<<May 24, 2000>>

Mr. Lane Smith <lasmith@usaid.gov>

Toru Taguchi <jica08@jicausa.com>

Jiro Inamura <inamura@jica.go.jp>

Ms. Jacqueline Hess <jhess@aed.org>

John C. Afele <jafele@plant.uoguelph.ca>

John L. Mack <jlmack@erols.com>

Dr. Clement Dzidonu <clement@themba.cszim.co.zw>

YO MARUNO <ymaruno@unido.org>

Dr. Antonio Pinto-Rodrigues <APinto-Rodrigues@unido.org>

Emilio Vento <evento@unido.org>

Dr. Toshiyuki Miyake <tmiyake@unido.org>

Steve McCarty <steve@kagawa-jc.ac.jp>

Ben I. Haraguchi <haralaw@cs.com>

Dear Lane:

(1)  Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I).

     I greatly regret that I cannot attend this exciting seminar, since I will be
     attending our Manaus workshop for a similar purpose for the people of
     Amazon, Brazil from May 31st to June 2nd -- see its Website in ATTACHMENT III.

(2)  How is your writing going on the US/Japan joint effort of enhancing Leland
     program's 128 Kbps lines to broadband Internet in Africa?

     As mentioned to you in Tampere, Finland last August, Mr. Fujita,
     Director-General of JICA was very enthusiastic on our idea of the
     US/Japan cooperation to provide distance learning to developing
     countries, when I visited him about a year ago in Tokyo.

Dear John C. Afele:

(3)  If possible, pls attend this seminar, and tell me about it when you
     invite me to your school in the middle of June.

Dear John L. Mack:

(4)  Pls also try to attend this seminar -- say, to explore the possibility
     of utilizing Iridium in Africa -- we will talk about it at our workshop
     on the "Rescue Iridium" project on 6/20th in Arlington, VA.

(5)  You would meet with the people of WorldSpace -- your former employer.

(6)  When you meet Jackie Hess, pls convey her my best personal regards. You
     met her when we had a seminar at her AED in the spring of 1995 when we
     discussed the organization of our Tampere event held last August.

     At that time, we also heard Clement Dzidonu's presentation about Global
     University/Africa from Dublin, Ireland via POTS.

Dear Colleagues of UNIDO in Vienna:

(7)  In relation to your distance learning project for Kenya, Tanzania,
     Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique which we talked about during my
     visit to your office last January, this JICA's movement may be of great interest.

     How is the progress of your plan to hold a workshop in Kuala Lumpur,
     Malaysia, with additional people from your technology centers in Japan,
     Korea, China, Brazil, etc.?

Dear Steve:

(8)  Many, many thanks for your prompt translating (ATTACHMENT II)!!

     I am very glad to learn that what Ben Haraguchi and I discussed with Mr.
     Fujita of JICA is now coming true.

Dear John Mack:

(9)  The Japanese version of this news says that the Japanese government will
     establish an ASIA FRONTIER SAT which is easy and very inexpensive to use
     for any remote/rural areas in developing countries, starting its
     experiment from Vietnam this year.  It seems that this objective is
     similar to our aim of resurrecting Iridium satellites.

Best, Tak
                          ATTACHMENT I

Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:14:57 EDT
To: <utsumi@columbia.edu>
From: "Lane Smith" <lasmith@usaid.gov>
Subject: fwd: Seminar Announcement- JICA, AVU, WorldSpace Foundation

Tak - I was curious if you were working with JICA on this.  Regards,  Lane

                       SEMINAR ANNOUCEMENT

Information and Communication Technologies to Enhance Distance Learning in Africa
                   Date: Thursday, June 1, 2000
                     Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm
Location: JICA-USA Office, 1730 Pennsylvania Avenue, suite 875, NW, Washington DC

Dear colleagues,

JICA-USA is please to invite you to a seminar on distance learning in Africa in
collaboration with the African Virtual University (AVU) and WorldSpace Foundation.

Recent advances in information and communication technologies have transformed
our capacity to deliver distance education all over the world.  The Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is strongly committed to supporting and
building capacity in the education sector, in particular in Africa and is now
exploring avenues for expanding its assistance in distance education.

