido, Kermit and Xmodem.

Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP)
The TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) protocol suite is certainly the most implemented of the vendor independent protocol suites, and is available on computers ranging in size from super computers to personal computers. The main goal of this protocol is to develop a robust communication architecture to accommodate multiple types of communications services over a wide variety of networks.

TCP/IP is widely used within South Africa, and over some leased lines from Africa to USA and Europe.

UUCP
The UUCP (Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol) is the most used in dialup connections. The g protocol is used over the public switched telephone network (PSTN), the f protocol on the public data network (PDN), and the t protocol over TCP/IP.

UUCP is largely used in Africa, especially now because it allows an easy transition towards TCP/IP which is definitely the full Internet solution.

Fido Protocol
Fido protocol is similar to UUCP and uses variants of Xmodem and Zmodem. This protocol is largely used in FidoNet (see below).

Fido is the first protocol in use in Africa. It is very reliable over bad quality phone lines.

Kermit
Kermit is an error correcting file transfer protocol usually used in manually dialed connections.

Xmodem
X-, Z- and Y-modem play the same function as Kermit. These protocols including Kermit are widely used within communication packages.

Hardware & Software Requirement
Assuming that personal computers are widely available in Africa, the only additional hardware needed is a high speed modem with compression and error detection/correction protocols (V32bis & MNP10) to overpass the poor quality of phone lines ($ 300-500).

The choice of the communication software depends on the transport protocol in use at the node (Fido, UUCP or TCP/IP). Most of these are freeware and can be downloaded from different servers worldwide.

Current Status of electronic Networking in Africa
The community of electronic networkers in Africa is still relatively quite small. However, thanks to the pioneering efforts of dedicated individuals — helping to establish projects, collect and distribute mail, improve and disseminate software, and train users — electronic networking has gained a foothold in Africa. The various levels of success already achieved by some pilot projects — such as ESANET, CGNET, Healthnet, NGONET, PADISnet and RIONET — have raised interest in African networking and laid large-scale project such as RINAF.

Non-Profit Networks
Most of the non-profit network purposes are either to link research and academic institutions, healthcare centres and hospitals, or NGO’s.

ARSONET
ARSONET is a CIDA professional development project to link the Africa Regional Standards Authorities in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Nairobi (Kenya) and Cairo (Egypt) with Fido networking technology.

CGNET
CGNET (Consultative Group NETwork) is a conferencing system specialised in agriculture. It has been Founded in 1985 by the CGIAR and is funded by the FAO, the World Bank and the UNDP. The CGNET machine is a Digital VMS system located in Palo Alto that connects 130 hosts (agricultural research centres, CGIAR centres, UNDP offices) in 70 countries (about 200 mailboxes for 10000 people) through PDN when available.

In Africa, CGNET links the following organisations in the following countries : IITA in Benin, IMI in Burkina Faso, CIP in Burundi, CIP, IITA and NCRE in Cameroon, ACDI, Ford, FAO, ICARDA, IDRC, IRRI & PLAN in Egypt, ILCA in Ethiopia, FG in Ghana, IBSRAM, IIRSDA, RTI and WARDA in Ivory Coast, CIP, Ford, ICIPE, ICRAF, ICR, IDRC, ILCA, ILRAD, PLAN, Rockefeller, TSBF, UNEP and USAID in Kenya, CIAT in Malawi, IER and ILCA in Mali, IAV, IIMI and USAID in Morocco, ICRISAT and IMMI in Niger, IITA and ILCA in Nigeria, CIP in Rwanda, IDRC, IIEN and Winrock in Senegal, CIAT and PLAN in Tanzania, FG and IFDC in Togo, CIP in Tunisia, CIAT and ICRAF in Uganda, and CIMMYT, FAO, ICRISAT, ILCA and PLAN in Zimbabwe.

Based on Dialcom, CGNET offers other services such as databases, airline reservation and interfaces to fax and telex.

The cost is quite prohibitive for a single user : basic rate at $ 50 (host) + $ 5 / mailbox (user) per month and connection rate at $ 6-9 per hour + $ 0.095 per 1 Kb ($ 0.2 / page).

EARN
EARN (European Academic Research Network) was formed in 1983 on the model of BITNET. Its charter states that it is a network for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In Africa, EARN hosts exist in Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tunisia.

