Project Proposal

 (Draft: 12/27/03)


The Establishment of ICT-Center and Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) for E-Learning and E-Healthcare

in Ethiopia



Application for Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund


















Principal Promoter and Coordinator






(will be notified after arrangements are made with local stakeholders)





Co-Principal Promoter and Coordinator

Takeshi Utsumi, Ph. D., P.E.

Founder and Vice President for Technology and Coordination Global University System (GUS)

Chairman of GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)

43-23 Colden Street, #9-L

Flushing, NY 11355-3998










I.      Introduction

1.1.     Background

1.2.     Education, Manpower Development and Health Care in Ethiopia

1.2.1. Education

1.2.2. Manpower Development

1.2.3. Healthcare

1.3.     Information and Communication Technology in Ethiopia


II.     Project Objectives

2.1         Development Objectives

2.2          Immediate Objectives


III.   General Scheme of EthioNet and LCDN

3.1.     EthioNet

3.2.     LCDN


IV.  Expected Project Results and Benefits

4.1.     Expected Utilization of Broadband Internet

4.2.     Social Benefits

4.3.     Technological and Economic Benefits

4.4.     Cost Effectiveness of Wireless Broadband Internet

4.5.     Replicability

4.6.     Summary


V.    Financing EthioNet and LCDN

5.1.     ODA Fund of the Japanese Government

5.2.     Global E-Rate

5.3.     UNESCO


VI.  Synopsis of Principal Organizations

6.1.     ASELEH

6.2.     AA, DBU and DU

6.3.     GUS

6.4.     GUS/USA


VII.   Joint Programs and Projects

7.1.     Open Education Project-Gondar

7.2.     SchoolNet

7.2.     AAUNet



Annex A: Resumes


Annex B: Letter of Support and Commitment


Annex C. Financing (Detailed)






I.          Title


The Establishment of EthioNet [1] and Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) for E-Learning and E-Healthcare in Ethiopia


II.         Goal


1.) To establish

a.)   EthioNet: A broadband Internet network (with a project name EthioNet), which is planned to enhance interaction among higher education institutions.  The network shall interlink these institutions within themselves and with communities in their vicinity, nationwide and that of international (with the Global University System).  The network, by paving the venue to communication, will ultimately enable life-long learning and E-Learning in higher education.  EthioNet will, by the same token, promote E-Healthcare in hospitals, health centers and clinics.


b.)   LCDN: Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) which is to link diverse rural communities for knowledge sharing through exchange of experiences.  In short, the LCDN foster public services supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).


c.)   GUS/Ethiopia: Global University System in Ethiopia (GUS/Ethiopia) will establish technological alternatives to promote access and use of the available technology for E-Learning in educational and E-Healthcare in medical fields with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese government.  GUS/Ethiopia will be a representative of the Global University System which is responsible to coordinate this project and other activities in promoting the principles of Global University System.


2.) To achieve socio-economic and technological benefits, by introducing E-Learning and E-Healthcare to education and health care sectors.  The over-all effects will result in property reduction, developing qualified manpower, and opens chance to play a global role in knowledge creation, where Ethiopia may have comparative advantage.


3.) To secure:

a.)   The Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF/Seed Fund) for the initial phase

b.)   The Community Project Assistance Fund (CPAF) and

c.)   The Official Development Assistance (ODA) Fund to promote EthioNet and LCDN.


4.) To promote E-Leaning and E-Healthcare in Ethiopia: This is the ultimate goal.  Once the infrastructure facilities are set up, the overall advantages of ICT can be implemented to support education and health sectors.


III.        Project Financing


a.)   The JSDF/Seed Fund for the initial phase, i.e., for the fact-finding and assessment and organizing mini-workshop.

b.)   Community Project Assistance Fund (CPAF) for deployment of LCDN

c.)   Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese Government to implement the project objectives.




         I.              Introduction


1.1.     Background


The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution leaves no room for exceptions: It knocks the doors of every country and all activities where human beings are engaged in.  The way we work, learn and live is highly influenced by the rapid development of this technology.  However, the role ICT plays in teaching/learning and Telemedicine signalizes new phenomenon.  The "global digital village" is reflected in the global teaching/learning system, which gave birth to the new role of ICTs.


With 6 billion people on Earth, going to 9 billion by the middle of this century, current educational systems everywhere at all levels have major problems, probably not solvable with current classical teaching/learning approaches.  Thus, we need new approaches that go beyond current teaching/learning systems, which by any means, need to be greatly improved, less expensive and available lifelong for all in all fields of studies and for every society anywhere.


The new wave of technical facilities makes it possible now, metaphorically speaking, to bring the lecture hall, the library and the laboratory combined, into the room of a student who possesses a relatively cheap personal computer (PC).  Indeed, we are witnessing a new kind of mobility in higher education, by means of which it is the university (and the whole range of its facilities) that goes to the student.  In that manner, access to higher education studies is open to large categories of people, both within national boundaries and internationally.


ICTs become equally important for all universities and other higher university institutions to attach an objective they had recognized as their own a long time ago, namely the need to become true centers of life-long learning.  It is accordingly expected that the use of ICTs in distance and open education will occupy a major place in Education and Healthcare Systems in Ethiopia, too.


To this end, UNESCO, IFIP, IEEE, GUS and other international organizations have understood for many years the importance of the application of ICT in Education and Healthcare Systems.  However, the main inhibiting factors to use ICT in developing countries like Ethiopia are:

(a)  Lack of qualified teachers and professors

(b)  Lack of qualified technical and managerial personnel

(c)  Limited material (resources like computer and peripheral equipment) and financial resources

(d)  High costs of hardware and educational software.