In late 1999 and early 2000, we asked Barbara Fillip, and independent
researcher, to prepare a report for us on the topic distance education in
Africa.  A summary of the report, which highlights key issues and lessons
learned, is attached to this email.

The seminar will be in the form of a three-member panel.  Ms. Fillip's
presentation of the JICA report will be followed by presentations from Peter
Materu of AVU and Teri Siegl and Lisa Slifer-Mbacke of WorldSpace Foundation,
each addressing a different approach to distance learning on the African
continent.  These brief presentations will be followed by a discussion of the
key issues and lessons learned that would enhance the ability of development
agencies to effectively support distance learning and more broadly, the use of
information and communication technologies for development purposes.  The
discussion will be moderated by Ms. Jacqueline Hess, Director of the National
Demonstration Laboratory at AED.

We hope that you will be able to join us and participate in the discussion.

RSVP by May 26, 2000 at (202) 393-5422 or by email at jica08@jicausa.com.

Toru Taguchi
Resident Representative
TEL: (202) 393-5422
FAX: (202) 393-1940

              New Technologies and New Opportunities (Summary)

     This report looks at the potential of distance education in Africa in the
context of the educational challenges facing the continent, the global
"information revolution" and the significant improvements in telecommunication
infrastructures in African countries. While distance education is not new to
Africa, its performance has been mixed and the overall impact has been limited.
Some of the reasons for such a limited impact include the lack of an adequate
telecommunication infrastructure and lack of financial resources.

     This report reviews the state of the information and communication
infrastructure on the African continent and shows that in most countries, there
have been significant improvements both in terms of the regulatory framework
necessary for infrastructure development, and in terms of the expansion of the
telecommunication infrastructure itself.  Some challenges remain, however, and
all countries are not at the same level in terms of availability of
telecommunication services in urban and rural areas, and in terms of affordability.

     With such significant progress in the area of telecommunication
infrastructure, distance education becomes a more viable option than in the
past. It can also be a more cost-effective approach to addressing some of the
continent's educational challenges. As such it can be part of a solution to the
challenge of financing education in many of Africa's countries where the
education sector requires major reforms and the necessary financial resources
are not available.

     The report highlights some of the key issues and lessons learned in the
area of distance education, focusing on both the potential and challenges of
integrating information and communication technologies in distance education as
well as integrating distance education in the broader education system.

Issues addressed include:

1.   The need to pay attention to the existing ICT infrastructure:

     A careful assessment of the availability and affordability of information
     and communication technologies is key to the design of distance education
     programs.  The more advanced the level of information and communication
     technology in a country, the more options are available for
     technology-enhanced distance education.  In countries with limited
     information and communication infrastructure or where affordability is an
     issue, radio is probably is most useful media for technology-enhanced
     distance education.

2.   The importance of policies and strategies regarding distance education:

     Existing distance education programs have suffered from a lack of coherent
     national frameworks.  While many African countries are now in the process
     of elaborating national policies for information and communication, few
     have yet looked at the potential of ICTs in education or more specifically
     the potential of ICTs in distance education.  African policy makers and
     education practitioners have only limited understanding of the true
     potential of ICTs as a tool for addressing educational challenges through
     distance education programs.

3.   The role of institutional issues:

     While a national policy and strategy for action in the area of distance
     education would be very useful, the responsible institutions must be
     strengthened.  Clear linkages between distance education programs and the
     rest of the education system must be established.  More attention should
     be paid to the sustainability and replicability of pilot efforts.  Many
     such pilot programs encountered difficulties when trying to expand at the
     national level.

4.   Funding and costs issues to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of
     distance education programs:

     Many donor funded distance education projects were not sustainable once
     external funding ceased.  While donor assistance can be very useful, the
     long-term sustainability of the program must be ensured.  Making sound
     investment decisions about technology for distance education programs is a
     difficult challenge.  While distance education can be cost-effective
     (compared to traditional face-to-face education), costly mistakes can also
     be made.  Print, audiocassettes and rerecorded instructional television
     programs are among the lowest cost technologies for small numbers of
     students.  Radio becomes cost-effective with 1,000 students.

