Mahmud,

Thank you for asking "which connectivity technologies?" and for your
interest in discussing possible ways forward.

Before I give any answer of my own I should explain that my role is as
an intermediary. I speak "about" the OOCD 2000+ project and the people
involved, because that is what I know. I report what people there have
told me, as faithfully and accurately as I can. I can discuss the
problems we experience communicating between the UK and rural Nigeria,
and explore ways those problems might be solved. I can tell you what
difficulties there are on the Nigerian side and how our people tackle
them. But you need better information than that if we are to find the
best answers to the questions that interest you.

You need to ask the people of Oke-Ogun themselves, as they can answer
you from detailed first hand knowledge. I will happily help you to make
whatever contacts you want. It will of course take time, because
connectivity is so bad. We will need to decide what exactly you want to
find out, and the best way to move forward on that. It may be that you
just want some general impressions from a few key people, or it may be
that you want full detailed discussions with large community groups.

There is another decision to be made fairly early on - in order to
collect up your information do you want to travel to where the
information is, or do you want the information to travel to you? As I
have explained elsewhere, we have started to explore the use of video,
so that people can speak for themselves, but at a distance. The man I
was quoting regarding the need for connectivity was contributing to our
video experiment. Getting answers on video would also take some time to
set up (not least because the initial experimental videos we did in
Oge-Ogun used my own laptop and video camera, which I needed to bring
home to the UK again afterwards) but it could be done. We have learnt
useful lessons from that initial work, which will help us to move on. I
will happily share more details off list.

Meanwhile I can give you some information regarding connectivity and
needs and possible ways forward.

You mention convergent technologies and especially the role of radio.
That is dear to the heart of the OOCD 2000+ project - but our hands are
tied, as our community radio partners have been waiting over a year for
a broadcasting license to be granted.

Email seems to be of greater immediate potential use than telephones.
The fact that it is asynchronous is a great benefit.

People in Ago-Are want email, many have been disappointed to discover
that although the InfoCente has three computers there is no email
facility. Already some people from Ago-Are travel a long distance to use
the email bureaux in Ibadan.

Certainly, within our project, email has made the diffenence between
"possible" and "totally impossible" - even though it is only possible
through the determination of David Mutua, our project manager, and his
willingnes to suffer long and uncomfortable journeys by public service
vehicle between Ago-Are and Ibadan.

Our vision is to make the InfoCentre in Ago-Are into a co-ordinating
centre for other InfoCentres, one in each of the ten Local Government
areas in Oke-Ogun, and to cascade out from there.

It would be an enormous leap forward for us to get a number of local
centres with email. Other list members have already discussed the
possible combination of CD-Roms etc combined with email, and that is
the approach we have to use at present in Ago-Are. Naturally those of us
within the project who have experience of using the Internet for more
than the occasional email would like to see broadband as soon as possible.
And when other people realise its potential doubtless they will want it
too, but for the inititial breakthrough, even if we only get email, it
would make such a tremendous difference. In reply to your question, it
was email I had in mind when I made the plea to connect people.

Going back to video, and convergent technologies, and broadband, we look
forward to the time when OOCD 2000+ will have its own website, including
lots of video clips, and will join in webconferencin and such like - but
for starters - just simple email would enable us to start connecting and
communicating.


Pam McLean
CAWD UK Volunteer supporting Oke-Ogun Community Development Agenda 2000+



Mahmud Daud <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Pam, when you say what we need is to simply connect these people like in
> Oke-Ogun (Nigeria) which connectivity technologies are you referring to?
> Telephone only? Roads, Telephone and email? Shared web access?
>
> I work for ActionAid Africa and we are very interested in discussing
> with any of you about the way forward in promoting ICTs for deprived
> poor peoples: the rural poor, urban slum poor, women and the physically
> disabled. We believe a convergence of these technologies should be the
> way forward. Radio is supplementing a lot of the efforts at connecting
> the unconnected for a better access to information for the participation
> of the poor in economic, social, political, and cultural life of the
> planet.





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