Considering the constraints mentioned above, a proposal with the following main objectives is presented:

(1)  To Establish EthioNet and LCDNs to promote technological and socio-economic development of communities (universities, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals and others) with the use of high speed wireless Internet connections for E-Learning and E-Healthcare associated with content development.  (see Figure)

(2)  To create the Global University System/Ethiopia (GUS/Ethiopia) in order to establish technological alternatives to promote access and use of the available technology for E-Learning in educational and E-Healthcare in medical fields with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese government.


1.2.     Education, Manpower Development and Health Care in Ethiopia


1.2.1.  Education


Education in Ethiopia dates back to 1500 years.  In older times, churches were the center of education and knowledge creation.  Church education has (and still now in most places) contributed significantly in Ethiopian tradition.  Modern education, which becomes gradually dominant over the church ones, played more positive role in the development of the society by promoting a range of activities which stimulated creativity and innovation.


Education is both a product of society and a major factor in social changes.  Thus, education must involve the whole society in its operation and offer the possibility of a life-long process of learning.  There is a close interaction between technological and economic growth and development in education as no single country has achieved sound economic development without a well established education system.


The assessment of the educational and health sectors in Ethiopia show that in spite of the many achievements, there remain still major preambles which need to be resolved.  At present, the education sector is beset by problems of extremely low and stagnant primary school enrolment, in adequate number of qualified teachers capable of setting newly introduced local languages at regional levels (and associated with shortage of educational materials in these languages); high school drop-out and repetition rates, restricted access to tertiary education; high illiteracy rates; and overall low quality of education.


Furthermore, secondary education is exemplified by class size between 90 and 120, and by chronic shortage of teaching materials.  Coupled to that, the annual pool of high school completers is very large, compared to the capacity available at university level.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of high school students not only become unemployed because of their failure to successfully complete their studies, but also because of their lack of access to already limited tertiary education.


The government investment to education sector is on the average between 1986 and1996 remained below 9.6%, whereas to that of health for similar period is merely 4.5%.  Private or other sources of investment are quite limited.  In fact, private colleges are now under way to contribute in the area of higher education, though far behind what is expected.  The role played by continuing, distance and open education is remarkable.


Cognizant of the current education system and the long way it has to go, in order to play dynamic role in the process of economic development, this project plan foresees in providing alternative system to the inadequate traditional education system.  In this connection, the government has also declared to establish an integrated, comprehensive and effective National Information and Communication Infrastructure Framework.  The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) has adopted a program for schools known as SchoolNet (see 7.3.), which optimistically envisaged furnishing over 590 schools all over the country with Internet access. 


1.2.2.  Manpower Development


The human development, specifically trained manpower of Ethiopia correlates directly to the education system of the country (see 1.2.1.).  Thus, in actual fact, the trained manpower situation of the country is very worrisome, mainly for two reasons:

a.)  The existing labor force is largely unskilled and less productive, and as such, can hardly contribute to rapid economic growth and the present education system is not in a position to fill this valuable missing element.

b.)  At the same time, the majority of children do not go to school and the future style of the unskilled labor forces is likely to increase proportionally.  The human resource situation or the country is thus beset with short-term as well as long-term problems.


1.2.3.  Health


Health is a factor in the development endeavor as a county's future ultimately depends on the well being of its population for the realization of its human potential.


The health status of the Ethiopian population is among the least in the world.  Infectious and Communicable diseases and nutritional deficiencies are the major contributing factors for such poor health status.  Poor environmental conditions and limited communication systems coupled with inadequate healthcare services and low awareness about health care, owing to distances from clinics in remote rural areas, and weak income earning capacities have aggravated health problems in Ethiopia.


Most communicable diseases, like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, which could be controlled through elevating the awareness of the society, are affecting a large number of people.


1.3.     Information and Communication Technology in Ethiopia


Ethiopia provides Internet services since end of 1997 for the national community.  It also considers the development of national Information and Communication Technologies (NICTs) infrastructure as one of the National strategic components to make change and improve the determinants in socio-economic performance.  In line with that, some of the objectives of the establishment of NICTs institution are:


Although, the current status of application of ICT by the public is low, this will change within short period of time if attention is given and appropriate measures are taken.


           II.             Project Objectives


2.1.     Development Objectives


a.)   To promote the socio-economic development of communities (universities, secondary and elementary schools, hospitals and others) with the use of high speed wireless Internet connections for E-Learning and E-Healthcare associated with content development (see Figure)


b.)   To promote the use of information and communication technologies for economic development and wealth improvement in the country by the participation of communities for improving productivity and to engage them in knowledge and information sharing by harnessing the emerging broadband connectivity to enhance these activities as well as to improve welfare.  The socio-economic and technological benefits and the overall effects will result in developing qualified manpower and opens chance to play a global role in knowledge creation, where Ethiopia may have comparative advantage.


c.)   To promote the establishment of Tele-immersion environment in Ethiopia, which emphasizes the critical elements of the peopleÕs cultural heritages, history of the people as well as their daily experiences, based on their indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) by linking them to centers of learning and promoting ICT to use local languages in research, recording and retrieval.  Creation and processing knowledge will help to ultimate goal of promoting E-Learning and E-Healthcare.


