I’m passing on this email from the Software Carpentry mailing list, in case
anyone has good leads for building IT capacity at Gabon U.
From: Discuss [mailto:discuss-boun...@lists.software-carpentry.org] On Behalf
Of Anelda van der Walt
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:57 PM
To: Software Carpentry Discussion
Subject: [Discuss] Help needed: Internet access in Africa
I realise we have a very diverse group of people subscribed to this list and
really hope someone on the list can help with ideas or can put us in touch with
someone who can help.
In July 2017 colleagues from University of New Orleans will be running a 5-day
bioinformatics workshop in Gabon, Central Africa. The workshop will include
some modules from the Carpentry repertoire. The researchers from New Orleans
have a longstanding relationship with the Gabon university and have been
involved in a number of capacity building initiatives over the years. Amongst
other things, participants will learn this year, to use cloud computing (thanks
Jason!) for genomics data analysis...
The reality is that the university does not have Internet... Although our
colleagues from the US will be buying data bundles and using the local mobile
network to get access to Internet for the duration of the course (with its
limitations and high costs associated), we are trying to help the university to
get access to Internet at a broader level.
We are working with the country's Education and Research Network service
provider, but costs are astronomical and as such the Science Faculty, who is
keen to take a lead on this initiative, will just not be able to cover
installation costs and monthly costs from an already depleted budget.
So, we have a use case (bioinformatics data analysis in the cloud), we have a
champion at the Gabon university (Dean of Science Faculty), we have the network
provider ready with plans to install (GabonREN), we have an existing
relationship between US/Gabon (so not one of those once off helicopter capacity
What we don't have:
* Skills in the IT department to install and maintain internet (The Science
Dean said they will have to contract these skills in)
* Funding to afford the initial installation
* Funding to maintain the installation (staff/contractors)
* Funding for monthly line rental
Does anybody have an idea about someone we could approach for help?
I look forward to seeing how our collective wisdom and networks may be able to
help fellow researchers get access to the Internet.
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