The Establishment of Maravi-Net (MARNET) and Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) for E-learning and E-healthcare
Application for Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund
To be submitted to
The World Bank
(265) 780-611, 780-349, 780-807, 780-275, 780-473
Fax: (265) 781-158
The CD accompanying with this application enables readers to access hyperlinked Web sites.
Principal Promoter and Coordinator
Co- Principal Promoter and Coordinator
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
The Establishment of Maravi-Net (MARNET) and Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) for E-learning and E-healthcare in Malawi
To establish (i) broadband Internet network (MARNET) of universities, research centres and institutions of learning that will enhance interaction among these institutions and, at the same time, link them with their communities for enabling their life-long learning to increase their productivity for poverty eradication, and (ii) Local Communiy Development Networks (LCDNs) which is to link diverse rural communities for knowledge sharing through exchange of experiences.
a. To promote the 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 ñ see Figure 1 in ANNEX II
b. To promote the use of information and communication technologies for economic development and wealth creation in the country by the participation of farming and pastoral communities for improving agricutural and animal husbandary practices and to engage them in knowledge and information sharing by harnessing the emerging broadband connectivity to enhance these activites as well as to improve welfare.
c. To promote the establishment of tele-immersion environment in the country, which emphasizes the critical elements of the peoplesí 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 local language development and use in research, recording and retrieval.
d. To create the Global University System in Malawi (GUS/Malawi) in order to establish technological alternatives to promote the above objectives as well as 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 voice, text, and video content anywhere in Malawi.
See more in ANNEX I.
See ìCreating Global University Systemî at;
http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global University System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Manuscripts/Part_II_Intercultur/Utsumi Creating GUS/Creating_GUS/GUS_web_upload/Creating GUS-D11-053003.htm
1. Malawi as a country has 2 Universities namely, Mzuzu University and the University of Malawi. MARNET will interconnect Mzuzu University and all colleges of the Univerrsity of Malawi via broadband microwave and/or satellite Internet. Constituent col leges are;
2. 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 City of Zomba and later in the cities of main campuses of the MARNET affiliated colleges and universities by broadband wireless Internet which are in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
See more in ANNEX II.
Application is made for the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund (US$50,000) for the following activities:
Step 1: Fact-Finding and Assessment Trip by Dr. Utsumi
Step 2: Mini-workshop (3 days) three months after Step 1 above
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, which will consist with the selected members of the MARNET coalition and outside consultants, for maximum effectiveness and sustainability. The outside consultants are necessary because of high-tech nature of (a) the MARNET and Local Community Development Network and (b) e-learning and e-healthcare, both of which experiences are scarce in Malawi at the present. The well-developed JSDF grant proposal will be submitted within 12 months after this seed fund application is approved and granted.
As soon as the JSDF is available, an international workshop will be held at the University of Malawi in Zomba to brainstorm on and to form a committee for the deployment of broadband Internet in Malawi 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 K-12 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 ñ see ANNEX VI.
The resultant comprehensive document will be used to seek the following funding opportunities from the Japanese government;
1. 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 MARNET 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 Zomba will be the first one to deploy with this fund.
2. Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF)
This fund will be used;
3. Non-cultural aid grant out of the ODA fund
This 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 and also was suggested to Dr. Utsumi by H.E. Dr. Isaac Lamba Malawiís Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
See more ANNEX IV.
See ANNEX III.
Principal Promoter and Coordinator
Prof. Leonard Kamwanja
Co- Principal Promoter and Coordinator
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
See ANNEX VII for resumes.
ANNEX I: Project Objectives
ANNEX II: General Scheme of Malawi Network (MARNET) and Local Community Development Network (LCDN)
ANNEX III: Expected Project Results and Benefits
ANNEX IV: Financing MARNET and LCDNs
ANNEX V: Synopsis of Principal Organizations
ANNEX VI: Joint Programs and Projects
ANNEX VII: Resumes
ANNEX VIII: Letter of Support and Commitment
ANNEX IX: Budget
In general, Informatics plays an important role in teaching and learning, and particularly, in the development of engineering and architectural courses. Nowadays, science and technology development is inconceivable without computer aid.
A true revolution in e-learning and telemedicine requires high-speed access to the World Wide Web and the flexibility to offer a variety of media. Developing countries need broadband Internet via international satellite and optical fiber cable.
The objective of increasing quality of audio / video delivery, high interactivity, and system throughput can be seen as a global objective of closing digital divide for improving e-learning and e-healthcare services.