2.2.     Immediate Objectives


a.)   Conducting fact-finding and capacity assessment study that lead towards organizing mini-workshop.  Upon a successful completion of the workshop, a project group and a Task Force will be organized which will prepare project feasibility study to apply for the implementation of the development objectives of the project.


b.)   Appraising the project study and organizing a comprehensive workshop which envelopes different public, government, non-government organizations (NGOs) to comment, supports the project plan.


c.)   Implement pilot project, whose details will be determined after the workshop.


2.3.     Intermediate Objectives


1.) To establish

a.)  EthioNet: A broadband Internet network (with a project name EthioNet), which is planned to enhance interaction among higher education institutions.  The network shall inter-link these institutions within themselves and with communities in their vicinity, nationwide and that of international (with the Global University System).  The network, by paving the venue to communication, will ultimately enable life-long learning and E-Learning in higher education, in one hand, and promote E-Healthcare in hospitals, health centers and clinics, on the other hand.


b.)  LCDN: local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) which is to link diverse urban as well as rural communities for knowledge sharing through exchange of experiences.  In short, the LCDN foster public services supported by ICTs.


c.)  GUS/Ethiopia: Global University System in Ethiopia (GUS/Ethiopia) in order to establish technological alternatives to promote access and use of the available technology for E-Learning in educational and E-Healthcare in medical fields with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese government.

GUS/Ethiopia will be a representative of the Global University System, which is responsible to coordinate this project and other activities in promoting the principles of Global University System.


2.) To secure Fund:

a.)  The Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF/Seed Fund) for the initial phase

b.)  The Community Project Assistance Fund (CPAF) and

c.)  The Official Development Fund (ODF) to promote EthioNet and LCDN.


3.) To promote E-Leaning and E-Healthcare, the ultimate goal:

a.)  E-Leaning: Support/supplement higher education with ICT.  Target groups at this pilot project level will be drop-outs from universities, colleges and other higher education institutions; distance open education fellows; life long learners (mostly continuing education); and those who failed to join higher education due to very low capacity of higher education institutions [2] .  This will give not only chances to these groups, but also will be considered as an alternative to current education system which has very limited capacity for higher education.

b.)  E-Healthcare: render services like Tele-medicine supported with ICT.  Once the infrastructure facilities are set up and the health service centers are interconnected, there are a lot of services to provide (detail will be added later in feasibility study).


               III.           General Scheme of EthioNet and LCDN


3.1.     EthioNet


EthioNet will interconnect the Addis Ababa University, the Debub University and at a later phase (due to some technical conditions), the Bahr Dar University including all colleges, institutes and research centers affiliated them with broadband microwave and/or satellite Internet.  This will facilitate the exchange of knowledge inter/intra colleges, research institutes and universities.


3.2.     LCDN


Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) will link diverse rural communities for knowledge sharing through exchange of experiences and the promotion of indigenous knowledge for development as well as connecting them to universities and colleges with selected secondary and elementary schools, libraries, hospitals, local government offices and NGOs, etc., firstly in the Cities of Addis Ababa, Awasa and Bahr Dar and their surroundings by broadband wireless Internet, which could be possibly at a later stage extended to various towns and villages.


3.2.     GUS/Ethiopia


GUS/Ethiopia, a consortium for E-Learning and E-Healthcare in Ethiopia, will foster the development of E-Learning and Tele-Medicine projects using broadband Internet technology in order to enhance their teaching/learning capabilities.  The GUS/Ethiopia will also facilitate connectivity among current E-Learning efforts around the world and will provide support and guidance to selected pilot projects serving as models for adoption around the world.


GUS/Ethiopia will also promote the above objectives as well as production of learning-ware, digital libraries, virtual laboratories and virtual universities with high-speed wireless and satellite technology, which is designed to deliver cost-effective transmission of text-based data and multimedia, like audio, video, animated pictures, etc., anywhere and anytime in Ethiopia.


Note that, in the pilot projects, in early stage of development, student clusters and kiosks will be set up, and in the subsequent stages, use of laptop will be encouraged.


Each of the regional satellite hub will then be connected to regional element, like institutions of secondary and higher education, libraries, hospitals, local government agencies, etc., in midrange (80 to 350 km) apart from each other using microwave broadband (1.5 to 45 Mbps) Internet networks.  Those organizations will then disseminate the broadband Internet service further to similar nearby (up to 40 km) organizations using fixed wireless spread spectrum broadband (3 to 10 Mbps) Internet Networks.  Each of those institutions will then become relay points for WiFi wireless broadband Internet to close the last mile to end-users for their anywhere and anytime access.


Figure: Global Broadband wireless and satellite Internet virtual private network


IV. Expected Project Results and Benefits


    The aim of the project is, as mentioned before, building broadband wireless and satellite Internet, available to universities, schools and hospitals, and will promote the interaction among communities from different areas of Ethiopia with other communities from the rest of the world.


    As the infrastructure becomes a reality, the next assignment would be realizing E-Learning and E-Healthcare, in addition to new uses of the technology (Internet telephony, distance medical diagnose, access to information, etc.).


    In this process, the communities closest to the pilot projects could benefit from ICT at large and become more aware of rapid global development.  These pilot projects can be replicable of the activities throughout Ethiopia (and beyond to other African countries in the future, too).  The replication and expansion will happen through strong partnership with other institutions in Ethiopia.  The consortium (EthioNet and LCDN) will play a major role in this initiative because they are located in regions where application of ICT is growing steadily.  Some of the benefits of this project are depicted below.


