[kictanet] Universal Access in Kenya (Is it really working?)

Edith Adera eadera at idrc.or.ke
Mon Dec 6 13:32:42 EAT 2010

Bwana Ndemo,

It would be nice to get a definition of what we mean by digital villages?

I would want to imagine that this  does NOT mean a traditional telecentre model (with one-point access). Communities have since moved on to innovate and build their own networks bottom-up! What we refer to as the first mile. So you have a "cloud of connectivity" which can be used to connect various corporate and individual users under that "cloud" rather than the traditional one-point access centre. Local skills are used to design, build and maintain the network, to run it as a social enterprise (on business terms) and to link it to development outcomes.

I've attached a presentation I made last week in S. Sudan to show how this has been done in Nigeria, Uganda, Angola, SA, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In Uganda, we also established a community wireless resource centre at the Electrical engineering dept of Makerere University to integrate the training into the University curriculum, to provide ongoing technical backstopping to the community deployments and also to offer short-term courses for ordinary citizens to acquire skills in community wireless networking. So you can grow local skills and critical mass quickly! This is now institutionalized and running way beyond the donor funding.

Tanzania has an interesting community-owned fibre model using existing fibre owned by the Water company - the dark fibre is in use to provide connectivity to neighboring villages! (this is a partnership between the Science and technology council of TZ and a Swedish University). The TZ fibre model is very impressive - given we have lots of fibre lying idle along railway lines, power lines, water companies, NOFBI etc

We need more innovation than we are putting our UA funds to...this will help reach UA much faster while building local skills! I worry about our approach to UA. And can we have more "public domain" feedback on UA in Kenya (it's too quiet!).


From: kictanet-bounces+eadera=idrc.or.ke at lists.kictanet.or.ke [mailto:kictanet-bounces+eadera=idrc.or.ke at lists.kictanet.or.ke] On Behalf Of bitange at jambo.co.ke
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 12:46 PM
To: Edith Adera
Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Universal Access in Kenya (Is it really working?)

I am in the US till the 15th. The committee is chaired by Paul and cmposed of the operators and CCK. Please ask Paul how far they have gone. We did in such a way that they become the losers if they dfo not deploy but let us hear from Paul.


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From: Mwololo Tim <timwololo at gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2010 20:33:54 -0800
To: <bitange at jambo.co.ke>
Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions<kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Universal Access in Kenya (Is it really working?)

Hi Dr. Ndemo,
Thank you for the information. I am aware of the DV development by Safaricom and I have had discussions with the persons involved. What about the other operators and service providers? Is there a requirement for them to spent a certain proportion of their revenue on DVs, in line with the way US cointributions are calculated? What happens to those operators who ignore this "invitation" or do not roll out "enough" in line with their revenues? What is the composition and mandate of the committee you mention? What is the role of the regulator (has mandate for USO) in all this? These are some of the issues that bother me. Regards. tim
On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 2:34 AM, <bitange at jambo.co.ke<mailto:bitange at jambo.co.ke>> wrote:
I am on record several times complaining the slow pace by the World Bank to release the funds for the Pasha project.  I am told that this will happen in January even though their pilot projects are operational.

This did not stop us from advancing the digital village concept.  We invited the operators to roll them out in return for not paying the first year USF.  One operator has already rolled out 500 of these DVs.  There is a committee in place to help the rest of the operators roll out.

IBM conducted a study on DVs to help further develop the value proposition.  As a result we have key corporations willing to participate.  For example CFC Stanbic want their online share trade to be on DVs.

The challenge we have is getting entrepreneurs from every constituency.  Most regions folks expect grants.  The resources available are for revolving funds.  In other words loans to set up the enterprise.  There is plenty of loanable resources from Youth and Women Enterprise to the world bank.  Our people must get to understand risk and enterprise.  Individually we must spend all our energies to educate our people.

I must state here that the last time we advertised, 95 percent of the 2000 applications came from one ethnic group.  We could not move for obvious reasons.  I would hope in future listers seek to understand the problem before rushing to making conclusions.  At this time of our development we must emphasize evidence based decisions.

We are talking to MPs to assist disseminate some of these information.  Our Parliamentary Chairman Hon. Eng. Spends most of the time explaining and encouraging MPs to sensatize their own people.  We cannot for for example to North Hor and put up a DV without willing people to run it.

On NOFBI I do not know what you are talking about because I know some operators are using the network and it is managed by TKL.


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Subject: Re: [kictanet] Universal Access in Kenya (Is it really working?)

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