By their nature, New Information and Communication Technologies (NITs) are ideally suite to the needs of distance education. The new ware of technical facilities renders 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). 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. NITs 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 now perfectly within their possibility to develop large-scale post-graduate programs, special training courses for the updating of knowledge, teacher-training skills to which larger number of people can have access. Moreover, adult-education programs stand now a new chance, thanks to the possibilities offered by the introduction of NITs. It is accordingly expected that the use of Informatics in distance education will occupy a major place in Education and Healthcare Systems.
On the other hands, for many years, UNESCO, IFIP, IEEE, GUS and other international organizations have understood the importance of computing applications in Education and Healthcare Systems.
Many international conferences dedicated to study and analyze the main problems in developing countries have recognized the following as the essential difficulties in computing education field:
(a) Lack of qualified teachers and professors;
(b) Limited material and financial resources;
(c) High costs of hardware and educational software;
(d) Lack of qualified personnel and resources for computer and peripheral equipment;
Considering the constraints mentioned above, we propose the following as the main objectives of the present project:
a. To promote the 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 1 in ANNEX II.
b. To create the Global University System / Malawi (GUS/Malawi) 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 ñ see ANNEX IV.
Malawi Network (MARNET)
Local Community Development Network (LCDN)
GUS/Malawi will foster the development of e-learning and telemedicine pilot projects using broadband Internet technology in order to enhance their teaching/learning capabilities. The GUS/Malawi 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.
Figure 1. Global Broadband wireless and satellite Internet virtual private network:
Note, 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 (e.g., University of Malawi) will then be connected to regional element, like elementary and secondary schools, institutions of 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.
Expected Project Results and Benefits
I. Social Benefits
It is expected that broadband wireless and satellite Internet, available to universities, elementary, primary and secondary schools and hospitals, will promote the interaction among young people from different areas of Malawi with young people from the rest of the world.
As the infrastructure becomes a reality, there will be a need for the development of content (e-learning on environmental education, rational techniques and methods for implementation of suitable agricultural farm land practices and e-healthcare, etc.) and of new uses of the technology (Internet telephony, distance medical diagnose, access to information, etc.).
In this process, the Zomba community will become the closest, more capable and culturally identified with the needs and problems of other Malawian regions. This will be a pilot project replicable of the activities throughout Malawi (and beyond to other African countries in the future, too). The replication and expansion will happen through strong partnership with other institutions in Malawi. The consortium (Maravi Network (MARNET)) will play a major role in this initiative because it constitutes the main colleges and universities network in Malawi.
So, this project of deploying MARNET and LCDNs is a community development approach, firstly connecting non-profit organizations (elementary, secondary and higher education institutions, libraries, hospitals, local governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations, etc.) and secondly with profit-making organizations to have global E-Rate, thus all applicable groups are inclusive. The more participants can share the cost of expensive digital satellite trunk line better. 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.
II. Technical and Economic Benefits
The main focus of the proposed broadband Internet (see Figure 1) is either or both of satellite and terrestrial (microwave and/or spread-spectrum) wireless approach in viewpoints of the regionís 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.
III. Cost Effectiveness of Wireless Broadband Internet
The cost effectiveness of this project of deploying community development networks are;
IV. Expected Utilization of Broadband Internet
Anticipated activities with the use of Local Community Development Network are:
(i). Use of broadband Internet connection:
(ii). Two-way interactive use in e-healthcare, environmental education and training:
V. Poverty Reduction Impact
Malawi, the warm heart of Africa had once a unique environment envied by many on the continent. As population pressure intensified, deforestation, drought, poverty, food insecurity, HIV/AIDS, loss of biodiversity (especially in fishes of Lake Malawi) became serious problems. These problems are a clear manifestation that the country is suffering from consequences of human activities.
Those problems can be substantially minimized if their isolation is addressed. Isolation 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.
The implementation of a modern communication technology can drastically reduce the risks threatening the country. A broadband or faster and more reliable communication network will link people and institutions within and between communities in the country. This will increase their ability to engage in productive activities in a more satisfying way and thereby contributing to the drive for poverty reduction and improvement in their quality of life. Technological propagation is not an end in itself, but a means to a larger end with clear and compelling community benefit. The development of such network will benefit communities living in remote areas of Malawi in the future.
This activity is to be a model replicable to other localities and regions, 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. These 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 Malawi. 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 Malawi.
We hope the scheme of this MARNET and LCDNs projects will be replicated elsewhere.