    4.1.     Utilization of Broadband Internet


    Anticipated activities with the use of EthioNet and Local Community Development Network are:


    (i). Use of broadband Internet connection:


    (ii). Two-way interactive use in E-Healthcare, environmental education and training:


    4.2.     Social Benefits


    Ethiopia, the cultural, political and economical center of Africa, had once a unique environment envied by many on the continent.  As population pressure intensified, deforestation, drought, poverty, food insecurity, HIV/AIDS, and loss of biodiversity became serious problems.  The recurrent drought and the inability of even to feed the whole population, which leads to look for international food aid, leaves Ethiopia one of the poorest countries of the world.  These problems are a clear manifestation that the country is suffering from consequences of human activities.


    These handicaps can be substantially minimized if these problems are addressed followed by actions.  Lack of information and limited communication makes people unaware of their importance as citizens and increase impoverishing and degradation of the environment and economic system.  In situations like that, people will not understand the importance to conserve the environment or how to benefit from it without compromising their own future as well as that of future generations.  Ultimately, such unawareness can perpetuate a cycle of economic and social poverty and environmental degradation.


    Social benefits are indeed the development objective to be attained (including the results of technological and economical benefits directly or indirectly).  Since this project of deploying EthioNet and LCDNs are community development approach, firstly connecting non-profit organizations (higher education institutions, and secondary, libraries, hospitals, local governmental agencies, etc.) and secondly, at later stage, with profit-making organizations (investors in these sectors), depending on the regulation of the federal government of Ethiopia, to have global E-Rate, thus all applicable groups are inclusive.  In order to sustain application of E-Learning and E-Healthcare, more participants can share the cost of expensive digital satellite trunk line better [3] .  The use of broadband wireless Internet for the LCDN will make their participation easy so that the so-called "last-mile" problem to reach individual end-users can more effectively be solved.


    4.3.     Technical and Economic Benefits  


    The main focus of the proposed broadband Internet (see Figure) is either or both of satellite and terrestrial (microwave and/or spread-spectrum) wireless approach in viewpoints of the regionÕs geographical constraints and their cost effectiveness.  At the main campuses of the affiliated universities, the spread-spectrum with 802.11b protocol will be the most cost-effective option for their local area networking.  The community development network in the cities of the affiliated colleges and universities will also be connected with this technology.  Students of the universities and all schools in the cities will then be able to access Internet at high speed wherever they are within the coverage of its antenna.  This is to provide E-Learners with self-pacing, interactive, and customized courses that are perfect fit to learner motivation and target language environment.


    The community development approach of this project will include all interested parties in the cities of the affiliated colleges and universities.  This will not only contribute to the problem of digital literacy among poor, but also create new job opportunities to the graduates of the universities, and even E-Rate with the involvement of profit-oriented organizations in the later stage.  This will, in the long-run, attract domestic and international investors particularly to education sector.


    4.4.     Cost Effectiveness of Wireless Broadband Internet


    The cost effectiveness of this project of deploying community development networks are;


    4.5.     Replicability


    This activity is to be a model replicable to other regions and localities, as leading the use of the advanced Internet in various sectors of societies.  The local higher educational institution participants will have the broadband Internet satellite earth-station, and will become the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the local community of non-profit organizations.  The higher education institution will then provide teacher training to secondary and elementary schools and promotion of digital literacy with training courses/seminars at public library, hospitals and healthcare facilities, local governmental offices, etc., and also act as facilitators and technical supporters to other non-profit organizations.  This teacher-training and technical support can be the on-the-job training of the graduate students of the universities, thus creating new job opportunities after their graduation in local communities.


    It is expected that interaction among the affiliated universities will contribute to the dissemination of information about alternatives to promote sustainable development in Ethiopia.  At the same time; the region's population will have better access to healthcare information, which will contribute to a better quality of life.  In addition, a number of E-Learning courses will be developed which will decrease isolation and offer better opportunities for those living in Ethiopia


    In a nut shell, we hope the scheme of this EthioNet and LCDNs projects will be replicated elsewhere in Africa countries and other continent of developing world.


    4.6.     Summary


    In summary, the following benefits can be expected;


                  V.           Financing EthioNet and LCDN


    5.1.     Project Financing


    5.1.1.   The Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund


    Fund for the initial phase, i.e., for the fact-finding and assessment and organizing mini-workshop.  Application will be made for the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund (US$50,000) for the activities in Phases 1 – 3 (see 5.2. below).  Besides, this fund, after the full proposal will be approved for up to US$2 million, will be used;


    5.1.2.   Community Project Assistance Fund (CPAF)


    This fund (of about US$80,000 per one application) will be used to deploy Local Community Development Network (LCDN) around the EthioNet affiliated universities and colleges to connect them with their nearby secondary and elementary schools, hospitals, libraries and local non-profit organizations and governmental agencies, with the use of fixed spread spectrum wireless broadband Internet.  The LCDN in Addis Ababa will be the first one to deploy with this fund.


    The wireless broadband (up to 10 Mbps) Internet of this project is also to use the so-called "Wireless Flexibility" technology which is becoming a vogue and wide-spread in Japan, the US and Europe for accessing Internet free of charge.


    After successful experimental installation of this technology for interconnecting in some schools in Addis Ababa, we plan to emulate and expand it in the cities of other colleges and universities in the project sites, as well as the vicinity.


    5.1.3.   Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese Government


    This fund will be used to implement the ultimate project objectives, i.e. the infrastructure to E-Learning and E-Healthcare.


