UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
* CABECA itself came into existence in July 1993. Since that time it has established new nodes in the following countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi. Morocco and Tanzania * Through the supply of equipment, training for systems operators and users, CABECA has strengthened existing nodes in the following countries: Angola, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda * CABECA is undertaking infrastructure building for nodes in these countries (feasibility/site visit completed, equipment ordered, training and support plan developed; arrival of equipment awaited to train systems operators and users): Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland * CABECA has begun negotiations to establish or strengthen existing nodes in: Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda (currently suspended), Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan and ZaireCABECA emphasizes the development of national public access nodes, i.e. hosts open to all users. The nodes established to date have been located in national universities and research institutes, international NGO's, government offices and offices of international organizations. Points are at private sector offices, private individuals, NGO's, research and academic institutions, international organizations, projects.
The project has one professional and one administrative support person working full time on the project at its base in Addis Ababa. This team co-ordinates technical and administrative aspects of the project. It is supported by the administrative services of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (for purchasing, processing of travel, shipment of equipment), as well as its field offices in 52 African States, which are the UNDP offices. They take care of travel arrangements, clearance of equipment from customs, arranging of appointments, etc.
CABECA has four subregional co-ordinators in the field who undertake site visits, develop national working plans and train systems operators and users, concentrating on the following areas:
_the Horn of Africa, _Eastern and Central Africa,
_West Africa, _southern Africa.
All of these are persons who are noted personalities/experts in the field of networking in Africa. They are the pioneers and the developers of African systems, and all have international reputations. Additionally, the project contracts national trainers, with experience in establishing and running national nodes, to train operators and users and to provide on-going technical support. On-going technical support is also provided by the subregional trainers mentioned above.
CABECA's main goal is the development of national networking infrastructure by building national capacities. Our technical approach is low-cost entry level (Fido systems) for a start, using dial-up telephone lines and store-and-forward techniques where these are the only possibilities available. However, full portability is maintained, working towards the adaptation to higher level systems (Uucp/Unix in computer technology) and using leased lines and packet switching networks as these become available and are affordable. Our concentration is on the affordable and the possible, with the aim of constantly moving up to full Internet connectivity as the telecommunications infrastructure develops. Cost sharing, resource exchange and the development of supporting infrastructure enable growth from low cost, low band-width technologies (such as Fidonet and Uucp) to high band-width global links to TCP/IP.
One of the major achievements of CABECA to date is the development of a southern Africa strategy with links to Uninet-SA and to the Internet. This trend that shows CABECA's goal of Internet connectivity through the development of network supportive infrastructure is achievable.
CABECA is the only electronic networking project in the Africa region that (1) serves the entire Africa region, and (2) is based in the Africa region.
The project maintains close collaboration with all the other major networking efforts in Africa, including: RIO-ORSTOM, RINAF, UNDP's Sustainable Development Network and Healthnet/SatelLife.
CABECA plans to undertake the following network development activities in 1995. We would be happy to work with organizations interested in countryl and intra-country node and point development .
West Africa: Benin installation of Fido network; training of system operators national network setup, design and sensitization Burkina Faso building an NGO low cost network among SPONG members Mali needs assessment on national networking sensitization and demonstration of low cost technology Mauritania installation of Fido network; training of system operators Ghana improvement of national academic network development of NGO network upgrading and interconnection of existing national network national network setup, design and sensitization Niger needs assessment and national network design sensitization on information exchange through low cost technolgy Nigeria improvement of national academic network development of NGO network upgrading and interconnection of existing national network Senegal expansion of existing national network installation of unix based national network training of system operators Enda Dakar Sierra Leone expansion of existing national network East and Central Africa: Chad installation of the first public Fido network; training of system operators; national network setup, design and sensitization Cameroon expansion of existing national network; installation of gateway software installation and coordination of polling site advisory services on national network design, expansion sensitization workshop Kenya developing a working national interconnected network building gateway between UNEP TCP/IP link and Fido configuring gateway between TCP/IP and Fido provision of training on Uucp and TCP/IP Uganda development of national network ; upgrading to Uucp technolgy and acquiring Uucp link national TCP/IP gateway design (linking to Kenya or South Africa) sensitization and advising in national network upgrade Tanzania development of national network upgrading to Uucp technolgy and acquiring Uucp link national TCP/IP gateway design (linking to Kenya or South Africa) sensitization and advising in national network upgrade The Horn: Ethiopia sensitization workshop for entrepreneurs national academic network development sensitization and advising on national network upgrade Eritrea installation of Uucp network at University of Asmara development of national NGO network expansion and interconnection between Uucp network and existing national Fido link Southern Africa: Lesotho building Internet gateways through South Africa Mozambique Swaziland
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