In summary, the following benefits can be expected;
Financing MARNET and LCDNs
The wireless broadband (up to 10 Mbps) Internet of this project is to use the so-called ìWireless Flexibility (Wi-Fi)î 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 K-12 schools in poverty stricken area of Zomba, we plan to emulate and expand it in the cities of other colleges and universities in Malawi.
In order to finance this project, we plan to apply for the ìnon-tied cultural aidî 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 Minister of Education and Science and Utsumiís long-time acquaintance.
Our projects will combine (1) the Japanese government's ODA funds and (2) Japanese electronic equipment (computers, tranceivers, 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.
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 Malawi 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.
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 University of Malawi (Professor Leonard Kamwanja) and other universities to become counterpart UNESCO Chairs of this program. We then expect to have support of UNESCO for our approach to the Japanese government.
I. University of Malawi
The Idea that Malawi should have a University was first conceived soon after the country got its independence in 1964. At Governmentís request, the educational needs of the country were surveyed by the American Council on Education and the then British Inter University Council on Higher Education Overseas. The Government accepted the recommendation of the survey team that Malawi should have a University as soon as posible. In October 1964, the University of Malawi was founded under the University of Malawi (Provisional Council) Act which was later replaced by the University of Malawi Act of 1974. The Act was further amended in 1998. A further amendment is being expected at the March 2003 seating of parliament.
Teaching started on 29th September 1965 at the newly established campus which used to be an Aisan Secondary School in Blantyre. Only 90 students had been enrolled. By 1967, the then Institute of Public Administration at Mpemba, the Soche Hill College of Education, the Polytechnic, all these in Blantyre , and Bunda College of Agriculture in Lilongwe were incorporated as constituent colleges of the University of Malawi. Except Bunda College and the Polytechnic, the other colleges moved to Zomba in 1973 to form the now Chancellor College campus. Kamuzu College of Nursing in Lilongwe became the fourth constituent college in September 1979 and the College of Medicne in Blantyre became the fifth constituent when it was established in 1991.
In addition to the colleges, the University of Malawi has Research Centres. These are; Centre for Social Research, Centre for Language Studies, Centre for Educational Research and Training, Agricultural Policy Research Unit and Gender Studies Unit.
Colleges of the University of Malawi covers the southern and central regions of the country. Mzuzu University opened its doors in 1998 and is situated in the nothern region. The two Universitieís programs therefore cover the whole nation. Academic programs of these Universities involve district administration at all levels in Education, Agriculture, Natural Resources management, Engineering, Journalism, Environmental Sciences, Health related program, Law, etc.
The two Universities have developed important projects in sustainable development funded both by Donor Agencies (e.g., NORAD, DFID, USAID, GTZ, JICA, DANIDA, EU, IDRC) and the Malawi Government.
The University of Malawi has been restructured to enable it mobilise more resources for its operations and reduce bureaucracy. The current operations of the two Universities will enable all districts to be reached in the country through this project. The enrolment in the University of Malawi is at 4800 students while Mzuzu University has 400.
II. Global University System (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 ìeducation and healthcare for all,î 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 Malawi, Islamic University in Uganda, 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.
We are currently creating GUS in Amazon of Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean region, Malawi, Uganda, Sierra Leone, 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., 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).
III. The GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)
The 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 Baldridge) -- 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 550 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 ìGlobal Lecture Hall (GLH)îTM - multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferencing, using hybrid delivery technologies.
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.
Part II to IV of ìGlobal Peace Through The Global University Systemî at;
Mr. Gennaro Longo
Area Director, Hig Technology and New Materials,
Building L2, Padriciano 99
34126 Trieste, Italy
Phone : +39 0409228108
Fellow, Communication Technologies,
Area of High Technology and New Materials
Building L2, Padriciano 99
34126 Trieste, Italy
Phone : +39 0409228145
Fax : +39 0409228122
The ICT for Sustainable Rural Development (ISRD) project aims to support the development and improvement of communications infrastructure in selected rural growth centres in Malawi to facilitate and improve the economic and social value of rural communities and market centres. The project will provide capacity building and facilitation to community groups to increase usage, understanding and value of ICT as a tool to enhance local services and information provision. The availability of ICT infrastructure will also promote the sharing and exchanging of ideas, opportunities, and new methods of working and best practices through electronic networks.
The envisaged pilot ICT centre will assist in shaping skills and creating a knowledge base for local communities in ICT, improving and supporting high value employment opportunities and support community groups to develop innovative practices and uses of ICT within their local setting.