    The non-tied cultural aid grant out of the ODA fund is not only for conducting the same as above which are not covered by the JSDF, but also to connect selected colleges and universities to the outside world with the use of broadband digital satellite,


    The strategy here is to make broadband Internet available to many communities and the broadband trunk line connection among the local universities as soon as possible with the use of low cost wireless Internet units and microwave network.  The broadband satellite Internet connection from selected universities to the outside world will be made later with the Japanese ODA fund.  In a sense, this is a bottom-up approach since the process of getting the Japanese ODA fund takes a long time.  This approach has been taken in other African countries.


    In order to finance this project, we plan to apply for the "non-tied cultural aid" grant out of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of the Japanese government.  Dr. Utsumi is already in contact with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this regard.


    The Japanese government pledged US$15 billion to close the digital divide in developing countries during the Okinawa Summit in July of 2000 -- for which Dr. Utsumi helped with Late Dr. Hiroshi Inose, then the Director General of National Center for Science Information System (NACSIS) and Dr. Taro Nakayama, former Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Mr. Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, made another pledge of US$2 billion to aid education and healthcare in developing countries during the G8 Summit in Canada in June of 2002, and at the Environment Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in September of 2002, respectively, -- for which Dr. Utsumi also helped through Ms. Atsuko Toyama, the former Minister of Education and Science and Utsumi`s long-time acquaintance.


    Our projects will combine (1) the Japanese government's ODA funds and (2) Japanese electronic equipment (computers, transceivers, dish antennas, etc.) with (a) the Internet technology and (b) content development of North America and Europe, to help underserved people in rural and remote areas of developing countries by closing the digital divide.


    GUS will emulate this approach in other developing countries around the world in the future.


    5.1.4.   Global E-Rate


    As mentioned above, the major infrastructure equipment of this project is to be financed by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund of OECD countries, particularly of Japan.  This is to follow the model of the University of South Pacific in Fiji which connected nearby islands with narrow-band Internet satellite with US$13 million (and additional $3 million later) from the Japanese, $1 million each from the New Zealand and Australian governments, respectively.  Albeit narrow-band Internet, this connection was made via INTELSAT free of charge.  We will seek similar approach with INTELSAT, WorldSpace, etc.


    However, government funds usually do not last long, particularly to cover recurring costs of, say, expensive satellite segment.  In order to cover this cost and to make this proposed broadband Internet infrastructure economically sustainable in the long-term we will have the participation of for-profit commercial enterprises in the localities of those universities, preferably from the second phase of this project.  They will undertake major portion of financial burden of this venture (e.g., digital satellite trunk line, etc.).


    This is to follow the model of St. Thomas Island in Caribbean, where K-12 schools have broadband Internet access free of charge while high cost of broadband Internet trunk line between the island and the US has been incurred by profit-oriented organizations in the island.  This is, in a sense, to create the so-called "Global E-Rate."


    To have their participation, the colleges and universities in Ethiopia will also provide them with training courses to the staff of those commercial enterprises in their localities.  This training and technical support can be the on-the-job training of the graduate students of the universities.  Such university and industry connection will also create new job opportunities for the graduates of the universities.


    5.1.5.   UNESCO


    The GUS at the University of Tampere (Professor Tapio Varis) has received an approval from UNESCO to become a UNESCO Chair member of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network program which was initiated by Dr. Marco Antonio Dias, one of the GUS vice presidents, while he was at the UNESCO.  The GUS will invite the representative of GUS/Ethiopia to become a counterpart member.  We then expect to have support of UNESCO for our approach to the Japanese government.


    5.2.     Phases and Activities


    Phase 1: Capacity Building and Arrangements to the Trip of Prof. Utsumi


    (1)  To conduct pre-feasibility study.  This includes contact potential project partners/collaborators, conduct preliminary assessment of the capacity pilot project sites, etc.

    (2)  To arrange Prof. Utsumi«s trip locally.


    Phase 2: Fact-finding and Assessment Trip by Prof. Utsumi


    (1)  This will be after three weeks of Phase 1.

    (2)  To meet the Ethiopian supporters/promoters of the project and discuss with them the various elements of the program involving E-Learning and E-Healthcare and how these can be linked together in the context of the GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program.

    (3)  To conduct preliminary field survey for deploying fixed spread spectrum broadband wireless Internet of Addis Ababa, Awasa and Bahr Dar Local Community Development Network (LCDN), which will connect each university with research institutions, schools, hospitals, clinics, libraries, and other centers which provide education and health services to the community of respective sites. 

    (4)  To find out current Internet capability for a demonstration during the mini-workshop, and examine the possibilities of extending E-Learning and E-Healthcare programs from the US and other countries to Ethiopia.

    (5)  To plan the organization of the mini-workshop, etc.


    Phase 3: Mini-workshop (3 days) three months after Phase 2 above


    1)    Together with Ethiopian stakeholders and invited persons from different parts of the world, examine which of the E-Learning and E-health experiences would be available through the currently available Internet capability for extending to Ethiopia,

    2)    To form a coalition of EthioNet and LCDN for connecting higher, secondary and elementary schools, hospitals, libraries and local non-profit organizations and governmental agencies,

    3)    To discuss the deployment of the linkages and set up the relevant structures such as a Project Committee, etc.,

    4)    To plan the subsequent large workshop, which will reflect and advise on the overall project and its mechanisms with assistance from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), etc.


