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Watching Africa Grow Connected To the Internet

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Africa is graduating from the concept of using the Internet as just an instrument of basic communication and beginning to recognize it as a tool for growth in their businesses. Various organizations, commercial farmers and crop marketing companies in Zambia and Zimbabwe are composing online content to promote socioeconomic development. Offering their citizens information and advice with aims of teaching them how to boost their production and market their produce.

Among those offering their service to the public is the African Internet Service Providers Association along with African ISPs (Internet Service Providers) who are working on plans to furnish free Web pages or blogs to all their clients and develop user friendly Web publishing tools to help farmers publish content.

As Africa becomes more Internet savvy, other projects are underway to aide progress in connecting them with the rest of the world.

One of the present issues being tackled is the lack of affordable broadband Internet access. The Association for Progressive Communications has taken the first step in addressing the issue by developing a site designed to equip people with information about international Internet Bandwidth in Africa. (APC) wrote in its press release:

“Africa currently has to pay for some of the most expensive bandwidth in the world. The region currently only has one major international fibre cable (SAT3) that connects countries in West and Southern Africa but East Africa has no fibre connection. Fibre connections usually mean cheaper prices than satellite for volume traffic but because of the monopoly structure of the SAT3 consortium, its operators have kept prices high.”

“All this will change if the proposed East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) cable is built as it will connect countries on the eastern side of the continent and if this new capacity is offered in a way that maximizes use and lowers price.”

In efforts to keep the ball rolling, South Africa’s City of Cape Town has devised its own plan to promote computer literacy and instill the importance of creating content to make the city a part of the online community. They are bringing the Internet to the citizens using the mobile Smart Cape Access Unit, a truck which comes to areas housing the poor and unemployed. The unit holds eight computers and provides 45 minute Internet sessions for those in need. The program is proving to be a success and plans are under way to provide more trucks.

It’s all ways good to see progress being made in this region of the world and an even better feeling comes from everyone uniting to further such a cause.

Source: Digital Divide Network

Copyright © 2006 Affiliated Publishing

Published: 2006-04-06
Author: Treci Cauthen

About the author or the publisher
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