2. Project methodology
2.1 The project is a pilot case aimed at installing a fixed wireless ICT infrastructure in a selected rural growth centre in Malawi connecting a number of phone access points as well as establishing an ICT centre. The model will be extended to other growth centres upon a successful project evaluation.
2.2 It will target Rural Growth Centres (RGCs) because they have some basic infrastructure and public facilities in place with potential to achieve a critical mass for long-term sustainability.
2.3 Services to be implemented through this project will be selected based on their anticipated positive impact on the social and economic activities of the beneficiaries as well as their ability to generate revenues to make the centres self-sustainable in the long-term.
2.4 Awareness and capacity building will be a central activity to create appreciation, acceptance and generate support from the target communities and policy makers.
The ISRD Project will develop and implement a number of rural context services most of which are bandwidth intensive. Having synergies with the GUS/Malawi broadband Internet Project would simplify the task of selecting and implementing rural services by eliminating bandwidth constraints.
OíBrain K. Mwanjoka, MBA, BSc
He has wide experience in the applications of telematics to organizations as well as the effects of ICT on organizational structures on change dynamics; he has interdisciplinary expertise in the management of complexity and the knowledge to create new competitive advantages for organizations in the modern networked world. For over ten years, worked in the ICT industry both at national and international level. Assumed information technology management roles in the civil service and financial sector. Carried out ICT projects in infrastructure management and decision support (roads, buildings, waters) as well as application of telematics to financial services delivery and management. Carried out high-level project negotiation and sensitisation missions to developing countries. He is currently a Fellow at the UNIDO-International Centre for Science and High Technology, Information and Communication Technologies. He has also been consultant for UNIDO focusing on telematics application to rural areas as a technology transfer for sustainable social and economic development. Apart from several postgraduate qualifications acquired at institutions in a number of African countries, UK and Japan, he holds an MBA (Management in the Network Economy) from Universita Cattolica, Italy.
Dr. Valerio Bamberga
Director, Altrove Volunteers
24128 Via Innocenzo XI, 10
Tel: +39 338 8313849
Andiamo Technological Pole (which was started in Balaka, Malawi in 1999) is a joint project of Andiamo Youth Cooperative in Balaka, Malawi, St. Luis Montfort missionaries in Bergamo, Italy, and the University of Crema in Milan, Italy.
This project establishes a training and research centre for information technology for solving actual problems in developing countries. The center deals with educational, commercial and humanitarian matters and is structured according to the following divisions:
The learning division of the Technological Pole is flexible and open, with no race, colour, sex or religious prejudice, and must permit IT training also for those who are unable to pay but show interest and intellect. The IT courses activated within the school cover both basic and advanced computer skills and conform to the International Computer Driving License standard.
This division is dedicated to the development of customized software applications which target local problems. The development environment principally used is, at the moment, Microsoft Visual Basic.
Internet and telecommunications
Internet plays a basic role both in training and information areas. This division is aimed at studying and using network technologies through development and content management of informative and locally relevant websites.
To ensure the ongoing activities of this project, a division is dedicated to hardware maintenance. The same technical assistance activity also represents a commercial service within Balaka area.
Consultancy and marketing
This project will also serves consultancy for local activities proposing and promoting IT solutions when appropriate.
Student of Digital Communication
University of Milan
Tel: +39 333 2372196
The Coo-development (Coodev) project is to establish collaboration between profit and non-profit small enterprises (Italian or otherwise) in developing countries, as coordinating multilaterally both of demand and supply parties.
This project will contribute to advent of "Metanational Companies," which respect the cultures of participants and have unique purpose of economic coo-development.
Freedom to participants
Coodev wants to support the participants in a totally free way for them.
In this sense there are not fixed requisite to participate to the activities, neither dimensional nor sectorial.
Everyone can propose a project in his own trade area. Moreover, Coodev will support even the economically smallest projects: we are convincted that micro-economy is a very powerful motive to the global development.
Coodev wants to offer a fast and efficient organizational support to the participants.
A back-office team will follow the development of the different projects, in order to ensure constant support: our team will analyze every single project, helping the participants to find the best solutions to collaborate and develop their activities.
We plan to establish a worldwide web site for coordination and reciprocal exchange of information among participants. Communication is a very powerful motor to enlarge the spectrum of knowledge: a cultural growth produces a social development, and a better standard of life brings to a better intellectual situation.
Our intention for the future is to offer freely the necessary infrastructures to put in direct connection the participants. Firstly we would like to build a telephonic network in parallel to the project network. Moreover, we would like to second the web-site with a web-journal and even a web-television, that could be a show window to all the projects and to find partners for the companies through the web.