    Phase 4: Project Feasibility Study and Project Proposal


    The deliverable of the above activities will be the full proposal for the JSDF, which will be prepared by the participatory discussions of a Project Committee.  The Committee will consist of selected members of the EthioNet coalition and outside consultants, for maximum effectiveness and sustainability.  The outside consultants are necessary because of high-tech nature of the EthioNet and Local Community Development Network and E-Learning and E-Healthcare, both of which experiences are scarce in Ethiopia at the present.  The well-developed JSDF grant proposal will be submitted within 12 months after this seed fund application is approved and granted


    Phase 5: Realizing the JSDF for the International Workshop and the Pilot Project


    As soon as the JSDF is available, an international workshop will be held at the Addis Ababa University to brainstorm and to form a committee for the deployment of broadband Internet in Ethiopia and to set up relevant structures to strengthen existing ones and draw up the National Project Plan.  We will outline the preparatory work to be carried out by the committee for about a half year after the workshop, and identify roles of the committee members.  The plan will include specification of broadband Internet telecommunication configurations, their systems design, feasibility study, market survey and action plan of implementing the infrastructures, and production of cost estimates for dish antenna, transceivers and satellite segments, as well as designing of organizational structures for technical support and administration, etc.


    This is to follow the model made by Uruguay people who have already received about US$750,000 from the Japan Special Fund of Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) for their preparatory work to subsequently receive financial support for the implementations of their broadband Internet among various schools.


    During this International workshop, there will also be discussions on how to form joint programs and projects on the content development with the appropriate parties in the North America and Europe through the envisioned broadband Internet.


    The resultant comprehensive document will be used to seek the following funding opportunities from the Japanese government, particularly the non-tied cultural aid grant out of the ODA fund mentioned above.


    Phase 6: Project Implementation and Conclusion


    In this phase the project goal will be realized and concluded by paving ways to the sustainability.  This will include


    Phase 7: Planning the Sustainability of E-Learning and E-Healthcare


    Sustainability, the task after the project completion, shall be sought at early stage and parallel to the project study.  The details of the sustainability will be studied later by special team.


                      VI.         Synopsis of Principal Organizations


    6.1.     Association to Support E-Learning and E-Healthcare in Developing Countries (ASELEH)


    ASELEH is a non-profit organization with objectives of initiating, supporting and promoting projects in E-Learning and E-Healthcare in developing countries.  The members of the Association are individuals (ranging from university professors, researchers to students), firms and NGOs, distributed all over the world.  The main seat is in Ethiopia, where the coordinating office is in Europe.


    This Association plays a lining and coordinating role to this project implementation.  It will closely cooperate with the Global University System and the local promoters in rendering advisory services and technical supports.


    The association has strong wish to promote E-Learning and E-Healthcare in Developing Countries.  This charitable association has good experience in supporting Admas computer training center in Gondar/Ethiopia and under way to implement a pilot project of open and distance teaching/learning system.


    6.2.     Addis Ababa, Bahr Dar and Debub Universities


    In Ethiopia we find currently six government owned universities located in different regions: Addis Ababa University (AAU) being in the capital city, the rest, Debub and Djimma to the south, Alemaya east, Bahr Dar north-west, and Mekele north.  Each university has different colleges and some have affiliated research institutes.  Recently private colleges and universities are coming to the scene.  In the long run, these institutions could play significant role in profit-oriented establishment of E-Learning entities.


    This project plans to promote E-Learning and E-Healthcare in AAU, Bahr Dar and Debub universities.  These universities account more than 80% of the student population and staffs. 


    AAU is the oldest higher educational institution in Ethiopia.  AAU started its operation in 1950 under the name University College of Addis Ababa.  It was renamed Haile Selassie I University in 1962 and then Addis Ababa University in 1975.  AAU runs Diploma, Bachelors, MD, DVM, Masters, Specialty Certificate and Ph.D. degree programs.  It launched its first MSc programs in 1979 and its first Ph.D. programs in 1987.  Currently AAU consists of: one college, seven faculties, five schools and four research institutes, a total of 802 staffs and 23,060 regular (undergraduate and graduate) and distance and continuing education students.


    The other two universities are Bahr Dar and Debub, which are newly established (as universities in mid 2000), though the colleges they incorporate are over 30 years in function.


    Bahr Dar University is, 560 km north-west of Addis Ababa on the shore of Lake Tana, incorporates the Bahr Dar Polytechnic Institute and the Bahr Dar Teachers' College.  Whereas, Debub University at Awassa, 275 km south of Addis Ababa, incorporates the Awassa Agricultural Collage, the Dilla Teachers' Education and Health Science College and the Wondo Guenet College of Forestry and the other newly established ones.


    Bahr Dar University has long tradition of specialization in education and polytechnic, which supplied mainly teachers for technical schools.  The other vital college in this region is the medical college of Gondar, 170 Km north of Bahr Dar.  The medical college is known by its widespread and long years of community health service development.


    On the other hand Debub University has incorporated the Awasa agricultural college and the Wondo Aguenet College of Forestry.  Both of them have contributed remarkably in agricultural research and development as well as environmental protection.  Arba Minch College of Water Technology, 495 km south of Addis Ababa (225 km south west of Awasa), which will be a university in mid 2004, is a center of technology education and research especially in water and irrigation technology.


    This project plans to deploy EthioNet and LCDN in Addis Ababa, Bahr Dar and Debub universities.


