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Sustainable ICT in Rural Africa

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Presentation by Dion Jerling (CONNECT AFRICA) at the World Conference on Agricultural Information and IT - Atsugi, August 2008

Presentation by Dion Jerling (CONNECT AFRICA) at the World Conference on Agricultural Information and IT - Atsugi, August 2008

Published in: Business, News & Politics

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  • 1. Sustainable ICT in Rural Africa Dion Jerling Special Projects Director CONNECT AFRICA World Conference on Agricultural Information and IT IAALD AFITA WCCA 2008
  • 2. Summary:
    • What is Connect Africa
    • Current Challenges for rural ICT in rural Africa
    • Finding the solutions
    • A proposed solution
    • Its sustainability
    • Next steps
  • 3. What is Connect Africa:
  • 4. Current challenges for rural Africa:
    • Access / connectivity
    • Infrastructure
    • Cost
    • Literacy / Content
    • Sustainability
    • Power Supply
    • De-regulation of cellular networks
  • 5. Finding the Solutions:
    • Lessons from the mobile boom in Africa
    • Step down to reality
    • Step 1 universally is a public phone
    • Communities (Farmers) will then direct the solutions:
      • Look
      • Listen
      • Learn
      • Link
  • 6. A Proposed Solution:
    • Network of community pay-phones for deep rural Zambia
    • Using Iridium and Thuraya satellite networks
    • Thuraya PCO & Iridium “BravoTel”
    • Competitive 36c (US) per minute call rate
    • 60 kbps Connectivity
    • Tiered service levels – HQ, Provincial Hub, District Hub, Village Hub
    • Local operator at village level to assist community
    • Routine regional service, maintenance and cash management
    • Expand the service portfolio in line with demand
  • 7. Sustainability:
    • Each hub is a business
    • Each village phone is a micro enterprise
    • All information and services are paid for by recipient or service provider:
      • Calls and connectivity by the user at affordable rates
      • Information/Content delivery by the provider
    • Multiple service delivery is facilitated by the network ( at a cost to the service provider ):
      • Communication services
      • Business services
      • Government services
    • Ongoing monitoring, assessment and capacity building
    • Build up from step 1 – organic growth – pull, not push
    • Iteration - go back and check – we can, we’ve a routine service schedule
    • Highlight the demand spikes and focus the resources
    • Bring in partnerships – often the most unlikely pairings are most successful
  • 8. Next Steps:
    • Deploy a trial network of 8 pay-phones in rural central Zambia (Oct 2008)
    • Look, listen & learn for 3 months
    • Assess and analyse results of the trial
    • Link the relevant technologies and services with the communities
    • Initiate policy and regulatory feedback sessions with government/regulator
    • Apply for a National Service Provider Licence (NSP) for rural Zambia
    • Initiate a national roll-out strategy with satellite network partners
    • Use Zambia as a model for the rest of Africa and beyond
    • See you next year
  • 9. Thank You Dion Jerling Special Projects Director CONNECT AFRICA Email: [email_address] Cell: +27 82 (0)82 487 8354 (South Africa) Cell: +260 (0)97 686 0113 (Zambia)
  • 10. Africa:
  • 11. Map of Zambia
  • 12. Thuraya PCO & Iridium BravoTel
  • 13. Rural Rainy Season Reality:
  • 14. Zinc Air Fuel Cell: 12V

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