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

Dear all,
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 
building initiatives).

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.
Kind regards,

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