    6.3.     GUS


    The Global University System (GUS) is a worldwide initiative to create satellite/wireless telecommunications infrastructure and educational programs for access to educational resources across national and cultural boundaries for global peace.  The GUS helps higher educational institutions in remote/rural areas of developing countries to deploy broadband Internet in order for them to close the digital divide and act as the knowledge center of their community for the eradication of poverty and isolation.  The GUS has task forces working in the major regions of the globe with partnerships of higher education and healthcare institutions.  Learners in these regions will be able to take their courses, via advanced broadband Internet, from member institutions around the world to receive a GUS degree.  These learners and their professors from participating institutions will form a global forum for exchange of ideas and information and for conducting collaborative research and development.  The aim is to achieve Òeducation and healthcare for allÓ anywhere, anytime and at any pace.


    Currently institutions with faculty members who are participating in GUS development projects include the University of Tampere, UK Open University, 6 federal universities of Amazonia, Havana Institute of Technology, University of Addis Ababa, Islamic University in Uganda and University of Malawi in Africa, McGill University in Canada, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Cornell University, Yale University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Montana State University, Houston Community College, University of Hawaii, Maui Community College, University of Milan, Catalunyan Open University, Concordia International University in Estonia, NEXT (Generation) Project with European universities and global commercial organizations at Cancer Research U.K., and others.  GUS will serve as an educational broker for universities, thus helping them gain international influence and access to students that they would otherwise not reach.


    GUS is currently creating branches of GUS in Amazon of Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean region, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, and have received inquiries for the same from several Asian and the Pacific countries.  The GUS affiliated institutions will be invited to become members of our GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program, located at the University of Tampere in Finland.


    The officers of the GUS are: P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D., Acting President, (University of Tampere, and a former rector of the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica); Marco Antonio Dias, T.C.D., Vice President for Administration, (former director of Higher Education at UNESCO); Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Founder and Vice President for Technology and Coordination (Chairman of GLOSAS/USA).  The trustee members are: Dr. Pekka Tarjanne, (former Director-General of the ITU) and Dr. Federico Mayor (President of the Foundation for Culture of Peace and a former Director-General of UNESCO).  The special advisors are: David A. Johnson, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee) and Fredric Michael Litto, Ph.D. (President of the Brazilian Association of Distance Education at the University of Sao Paulo).


    6.6.     GLOSAS/USA


    The GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA) is a publicly supported, non-profit, educational service organization -- in fact, a consortium of organizations -- that is dedicated to the use of evolving telecommunications and information technologies to further advance world peace through global communications.  GLOSAS fosters science- and technology-based economic development to improve the quality of life.


    Over the past three decades, GLOSAS/USA played a major pioneering role in extending U.S. data communication networks to other countries, particularly to Japan, and in the deregulation of the Japanese telecommunications policies regarding the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet (thanks to help from the Late Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige) -- this is now referred to as "closing the digital divide."  This contribution of GLOSAS/USA triggered the de-monopolization and privatization of Japanese telecommunications industries, and the liberalization of the telecommunication industry has now created a more enabling environment for economic and social development in many other countries.  This type of reasoning has since been emulated by many other countries; at present, more than 180 countries have Internet access, and more than 750 million people are using e-mail around the world.  Academic programs of universities in America and other industrialized countries now reach many under-served developing countries.


    Another major contribution of GLOSAS towards fostering global dialogue and creating learning environments has been the innovative distance teaching trials conducted in our ÒGlobal Lecture Hall (GLH)ÓTM - multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferencing, using hybrid delivery technologies, which was conducted almost every year and spanned glabe..


    Thanks to these efforts, Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, its Chairman, received the prestigious Lord Perry Award for the Excellence in Distance Education in the fall of 1994 from Lord Perry, the founder of the U.K. Open University.  The two-year senior recipient of the same award was Sir Arthur C. Clark, the inventor of satellite.


                          VII.       Joint Programs and Projects


    The main promoters of this project are AAU, BDU, and DU whereas GUS and ASELEH will be co-promoters.  Similar projects like the ones listed below could be seen as potential partners.


    Mr. Beyene has approached each of them and they are showing their willingness to either directly support or stay side by side as partners.


    7.1.     Open Education Project in Gondar


    Admas Computer Center promotes multimedia and open language course supported by ICT.  This is a project currently under study to be supported by ASELEH and Phat Consulting Company.  If well planned and supported, this project has the advantage of promoting E-Healthcare in cooperation with the Medical Science College of Gondar, one of the oldest medical college of Ethiopia, established by the Ethiopian government and Oklahoma University.  The College has long years of research tradition in communicable diseases and good community service.


    7.2.     SchoolNet


    Recently, ETC has signed a 26.6 million US dollars contractual agreement for the SchoolNet VSAT Network with HNS (Hughes Network System).


    There are 594 woredas in 11 regions.  This network will offer data WAN services and IP based video conferencing services.


    Agricultural Research Institutes Network Services


    Internet Services:

    All schools (more than 500 sites), all Woredas (594 sites), all agricultural research institutes (32 sites), and all higher education institutes (14 sites) will get an Internet Service and will share a common Internet outbound link.  The Internet will be delivered from a connection to the Internet backbone.


    7.3.     AAUNet- Addis Ababa University


    Addis Ababa University is lately involved in movements to provide Internet connectivity to the university community, and to build technical as well as management capacity in information technology at various levels.  In its first phase, the network project has done the fiber optic cabling between and within three of its campuses (Arat-Kilo, Amist–Kilo, and Sidist-Kilo) has been completed.  The network provides e-mail and Internet/intranet services to the whole university.


    In another development, library software is under development and requirement specification has been prepared by the library software development team of the ICT development office.  Moreover, student management (registrar) software is under development.  There are also some activities to develop academic/research content on the net.


    The AAU Library has put online over 7000 online journals to be accessed over the AAUNet to students as well as faculty.


