DOT-COM Activity: Africa Region - Network for Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange in the Telecom Sector in Africa
Country: Africa Region
Short Description: The Project strengthens the activities of African regulatory associations by increasing the capacity of local universities to train regulators to legislate and regulate within a pro-competitive, market-oriented policy and regulatory environment.
Phase/Type of Activity: Signed Award Status: Active
Start date: June 01, 2002 End Date: May 31, 2005
Partners: Washington State University
Person(s) to contact
Sarah Tisch, Ph.D. , Chief-of-Party
dot-GOV , Internews Network
Tel: 202 833-5740 x 203
Maria Beebe , Global Networks Director
Center to Bridge the Digital Divide , Washington State University
Full Description: The NetTel@Africa Project assists telecommunication regulators adopt policies that make ICTs more accessible to women and men living in Sub-Saharan African countries. This goal requires liberalized telecommunications markets and the development of regulatory agencies. To this end, NetTel strengthens the activities of regulatory associations and links these with local training institutions. African universities have sub grants to develop new on-line curricula to train regulators to legislate and regulate within a pro- competitive, market-oriented policy and regulatory environment necessary for the development of ICT and its role in increased productivity. NetTel@Africa has four integrated components that build sustainable capacity for the expansion of enabling ICT services in Africa:
The core of the project is development and refinement of ten on-line courses for telecommunications specialists and students, available on-line and used by African Universities. Each course is lead by an African University also hosts the course; each is a collaborative venture with US Universities, Regional Telecommunications Associations, expert practitioners from Africa and the U.S. government representatives, donors, and the private sector; These courses can be found at http://elearn.nettelafrica.org. The NetTel network of institutions is what drives project implementation. There are nine African University partners funded through USAID funds and four U.S. university partners. An additional 15 partners are funded through various sources (USAID/Nigeria, the UAID Leland Initiative, DFID/SIDA, the ITU, and the University of Maryland). Additionally, five regulatory partners also participate in NetTel, particularly in the peer-to-peer activities. The three- year outputs for NetTel are:
- International Peer-to-Peer Program developing academic-to-academic, regulator-to-academic, and regulator-to-regulator.
- Training Programs on ICT Policy, Regulation and Applications - Postgraduate Diploma, Masters Degree, and Executive Service programs.
- Community-to-Community Program Exchanges informing telecommunications policy makers and regulators of ICT applications.
- Research Program - key questions regarding the impact of policy and regulation on the telecommunications sector and development.
Output 1: Development of a web-based training courses.
Output 2: Development of frameworks for common standards for competence evaluation and reciprocal recognition of qualifications
Output 3: Monitoring of gender-sensitive data regarding numbers of participants trained
Output 4: Development of an information sharing program
Output 5: Establishment of a collaborative research program
Output 6: Establishment of a exchange programes and field attachments
Output 7: Development of ICT Applications
Update: Prior to the NetTel Project there was no place in sub-Saharan Africa where a student could obtain a degree in telecommunications/ICT policy. NetTel has successfully completed two semesters of the Post Graduate Diploma Program in Telecommunications Policy and Regulation are now complete and a third semester is underway. Evaluation of the courses was solicited from students from the first and second semesters. Each course is refined each semester to improve the on-line learning environment. A program catalog, detailing the degree programs at collaborating African Universities and other training programs, which increases the information access to professional development for African women and men is available at http://elearn.nettelafrica.org.
Expansion of NetTels diploma/degree programs were completed for Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Senegal. Discussions with potential partners from strategic institutions to support this expansion of NetTel to other African countries and select regions in Asia have occurred, as well as the development of an executive training program. The ITU Working Group on Gender and Information (WGGI) has provided permission to use the ITU Gender Awareness Guidelines and the ITU Gender Curriculum-Final. During the third year of the project, Makerere University, Uganda is taking the lead on adapting these materials to the existing NetTel courses and is developing a module on genderinzing ICT and Telecommunications policy. Of significance is NetTel e- education white paper done for the Republic of South Africa, Department of Education.
The paper recommendations were incorporated into legislation during Fall 2004, mandating the use of the e-rate. This means a 50% discount for schools from kindergarten to college to join the e-education network in South Africa, opening educational opportunities for South African females and males. In February 2005 the first Academic Board meeting was held for Nettel@Africa, where 28 participants attended representing 19 academic institutions from 11 countries. Proposals on effective local academic management; program management; developing local instructor capacity; examination processes, procedures, and deadlines; proposals on the job description, qualifications, terms of service, and method of identifying the institutional NetTel Academic Coordinator; and proposals for the NetTel Academic calendar were all discussed.
Development Sector(s): Information Technology, Legal and Institutional Reform, Technology Transfer, Higher Education
ICT Intervention(s): Capacity Building, Public Administration, ICT Policy Reform, Technical Training, Universal Service Obligations/Universal Access, Web site/portal
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