EARN links more than 600 hosts corresponding to about 30000 users. Many links to national and international networks exist.

EARN is funded by each participating country (i.e. FNRS in Belgium), but is not charging the individual user.

ESANET
ESANET (East and Southern African Network) is a pilot project to link researchers at universities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe with each other and with other researchers worldwide by installing e-mail facilities at their computer centres.

Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe can connect directly to the GreenNet gateway, while Uganda and Tanzania can only connect via Nairobi because direct dialling facilities outside the (Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) area are not available. Zambia has begun to experiment with direct dialling to London and the other nodes are expected to begin testing connectivity later.

Based at the University of Nairobi, Institute of Computer Science, it is partially funded by the Nirv Centre (Web) in Toronto, Canada, and is co-ordinated with NGOnet project to allow NGO’s without host to use campus resources.

The system is based on Fido software running on PC-AT/40 and using high speed modem and dedicated phone line.

FidoNet
Started in 1984 in USA, FidoNet is owned and operated by end-users and hobbyists who pass messages from node to node.

For this reason it is a point-to-point and store-and-forward e-mail system. It uses dialup telephone links and has over 13000 public nodes with 1 000 000 users (e-news) - 100 000 users (e-mail). Normally each node is a single caller BBS but some can admit up to 20 users at the same time; the average is 200 active users per BBS.

FidoNet offers gateways to Internet & UUCP.
Initially based on Xmodem for MS-DOS personal computer, Fido technology now uses Zmodem and is available for Unix and Apple machines.

This is the most affordable e-mail and e-news system used by many NGO’s throughout Africa, the zone 5 (to many sites to list). Henk Wolsink is the Zone 5 co-ordinator .

GHASTINET
The GHASTINET (GHAna national Scientific and Technical Information NETwork) offers e-mail service in Ghana to FOE, GAPVOD and other institutions. It uses Fido protocol and connects twice a week to the GNFido gateway in London. The charging is $ 0.57 per page.

GreenNet
GreenNet started in UK in 1986 as a conferencing system. It is now member of the APC. The network regroup academic and research institutions and NGOs as well among 31 African countries. In most of the French speaking countries — Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo — it links to ORSTOM nodes (see RIOnet).

Elsewhere, it links to Devel Workshop in Angola, AlgeriaNet in Algeria, University of Botswana in Botswana, ADB in Ivory Coast, PADIS in Ethiopia, the ACHRDS in Gambia, FOE-Ghana and GastiNet in Ghana, the ELCI and the University of Nairobi in Kenya, the National University of Lesotho in Lesotho, the University of Malawi in Malawi, the CIUEM in Mozambique, the University of Namibia in Namibia, ENDA-Dakar in Senegal, the University of Swaziland in Swaziland, the COSTECH in Tanzania, IRSIT in Tunisia, the Makarere University in Uganda, the UNZA in Zambia and the University of Zimbabwe and MANGO in Zimbabwe.

It uses Fido protocols and links to WorkNet/SANGOnet and UniNet in South Africa.

HealthNet
HealthNet is operated by a Boston based NGO called Satellife which was initiated as a project of the IPPNW.

The network was initially addressed to exchange health and medical information within the universities participating in the ESANET project and via Memorial University in Newfoundland in Canada. HealthNet uses store-and-forward micro satellite called HealthSat to pick up and deliver e-mail messages and electronic publications for health. The ground station uses technology that is affordable and appropriate for Africa.

Ground stations are operational in Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and licensed in Botswana, Gambia, Malawi, Mali and Sudan.

Although the current traffic is limited to health related issues, it will be up to the individual participating institutions in Africa to obtain clearance from the authorities for a wider interpretation of the health mandate. As far as the funders of the HealthNet project are concerned, this could encompass a much broader range of environmental and social issues.

Internet
The Internet exists to facilitate sharing of resources at participating organisations — such as government agencies, educational and research institutions, and private corporations — and collaboration among researchers, as well as to provide a testbed for new developments in networking. The Internet was formed in 1983 when ARPANET, its oldest constituent network (1969), splited to form MILNET. The Internet is very large; initially located in USA, it now extends to Canada, Europe, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and recently to Africa, in Algeria, Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia. At present the Kenya Computer Institute is working towards establishing an Internet node in Kenya, which will be shared and co-sponsored by the University of Nairobi, the Kenyatta University, RICOSIX-WHO and some other NGOs. Internet links are also in progress at EMI in Morocco and at the Addis Ababa University, CLEO networking project in Ethiopia.