    In parallel with the installation of the network and the development of in-house software, capacity building programs have been launched to develop the ICT man-power in the university.


    Users from these campuses get services such as Internet access, mail, software downloads, digital libraries, dialup connection to the network, and radio broadcast.


    The remote campuses of AAU, namely Lideta (Southern Technology), Medical Faculty and Tikur Anbessa Hospital, and Debre Zeit (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), are currently using the dialup service until they are connected to the backbone by cable.


    ANNEX A:          Resumes


    Insert bio of Principal Promoter and Coordinator here.



    Berhanu Beyene

    Founder and Chairman of Association to Support E-Learning in Developing Countries,

    Research in E-Learning in Developing Countries, University of Hamburg, Germany


    Vogt-Koelln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg, Germany


    +49-40-5131 6335 or +49-40-42833 2232

    Fax: +49-40-42833 2202

    Mobile: +49172 5256 138,


    Berhanu Beyene, Dipl-Informatics, B.Sc. Informatics, B.A. Economics researcher on E-Learning applications in developing countries at the University of Hamburg, Founder and Chairman of Association to Support E-Learning in Developing Countries (ASEL), Promoter of Admas Computer Center in Gondar/Ethiopia.  Currently he is doing his Ph.D. research at the University of Hamburg in the field of E-Learning.


    Mr. Beyene has many years of experience in ICT and management consulting services, software development for Internet/Intranet solutions in different organizations.  He worked as project management consultant in the Ministry of Industry of Ethiopia for several years, where he coordinated UNIDO, IDA/World Bank, Joint Venture Ethio-American projects.  He has rich experience in organizing and coordination of international and national workshops, exhibitions, symposia, and seminars in cooperation with World University Service, Ministry of Small and Medium Scale Industries of the Indian Government, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, Development Bank of Ethiopia, to mention few.


    Mr. Beyene is a founder of the Ethiopian Computer Standardization Association, Association to Support E-Learning and E-Healthcare in Developing Countries, and Project Initiative Ethiopia; as well as a member of the German Informatics Association and the Ethiopian Economic Association.


    Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
    Founder and Vice President for Technology and Coordination
    Global University System (GUS)
    GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)
    43-23 Colden Street, #9-L
    Flushing, NY 11355-3998
    Fax: +1-718-939-0656

    Software: Microsoft Office


    Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is Chairman of GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and Vice President for Technology and Coordination of the Global University System (GUS) <>.  He is the 1994 Laureate of the Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education.  His public services have included political work for deregulation of global telecommunications and the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet; helping extend American university courses to developing countries; the conduct of innovative distance teaching trials with ÒGlobal Lecture HallÓ multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid technologies; as well as lectures, consultation, and research in process control, management science, systems science and engineering at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T. and many other universities, governmental agencies, and large firms in Japan and other countries.  Among more than 150 related scientific papers and books are presentations to the Summer Computer Simulation Conferences (which he created and named) and the Society for Computer Simulation International.  He is a member of various scientific and professional groups, including the Chemists Club (New York, NY); Columbia University Seminar on Computer, Man and Society (New York, NY); Fulbright Association (Washington, D.C.).  Dr. Utsumi received his Ph.D. Ch.E. from Polytechnic University in New York, M.S.Ch.E. from Montana State University, after study at the University of Nebraska on a Fulbright scholarship.  His professional experiences in simulation and optimization of petrochemical and refinery processes were at Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo; Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., Boston; Mobil Oil Corporation and Shell Chemical Company, New York; and Asahi Chemical Industries, Inc., Tokyo.


    P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D.
    Acting President, Global University System
    Unesco Chair in global E-Learning with applications to multiple domains
    Professor and Chair of Media Education
    University of Tampere

    P.O.Box 229
    FIN-13101 Hameenlinna, Finland
    Tel: +358-3-614-5608

    Fax: +358-3-614-5611

    Software: Microsoft Office


    Tapio Varis, Ph.D., is currently Professor and Chair of Media Education, earlier Media Culture and Communication Education at the University of Tampere, Finland (Research Center for Vocational Education, and Hypermedia Laboratory), and UNESCO Chair in global E-Learning with applications to multiple domains.  He is Acting President of the Global University System (GUS).  Formerly he was Rector of the University of Peace in Costa Rica, and Professor of Media Studies at the University of Lapland, Finland.  He has been a consultant on new learning technologies for the Finnish Ministry of Education, and expert on media and digital literacy for the EC, Council of Europe, Nordic Research Councils, and many Finnish and foreign universities.  He is a member of the European UnionÕs PROMETEUS Steering Committee and Adviser to several international organizations.  In 1996-97, he was UNESCO Chair of Communication Studies at the University Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.  He has also been a faculty member of the European Peace University (Austria), Communication and Media Scholar at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki.  He has published approximately 200 scientific contributions which are listed at his Website: <> with additional biographical information (in Finnish).  In 2001 he received The Rochester Intercultural Conferences 1995-2001 award as Òan outstanding European scholar in intercultural and international communication.Ó In addition to Finnish, he is fluent in English, Spanish, German, and Swedish.


    ANNEX B:


    Letter of Support and Commitment


    This will be attached.



    ANNEX C:


    Financing (Detailed)


    This will be also attached soon.


    [1] EthioNet is a network to interconnect higher education, schools and health service centers

    [2] Currently the rate of chance to join tertiary education lies below 1%.

    [3] This is a long term goal, which depends on the country¹s policy and regulations of ICT.