5.   The skills and competencies required for success:

     Most distance education programs in Africa lack trained staff.  Distance
     education specialists are few.  To successfully implement
     technology-enhanced distance education programs, there will be a need for
     training both in handling the technologies themselves in terms of
     maintenance and use, and in handling the methodological issues arising
     from the use of such technologies.

6.   Quality issues:

     Distance education is often regarded as second-rate in Africa.  The result
     is that it is not granted the same respect and attention as traditional
     education.  With the potential of technology-enhanced distance education,
     this second-rate image needs to be changed.  Efforts must be made to
     enhance the quality of distance education as well as its image.
     Assessments of the quality of teaching and learning must be taken
     seriously and will provide further evidence of the potential of distance
     education as well as valuable lessons for improving existing programs.

7.   Collaborations across institutions and across borders to ensure that
     lessons are learned and experiences are shared:

     Some collaboration already exist at the national level in some countries
     as well as across countries (mostly in Southern Africa), in the form of
     specific projects or more permanent national and regional organizations.
     The potential exists for further collaboration among institutions facing
     similar circumstances, in particular to share lessons learned.

8.   Participation by NGOs and local communities:

     While governments are important actors in the field of distance education,
     and they should play a role in providing a coherent national framework,
     other stakeholders can and should participate in the design and
     implementation of distance education programs.  Some of the most promising
     approaches to increasing access and improving the quality of education
     involve substantial participation of local NGOs and/or local communities.
     Two examples highlighted in the report include the role of telecenters in
     distance education and the potential of new radio technologies for
     community radios.

     The main body of the report ends with a short section highlighting some
possible first steps for JICA's involvement in distance education in Africa.
Finally, additional resources are provided in appendix to the report, including
four short case studies looking at the potential of distance education in Ghana,
Ethiopia, Botswana and Guinea and a tentative outline of a strategy for
determining the appropriate level of intervention or assistance for countries at
different stages of development in terms of both their information and
communication infrastructure and their educational systems.
                          ATTACHMENT II

Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 13:46:54 +0900
To: Takeshi Utsumi <utsumi@columbia.edu>
From: Steve McCarty <steve@kagawa-jc.ac.jp>
Subject: Re: Japanese government's proposal at Okinawa Summit

At 5:58 AM +0900 00.5.24, Takeshi Utsumi wrote:
>Dear Steve:
>(1) Pls access <http://www.asahi.com/0524/news/politics24001.html> ASAP.
>(2) It says about the Japanese government's proposal at Okinawa Summit on
>the similar idea as our Global University System.
>(3) Pls try to find its English version in Asahi or Japan Times, and send
>to me at your earliest convenience.
>Thanks in advance.
>Best, Tak

Sensei, I read that article this morning in the Asahi Shimbun,
but an English text isn't available yet, except the following brief:

>Japan moves to narrow digital divide
>asahi shimbun
>The government plans to help close the digital divide in the Asia-Pacific
>region and said it will be the focus of a proposed meeting of
>telecommunications ministers to be suggested at the Group of Eight
>summit in Okinawa in July, government sources disclosed Tuesday.

The article in Japanese said that Japan would utilize communication
satellites to bring Internet service to developing countries where
Internet service is unavailable, especially Vietnam. They also plan
to provide training to 10,000 potential IT personnel in the region.
Closing the digital divide is one of the main items on the G8 agenda, so
it seems to be Japan's share of the task rather than its own initiative.
Funding will be from Japan's ODA, and a high-speed network for
research in urban areas is also being considered. To train the 10,000
IT workers, a satellite-based distance education network is also
planned, starting with Thailand. I seem to recall that the satellite-based
Space Collaboration System of Japan's National Institute of
Multimedia Education already reaches the region around Thailand,
so one idea they have may be to make more use of that system.
They are also considering the use of ODA to help fund venture
businesses in the region, and a November Asian IT Summit in Japan
will hear proposals from the Asian countries themselves. The G8
countries will also continue working on the digital divide next year.
For the UNDP has reported that Internet access in most areas of
Asia and the Pacific is less than 1%. I think those are the main points.