Biography of Simone Sala
Born in 1981 in Como, small city in the North of Italy.
Graduated in experimental scientific high school in Cant˜ (Como).
Currently student of Digital Communication at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Milan. He is preparing his dissertation which will consists of a feasibility study of packet-radio coverage of remote rural areas in the provinces of Niassa and/or Cabo Delgado in Mozambique.
Very much interested in the area of technologies for developing countries.
Leonard Kamwanja, PhD is the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi. He received his first degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin ñ Madison. His speciality is in Endocrinology and Reproductive Biology, very significant as Malawi tries to understand and map the way forward of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He has taught at Bunda college of Agriculture and Chancellor college, both constituent colleges of the University of Malawi and acted as External Examiner to several Universities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Within SADC Profesor Kamwanja initiated Regional Postgraduate training in Animal Science and a Regional undergraduate training in Aquaculture and Fisheries Sciences, both with the objectives of alleviating poverty, ensuring food self sufficiency and capacity building.
Profesor Kamwanja is a member of several scientific organisations and has published/presented 100 papers. He is a recipient of a Fullbright Fellowship and has a coutesy Professorial appointment in the Department of Poultry and Dairy Sciences, University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida, USA.
Leonard has implemented several community based projects in collaboration with American and European Universities and supported by IDRC, FAO/IAEA, USAID, EU/STD, ODNRI, NORAD, JICA and GTZ. He has vast experience in University Management, Intergrated Natural Resources Management, Rural Community problems and educational and health facilities set up in Malawi.
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
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) <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS>. 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 "Global Lecture Hall" 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.); International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS) (New York, NY); and Society of Satellite Professionals International (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.
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 Centre 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 for 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 Union's PROMETEUS Steering Committee and Adviser to several international organizations. In 1996-97, he was UNESCO Chair of Communication Studies at the Universitat 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: <http://www.uta.fi/~titava/publications00.html> with additional biographical information (in Finnish). In 2001 he received The Rochester Intercultural Conferences 1995-2001 award as "an outstanding European scholar in intercultural and international communication." In addition to Finnish, he is fluent in English, Spanish, German, and Swedish.
John M. Eger
John M. Eger is the Lionel Van Deerlin Endowed Professor of Communications and Public Policy at San Diego State University (SDSU), and Executive Director of SDSUís International Center for Communication, and is also President and CEO of the World Foundation for Smart Communities.
Earlier, Professor Eger headed CBS Broadcast International, which he established, and was Senior Vice President of the CBS Broadcast Group responsible for CBS International, CBS Cable, CBS Interconnects (a cable advertising service), EXTRAVISION (the networks teletext service), and development of all other new business enterprises worldwide. During this period, he introduced the concept of commercial television to the Peopleís Republic of China and developed new marketing strategies involving the barter of advertiser-sponsored programming. He was also responsible for the development of the prize-winning home video documentary series ìWorld War II with Walter Chronkiteî; the inauguration of live and tape-delayed programming on domestic and international aircraft; and satellite delivery of ìThe CBS Evening News with Dan Ratherî to Paris and Tokyo.
From 1973-1976, Professor Eger was Advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and Director of the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy (OTP). He served on the Presidential Initiative on Privacy, the Cabinet Committee on Cable Television, and the Ad-hoc Committee on Regulatory Forum. During this time, Professor Eger helped spearhead the restructuring of Americaís telecommunications industry, particularly the divestiture of AT&T, and launched the first in a series of extended bilateral and multilateral discussions on international communications trade matters. He also initiated the development of an Asian Basin secretariat on telecommunications, which resulted in the formation of a private sector, ìPacific Telecommunications Council,î which he helped found in Honolulu in 1977.
More recently Professor Eger served as Chairman of California Governor Pete Wilsonís first Commission on Information Technology; Chairman of San Diego Mayor Susan Goldingís ìCity of the Futureî Commission; and recently published the Smart Communities Guidebook, and Implementation Guide for community leaders and city officials throughout the state of California. He is also author or editor of over a hundred other publications, including books, book chapters, monographs, journal articles and op-eds on the subjects of international telecommunications, public policy, and economic development.