The Internet is a set of many networks all running the TCP/IP protocol suite. Its major component networks are PRNET, AMPRNET — used by short-wave radio amateurs (hams), DDN, NRI, CSNET and NSFNET. The Internet has recently developed many links to other major networks, such as ACSnet, ARISTOTE, EUnet, JUNET and NORDUnet.

Although the Internet is often referred as “The Worldwide Network”, the following well-known international networks are not part of the Internet : BITNET, EARN, HEPnet, JANET, NetNorth, USENET and UUCP.

NGONet
NGONet is funded by IDRC. The MANGO project is a Fido bulletin board service located in Harare, Zimbabwe. It is operated by a collective of NGOs : the Africa Information Afrique (a regional news agency), EMBISA (religious development group), SARDC, EDICESA and SAPES.

MANGO connects three times daily with the Web gateway in Toronto. In addition it connects three times a day to WorkNet in Johannesburg.

PADISNET
Initially, from its inception in 1980, PADIS (Pan African Development Information System) network proceeded by non-electronic means. It was established to assist African countries in strengthening their national capacities for collection, storage, and utilisation of data on development, and to promote information exchange in Africa. Later in 1990, PADISNET was formed as the largest of all African networking project and supported by IDRC.

The PADISNET links 37 African countries into a network of participating development planning centres which exchange databases and information.

PADIS is based at the UNECA in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) which operates the PADISNET node connecting on demand to London, South Africa and the US.

NGONet and PADISNET share resources in the support of other nodes in Dakar (Senegal), Accra (Ghana) and Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania).

PADISNET is based on Fido technology.
The local BBS at Addis Ababa is organised around four items : PADIS news, ECA news, data communications issues and general news on information systems and technologies. PADIS also offers a public on-line access to the databases maintained on its HP3000.

As a FidoNet node in Africa, PADISNET participates in several on-line conferences such as the consultation conference of experts in the Africa region (EXPZONE5) and the global NGONET conference.

RINAF Project
The RINAF (Regional INformatics Network for AFrica) project was conceived by the Intergovernmental Informatics Program (IIP) of UNESCO and financed by a grant of the Italian Government and by a contribution from Korea. The project started in 1992.

The technical administration is under the auspices of the CNUCE Institute of the Italian CNR in Pisa. The African Committee has been designated to approve all the actions and to survive to the RINAF project after the 2-year initiation phase.

The project is meant to bring basic Internet services to several African countries by establishing 5 regional nodes — CERIST in Algeria, NCST & Moi University in Kenya, NCTM & Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, CNDST in Senegal and University of Zambia in Zambia — and 10 national nodes — Cameroon, ENSTINET/FRCU in Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Université de Conakry in Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Manzini University in Swaziland, Tanzania and Tunisia.

RINAF relies on the co-operation with other existing initiatives operating in the African continent such as the IDRC and the RIOnet projects.

The protocols used are heterogeneous — Fido, UUCP and TCP/IP — because of the variety of interconnections. The Project Co-ordinator is Stefano Trumpy .

RIOnet
The Paris based research organisation ORSTOM has involved itself — through the RIOnet (Réseau Inter- tropical d’Ordinateurs) — in the setting up of a network that presently interlinks many laboratories in inter tropical countries including 11 French speaking African countries — ESI, ARTS, CECI and UERD (Ouagadougou & Bobo-Dioulasso) in Burkina Faso, ENSP and OCCGE (Yaoundé) in Cameroon, Brazzaville in Congo, Abidjan in Ivory Coast, CIMAD (Antananarivo) in Madagascar, ISFRA, INRSP, CERPOD, WHO/OCP, IER and PNVA (Bamako) in Mali, Maurice in Mauritius, SEAG, AGHRYMET and CERMES (Niamey) in Niger, ISRA, ENSUT, CSE, CORAF, the Université CAD de Dakar, the MinistŹre Sénégalais de la Modernisation and the Agence Panafricaine de l’Information (Dakar) in Senegal, Victoria in Seychelles and Lomé in Togo. International organisations are also partner of the RIO project : CIRAD, OSS, GRET, EPH, UNITAR and the World Bank.