Steve McCarty
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan
President, World Association for Online Education
(WAOE): http://www.waoe.org/
Website Map: http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve/
In Japanese: http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve_mc/
                          ATTACHMENT III

                 Reference web sites


2.   Tampere conference

3.   Global University System:


           Paper on GUS for the Manaus, Amazon mini-workshop (May 2000)

           Memorandum of Understanding for GUS Partnerships

4.   Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework

5.   Global broadband Internet networks

6.   Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF):


          GSTF as [Arthur C.] Clarke telecommunications project

7.   Manaus workshop (English version)


Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence

                       List of Distribution

Mr. Lane Smith
Coordinator of the Leland Initiative
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), AFR/SD
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C. 20523-4600
Tel: +1-202-712 0826
Fax: +1-202-216-3373

Toru Taguchi
Resident Representative
1730 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 875, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Fax: 202-393-1940

Jiro Inamura
2-1-1 Yoyogi
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8558
03-5352-5050 (direct)
Fax: 03-5352-5032

Ms. Jacqueline Hess
Director of National Demonstration Laboratory
 for Interactive Information Technologies
Academy for Educational Development
1255 23rd Street, NW.
Washington, D.C. 20037
202-884-8906, Fax: 202-884-8701
jhess@aed.org<<February 8, 1999>>Did not work.

John C. Afele, Ph.D
International Program for Africa
Department of Plant Agriculture
Johnston Hall, Room 136
Ontario Agricultural College
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
Tel: +1-519-824-4120 ext 6419
Fax: +1-519-763-8933
Email: jafele@plant.uoguelph.ca

John L. Mack, CEO
John L. Mack & Associates
International Telecommunications Investment Consultant
P.O. Box 567
Upper Marlboro, MD 20773-0567
Fax: 301-627-2188

Dr. Clement Dzidonu
ANITEP Coordinator
Computer Science Department
National University of Science and Technology
P. O. Box 346
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Tel: 263-9-71736
Fax: 263-9-76804

Deputy to the Director-General and Managing Director
Investment Promotion and Institutional Capacity-Building Division
Vienna International Centre
A-1400 Vienna Austria
Tel.: (+43-1)-26026-3730
Fax: (+43-1)-26026-6809
E-mail: ymaruno@unido.org

Dr. Antonio Pinto-Rodrigues
Acting Director
Investment and Technology Promotion Branch
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 300
A-1400, Vienna
tel 0043 1 26026/4864 or 3809
tel 0043 1 26026/4834 (secretary)
FAX 0043 1 26026/6805

Emilio Vento
UNIDO-ICS Liaison Officer
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 300
A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: (+43-1)-26026-3726
Fax: (+43-1)-26026-6811
E-mail: evento@unido.org

Dr. Toshiyuki Miyake
Project Manager
Investment and Technology Promotion Branch
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 300
A-1400 Vienna
Tel. (+431) 26026-3735
Fax (+431) 21346-3735
E-mail: tmiyake@unido.org
Internet: http://www.unido.org

Steve McCarty
Professor, Kagawa Junior College
President, World Association for Online Education (WAOE)
3717-33 Nii Kokubunji, Kagawa 769-0101 JAPAN
+81-877-49-8041 (office, direct line); Fax: +81-877-49-5252
steve@kagawa-jc.ac.jp, steve_mc@kagawa-jc.ac.jp, mccarty@mail.goo.ne.jp (web mail)
Website Map: http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve/
Home page in Japanese / English / WAOE organization / WAOE in Japanese
Online library in Japanese / English (Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library 4-star site)
Fundamental Projects of Dr. Takeshi Utsumi (English and Japanese)
Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework

Ben I. Haraguchi
Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN)
809 United Nations Plaza, Suite 1200
New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1-212-986 8114
Fax: +1-212-986 8131

* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA                  *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education  *
* Founder of CAADE                                                   *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education)      *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of     *
*   Global University System (GUS)                                   *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.               *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu;  Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676             *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/                            *

Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence