UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
AFRICAN REGIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON TELEMATICS FOR DEVELOPMENT
Ethiopia, 3-7 April 1995
NETWORKING IN ANGOLA
Haymee Perez Cogle: Angonet System Operator
Silvio Cabral Almada: SDNP-Angola Technical Consultant
The first Electronic Mail link in Angola was set up in 1990 under the auspices of Programme Angola- Canada. At that time, a communications node was set in Development Workshop, an international NGO working in Angola since 1980. The purpose was to link Programme Angola's NGO members in Canada with their partners in Angola. When Programma Angola ended in 1993, this E-Mail link ceased to operate. Development Workshop thus sought assistance from the Regional Initiatives Fund of the Canadian International Development Agency, Canadian High Commission (CIDA-CHC) in Harare, Zimbawe to upgrade the regional E-Mail Link and to extend its services to other nationals and internationals NGOs in Angola.
In february of 1994, with assistance from CABECA project was set Angonet node. Through the establishment of the Angonet E-Mail services, the project seeks to increase communications and information exchange among and between Angolan, regional and international organizations.
At the same time, UNDP was actively involved with the creation and development of a network meant to exchange information related to environment and sustainable development. The feasibility study in 1992, as well the firsts SDN-Angola projects activities in 1993, were supported by an interregional UNDP project wish was crated to finance the creation of a network in a few pilot countries, wish were connected to worldwide network.
In april of 1994 was ready set up the second operational host in Angola. SDN-Angola was enable to exchange information on environment and sustainable development with the regional and international similar organizations involved in SDN initiative. Received information is achieved and delivered via E-mail or posted to individuals and local institutions.
The second phase of the SDNP project was approved in January/95, with a budject of 103,900 usd including a Sweden Government contribution of 35,000 usd for equipment acquisition.
Since the SDNP international telephone line is not installed yet, international traffic is routed through Angonet. Angonet is polled by GreenNet two times daily.
Services offered are the Electronic Mail, News Bulletin and Conferences. SDNP public information services are available in Angonet.
Eleven Conferences and News Bulletin are currently offered:
* Angonet: System News and On-Line Help
* RIDS: News on SDNP
* Cronologia: Monthly News Bulletin on Angola
* Africa: AIA News
* Edupage: Information technologies News
* UN.WCW.DOC.ESP & WOMEN.UNWCW: Documents for the UN Women's Conferences
* Population: Forum on the causes & solutions to over population
* Ambiente: Documents on environment and sustainable development
* WOMEN.LABR, WOMEN.HEALTH & WOMEN.VIOLENCE: Women Networks
User Supports Services: Complete user support service including installation, training and technical assistance.
At the moment there are 40 organizations, including SDNP, connected to Angonet, and the user demand is rapidly increasing. Classifying users by type of organizations:
NGOs: 55% Intl: 40% Natl: 15% Academic Inst.: 15% Government Orgs:20% Women Groups: 5% Regional Orgs: 5%
Statistics collected from Dec/94 to Feb/95 Total Traffic: 18 MB Intl. Traffic: 16 MB Natl. Traffic: 2 MB (only 12% of the total)
Developmemt Workshop have subsidized national non-profit organizations and Governments users during the first phase of Angonet Project, but it is an objective to make the system sustainable through cost recovery system.
One of our principal concern in this regard is the inability of both Government and Local NGOs to financially their share of costs, due to current economic crisis in Angola. We have had to look for sponsors to assist in covering the regular users costs of national members.
Angonet design the following costs recovery scheme:
Member Contributions: Users contributions to the maintenance costs of the system will cover only running costs, technical and administrative support, and replacement costs for equipment.
Modem Loan Scheme: Angonet can make available a limited number of modems to user organizations. Priority is given to local network members who may have difficulty purchasing appropriate equipment. International users are encouraged to purchase their own modems.
Partner Sponsors: A sponsor system, allowing international users to subsidise the costs of a local network partner. Angonet also assists international or commercial organizations to donate used and old PCs to meet local partner's communication needs.
Set up and development of the electronics networks in countries like Angola becomes a difficult, given the general unreliability of all communications systems.
The most important negative factors are:
1. Poor quality of telephone lines and poor communication links within the country
2. Irregular electric power supply
3. Potential users are poorly resurced
5. CURRENT PLANS
1. Increasing the local traffic promoting BBs and newsgroups
2. Geographic extension of the E-Mail capabilities in the country
3. Link some of the rural NGOs programme by Packet Radio to Angonet
4. Direct link into Internet
Although a direct link into Internet is the goal, we had been looking initially into some intermediate solutions, due to high costs of leased lines using the Healthnet satellite as a way of increasing the frequency and quality of Angonet polling.
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