He is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of international communications, emerging trends in media and marketing, and technology and public policy. He is also a frequent contributor to trade and industry journals and general interest publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Washington Journalism Review. He is the author of ìEmerging Restrictions on Transborder Data Flows: Privacy protection or Non-Tariff Trade Barriers,î Georgetown Journal of Law and Policy in International Business (1978); ìThe Global Phenomenon of Tele-Informatics,î Cornell International Law Journal (Summer, 1981); ìGlobal Television: An Executive Overview,î Columbia Journal of World Business (Fall, 1987); and of the seminal study: ìCities of the Future: The Role of Telecommunications and Information Technology (1997).î
Recently Professor Eger received the highest award from the Japanese Minister of Posts and Telecommunications for his leadership in building a strong Pacific alliance for telecommunications. He was also recently named as Advisor to the Government of the Netherlands Kenniswijk Broadband Communications Initiative, and named as a Fullbright Senior Specialist on communications and economic development.
See about his Smart Community approach in "Athens in the Information Age" at;
Adjunct Professor, George Mason University
Chief Operating Officer, Nirvano Technologies
10289 Johns Hollow Road
Vienna, Va 22182
Tel: (703) 757-5880
Mobile: (703) 314-3211
Fax: (703) 757-6511
D.K. Sachdev is Founder and President of SpaceTel Consultancy, Vienna, Virginia. This company provides business strategy and engineering support for satellite and wireless systems (www.spacetelconsult.com). He is also Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University, Virginia and teaches graduate courses in System Engineering for Telecommunication Systems and Project Management. Mr. Sachdev is Chief Operating Officer of Nirvano Technologies, McLean, Virginia, a new company planning to provide wireless networks with advanced technology sensor systems for medical surveillance, home land security and other applications.
From 1996 through 2000, as Senior Vice President, Engineering & Operations at WorldSpace, Washington, DC, Mr. Sachdev had the responsibility for the engineering, deployment and operations of the first worldwide digital radio system consisting of three satellites, broadcast and business networks. While at WorldSpace, Mr. Sachdev also contributed to the evolution of the XM Radio system and led the development of its system architecture and initial stages of the engineering development of this system.
For almost two decades ending in 1996, Mr. Sachdev was at the center of the expansion of the INTELSATís global telecommunication network. After establishing the in-house technology development team in the early 80s, Mr. Sachdev led a team for the development, procurement and deployment of 16 new satellites (INTELSAT VIIs and VIIIs), today forming the backbone of INTELSATís and New Skies networks. Matching this effort in the space segment, were several equally impressive efforts for INTELSATís international terrestrial network.
Prior to crossing the oceans in 1978, Mr. Sachdev held several senior positions in the Indian Telecommunications Service and the associated industry. Mr. Sachdev was a member of the founder team of the Telecommunication Research Center at New Delhi. He led the development of microwave systems in India. He created during the early 1970ís one of the largest design and development organizations in electronics and telecommunications at ITI, Bangalore. For his leadership in creating this large and dynamic team, Mr. Sachdev was awarded the prestigious Vikram Sarabhai Award in 1976.
On May 8, 2003, Mr. Sachdev was co-recipient of Arthur Clarke Foundation Innovation Award for the development of worldís first digital radio system.
TELEPHONE: 522 622 UNIVERSITY OFFICE
FAX: (265) 524031 ZOMBA
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org MALAWI
27th March 2004
Professor Takeshi Utsumi
Global University System (GUS)
43-23 Golden Street
Flushing, New York 11355 ñ3998
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Dear Professor Utsumi,
GUS MALAWI: MESSAGE OF COMMITMENT
Since H.E. Dr. Isaac Lamba Malawiís Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations introduced the Global University system to the University of Malawi, we have had a thorough overview on how e-learning and the Concept of GUS could assist Malawi in its initiatives in promoting development, alleviate poverty and generate wealth in local communities. In addition the problems of deforestation, environmental degradation, education, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and other health related empowerment programs to communities could improve through the GUS Concept.
We have held several meetings in the University of Malawi to sensitize staff and students at all levels and get feedback on this proposal and overall GUS Concept. As a University with five different campuses namely, Chancellor College (a liberal arts college covering Education, Law, Science, Humanities and Social Science) Bunda College (covering Agriculture and Environmental Science) Kamuzu College of Nursing, College of Medicine and the Malawi Polytechnic (Covering Engineering, Media and Education, Applied Studies and Commerce) which cover a variety of disciplines we stand to benefit and assist Government in providing the much needed information for the betterment of local communities.
The purpose of this letter is to unequivocally support the GUS concept and show our interest in participating in it.
Professor Leonard Kamwanja
The Application for Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF)/Seed Fund
The Establishment of Maravi-Net (MARNET) and Local Community Development Networks (LCDNs) for E-learning and E-healthcare in Malawi