RIOnet is member of the Internet. The central node is located in Montpellier, France. The RIOnet links LAN of Unix workstations and of Apple & IBM-compatible PC LAN, set up in ORSTOM and at its partners’ laboratories. It uses available telecommunication links (dialup lines or X.25 network) and TCP/IP or UUCP (g & f) protocols.

The RIOnet counts 800 accounts (1000 users) among researchers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff.

Users pay a cost depending on the quantity of data; local access is free and intercontinental transit ranges from $ 0.35-070 / 1 Kb.

The Project Manager is Pascal Renaud .

SANGOnet
See WorkNet.
UniNet
UniNet is the South African university TCP/IP network connected to the Internet via a 64 Kb digital leased line from Rhodes University to IMCnet-Atlantic in Washington DC. It connects via UUCP dialup lines to other universities in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The major networking centres in South Africa — Cape Town, Grahamstown, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria — are connected via 64 Kbd digital leased lines. Other links range from 9.6 Kbd analogue lines to 64 Kbd digital ones.

UniNet is only funded by participating universities.

Telkom, the South African telecom company, imposes regulations that no other traffic but university may flow over UniNet.

The contact person at FRD is Vic Shaw .

UseNet
UseNet is a e-news system which counts more than 2500 newsgroups. African netters can access UseNet except for the picture/sound files.

WEDNET
WEDNET supports research on women and natural resource management.
WEDNET is based at ELCI in Nairobi.
The aim is to link researchers in Senegal, Ghana, Burkino Faso, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Canada via electronic communications and conventional networking.

WorkNet
The network has been established in 1990 and now has about 150 users on a multi-user BBS programme called MajorBBS.

WorkNet operates as the national electronic network host for NGO’s in South Africa, called SANGOnet. Users include the labour movement, human rights groups, the alternate press, documentation centres, service organisations and church groups.

SANGOnet runs a proprietary network format, using store-and-forward. By converting the internal format to Fido format, users can send and receive messages to other systems and obtain conference postings. It is connected to the GreenNet Fido gateway via London (high speed modem and X.25 leased line), as well as to NGOnet via MANGO in Harare (daily dialup).

The contact person is Paul Nash .

Commercial Networks

Afrimail
Afrimail is a bilingual (French & Arabic) e-mail system.

It has been initiated at CNI and CIRIA of Tunisia in collaboration with UBC and IDRC both in Canada. Based on the Ean software, the system uses PDN, leased lines, PSTN and telex lines as well; it links other countries through UUCP from the machine tuniscni.

AT&T-Mail & MCI-MAil
Both AT&T-Mail and MCI-MAil are worldwide commercial e-mail network, originally based in USA.

Compuserve
Compuserve is a worldwide commercial network based in USA. Based on the EasyPlex software for e-mail, Compuserve also offers databases BBS mostly related to computer technology and business services and interfaces with fax and telex.

The low basic rate at $ 9 per month including 60 e-mail messages and offering Internet e-mail access is a good bargain for some African countries although there are very few local dialup access numbers in Africa (Kenya, South Africa & Djibouti).

SAPONET
SAPONET is the X.25 PSN carrier run by Telkom in South Africa. Thus it is not a network. It also provides routing to Beltel, a teletext system similar to the French Minitel.

Telkom400
Telkom is running a commercial X.400 e-mail service, known as Telkom400. A e-mail passerelle exists from and to Internet.

TWICS
TWICS (Two Way Information Communications System) is a commercial e-mail service serving Japan primarily but providing a link to South Africa. It also links to the U.S.

Tymnet
Tymnet, a commercial Public Data Network, has links in South Africa.

Future Directions
In Africa, the primary demand for an awareness campaign is focused on the potentials of electronic networks.

Attention must be given to flexible networking technologies suitable for local conditions : Fidonet as an entry level where computerisation is weak, UUCP in academic institutions with high level of computing skill and goal for building national links to Internet. In any case, the first activities in setting up electronic networks include the sensitisation of the institution to the idea of networking and then human resources development.

