[kictanet] The Marine Cable

alice alice at apc.org
Mon Dec 3 19:45:15 EAT 2007

Dear all

Is the question whether or not the public infrastructure that we are 
investing in as a country is going to proof to be of value in the long 
A valid question indeed, because there are many types of info com 
infrastructure deployment initiatives that have not always produced or 
achieved the desired outcomes, resulting in networks that do not realise 
their potential value and as a result failure to realise universal 
access expectations. Reasons could be varied from the previous state of 
the market/sector, reluctant stakeholders, the overall political 
situation, even non-ambitious users, etc. etc.
We should however look at the TEAMS initiative broadly within the 
context of ICTs as enablers of socio-economic development... e.g 
improved delivery of health care services, better access to government 
services, increased quantity and quality of education/training 
opportunities and the list goes on.  The value of TEAMS will of course 
only be realised if we have wide spread national terrestrial fibre to 
complement it and locally generated content, services and applications. 
So the demand side is even more crucial therefore calling for greater 
participation of the users/consumers in this process.  So initiatives 
like our digital villages, which seem to follow the community owned 
network framework are essential...



bitange at jambo.co.ke wrote:
> Dear Yawe,
> The problem with virtual discussion is that one does not know the
> audience.  Let me assume that you have similar interests as many of those
> I have met do.  Allow me then to take the discussion on Fibre Optic to
> another level.  The East African region is the only place on earth that is
> not served by these links (see attached networks).  The East African
> region lags behind those countries with multiple cables.
> When you read Tom Friedman, The World is Flat, you find that Accessibility
> to cheaper bandwidth spurred growth in India and that ICT is a great
> leveler.  The far East which indeed had more shanties in 1965 that we
> (East Africans) had, have used ICTs to flatten their region so that the
> waters of foreign investment can flow there.  Indeed the Far East has
> experienced the fastest growth in morden history.  It is therefore prudent
> to develop an hypothesis along this line - Lack of cheaper connectivity
> and entrepreneurialism contributes to underdevelopment in our part of the
> world.  There are other secondary hypotheses such as the role of
> academicians in underdeveloping Africa through endless debates when indeed
> we know what others did to liberate their people from poverty.  In the
> past 10 years China moved 300 million out of poverty while we remained
> stagnant.
> Perhaps we need a forum to square up this matter.  It is key that we are
> all on one page in terms of helping our region to develop.
> Asante sana.
> Bitange Ndemo.
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