Since most telecommunications infrastructures in Africa is still based on PSTN, direct dialling will continue to be the major focus for the next future. By the end of 1995, the telecommunication regulatory situation on the African continent will have undergone substantial changes. Separation of PTT and RTT operators is already effective in 16 countries, under way in 11 countries or planned in 10 other countries. This will lead to a certain form of liberalisation and joint ventures with foreign partners. The global improvement of the telecommunication infrastructure will thus be helped by such opportunities, as, on the other hand, higher demand on the user side will increase pressure on telecommunication authorities to provide better services. Then only, X.25 network will be used to cross borders and to build national networks as well.

On the other side, alternative transport mechanisms, such as satellite and radio, should have a place in network plans. Satellite links can be most economically provided with low orbit micro-satellites which act as flying store-and-forward mailboxes. The earth station requirement can be met as little as $ 5000. HF and VHF radios can provide real-time message delivery at low cost ($ 3000).

Gondwana Project
Following the recommendations of the last conferences about electronic networking in Africa, the Gondwana project intends to inform and train African scientists in using affordable electronic tools to better communicate with their colleagues and get informed in their research discipline. Through an expedition crossing 20 countries in East, Central and Southern Africa, the Gondwana team will also establish communication links with international networks for a selected group of individual researchers chosen among the AABNF (African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation). This association has been chosen because its presence and dynamism in nearly every African country. The ultimate goal of the Gondwana project is to develop a continent-wide network for all the decision makers, scientists, technicians and trainers working for sustainable development in agriculture and forestry. This is the CISAFA (Communication and Information systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Africa) network project that has been submitted for funding by international organisations and foundations.

More information can be obtained at the author’s address .

References

We can suggest the following references:
The Matrix, Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide. 1990 John S. Quaterman.  Digital 
Press.
Electronic Networking in Africa. Advancing Science and Technology for Development.  Proceedings of 
Workshop on Science and Technology, Communication Networks in Africa. 1992.
The African Academy of Sciences & The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nairobi, 
27-29 Aug 92.
RINAF.  1992
Proceedings of the Launching Meeting of the Regional Informatics Network for Africa, Dakar 27-29 Feb 
92.  UNESCO & ACCT
and the following servers (ftp anonymous) to download information files and electronic publications:
GNET : ftp dhvx20.csudh.edu in /global_net directory (co-ordinated by Larry Press 

VITA : ftp 155.135.1.1
African related  Lists  & BBS : ftp ftp.net.com in /pub/amcgee directory
International Connectivity with Africa : ftp ftp.cs.wisc.edu in /connectivity_table directory & ftp 
rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail directory & gopher.psg.com in /networks/connect

Annex
Acronyms

AABNF		African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation
ACDI		Agence de Cooperation et de Développement International, Canada 
ACHRDS	African Centre for Human Rights, Gambia
ACSnet	Australian Computer Science Network, cooperative, Australia & New-Zealand
ADB		African Development Bank
AGHRYMET	AGro-HYdro-METeorological center, Niger
AMPRNE	Amateur Packet Radio Network, research, USA
APC		Association for Progressive Computing, USA
ARISTOTE	research netork, France
ARPANET	Advance Research Projects Agency NETwork, research network, USA
ARTS		Agriculture Research and Training Support project, Burkina Faso
BITNET	Because It’s Time to Network, cooperative, world
CECI		Centre Canadien d'Etude et de Cooperation Internationale, Burkina Faso
CERIST	Centre de Recherche sur l’Information Scientifique et Technique, Algeria
CERMES	CEntre de Recherche sur les MEningites et les Schistosomiases, Niger
CERPOD	Centre d'Etude et de Recherche sur la POpulation et le Développement, Mali
CGIAR		Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CGNET		Consultative Group NETwork
CIAT		Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
CIDA		Canadian International Development Agency
CIMAD		Conservatoire International de MADagascar, Madagascar
CIMMYT	Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
CIP		Centro Internacional de la Papa
CIRAD		Centre International de Recherche en Agronomie pour le Developpement, France
CIRIA		Inter-University Centre for Informatics and Automatics, Tunisia
CIUEM		Computer Institute of the University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
CNI		Centre National de L’Informatique, Tunisia
CNR		National Council of Research, Italy
CNUCE		Centro National …, Italy
CORAF		Conférence des responsable de Recherche Agronomiques AFricain, Senegal
COSTECH	COuncil for Sciences and TECHology, Tanzania
CSE		Centre de Suivi Ecologique, Senegal
CSNET		Computer Science Network, research, USA
DDN		Defense Data Network, USA
EARN		European Academic Research Network, cooperative, Europe
EDICESA	Ecumenical Documentation and Information Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa
ELCI		Environment Liaison Centre International, Kenya
EMI		Ecole Mohamed V des Ingénieurs, Morocco
ENSP		Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique, Cameroun
ENSTINET	Egypt National Scientific & Technological Information Network, research, Egypt), Egypt
ENSUT		Ecole Nationale Supérieur Universitaire de Technologie, Senegal
ESANET	East and Southern African NETwork
ESI		Ecole Supérieur d'Informatique, Burkina Faso
EUnet		European Unix Network, cooperative, Europe
FAO		Food and Agriculture Organisation
FNRS		Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium
FOE		Friends of the Earth, Ghana
FPH		Fondation pour le ProgrŹs de l'Homme, Switzerland
FRD		Foundation for Research and Development, South Africa
GAPVOD	Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations for Development, Ghana
GHASTINET	GHAna national Scientific and Technical Information NETwork, Ghana
GRET		Groupe de Recherches et d'Etudes Technologiques, France
HEPnet	High Energy Physics Network, research, world
IBSRAM	International Board for Soil Research and Management
ICARDA	International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas
ICIPE		International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
ICRAF		International Centre for Research in Agroforestry
ICRISAT	International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics
IDRC		International Development Research Centre, Canada
IER		Institut d'Economie Rurale, Mali
IFDC		International Fertilizer Development Centre
IIE		Institute for International Education
IIMI		International Irrigation Management Institute
IIRSDA	Institut International de Recherche Scientifique et Développement en Agriculture
IITA		International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
ILCA		International Livestock Centre for Africa
ILRAD		International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases
INRSP		Institut national de recherche en santé publique, Mali
IPPNW		International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
IRRI		International Rice Research Institute
ISFRA		Institut supérieur de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée, Mali
ISRA		Institut Scientifique de Recherche Agronomique, Senegal
ISRA		Institut Sénégalais de recherche Agricole, Senegal
JANET		Joint Academic Netork, research & academic, UK
JUNET		Japan Unix Network, cooperative, Japan
MANGO		Microcomputer Assistance for NGO, Zimbabwe
MILNET	MILitary NETwork, USA
NCRE		National Cereals Research and Extension project, Cameroon
NCST		National Centre for Sciences and Technology, Kenya
NetNorth	Northern Network, cooperative, Canada
NORDUnet	Nordic Network, academic, Nordic countries
NRI		National Research Internet, research, USA
NSFNET	National Science Foundation Network, research, USA
OCCGE		Organisme de Coopération et de Coordination pour la lutte contre les Grandes Endémies en 
		Afrique Centrale, Cameroun
OSS		Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, France
PADIS		Pan African Development Information System, Ethiopia
PLAN		Foster Parents PLAN International
PNVA		Programme National de Valorisation Agricole, Mali
PRNET		Experimental Packet Radio Network, ressearch, USA
RTI		Research Triangle Institute
SAPES		Southern Africa Press Service
SARDC		Southern African Research and Documentation Centre
SEAG		Innovation et Réseaux pour le Developpement, Niger
CISAFA	Communication & Information systems in Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Africa
UBC		University of British Columbia, Canada
UERD		Unité d'Etudes et de Recherches démographiques, Burkina Faso
UNDP		United Nations Development Program
UNECA		United Nations Economic Council on Africa, Ethiopia
UNEP		United Nations Environmental Program
UNICS		University of Nairobi, Information and Computer Service, Kenya
UNITAR	United Nations Institute for training And Research, Switzerland
UNZA		University of Zambia, Zambia
URD		Unité de Recherche Démographique, Togo
USAID		United States Agency for International Development
USENET	User’s Network, cooperative, world
UUCP		UUCP Mail Network, cooperative, world
VITA		Volunteer In Technical Assistance, USA
WARDA		West African Rice Development Association
WHO		World Health Organisation, Mali


Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.
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