NetTel@Africa Key Accomplishments

NetTel@Africa has achieved several key steps in building the network of African telecommunications regulators. In order to improve sector policy formulation, harmonization, implementation, and help develop regulator training programs within African universities, NetTel@africa has developed: Learning Modules for Regulators
The development of the ten learning modules for regulators will be completed by the end of March, 2003, with the pilot testing phase scheduled to begin in April 2003. Gender issues will be incorporated into the modules. A Quality Assurance Review of partners from two of the four participating U.S. universities (University of Colorado-Boulder, and WSU) has been completed, to ensure that the modules are accurate and relevant.

The universities and training institutions with lead responsibility for developing each module are:

University Module
University of Fort Hare, South Africa Module 1: Macro Environment and Implications of Telecommunications
University of Botswana Module 2: ICT Technologies
University of Zambia Module 3: ICT Industry and Markets
University of Western Cape Town, South Africa Module 4: Spectrum Management
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Module 5: Financial Analysis
University of South Africa Module 6: Approaches to Regulation
University of Witswatersrand, South Africa Module 7: Universal Access and Quality of Service
African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI), Kenya Module 8: Service Pricing
University of South Africa Module 9: Policy, Law, and Institutions
University of Zambia Module 10: ICT Applications

These modules will be used at the first biennial NetTel@Africa Safari, which is scheduled for May/June 2003. Refinements made to the modules will be made following the pilot testing use trial use at the NetTel@Africa Safari. The NetTel@Africa Safari is modeled after the U.S. National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) "boot-camp" for regulators to update their knowledge and share information.

The University of Western Cape Town succeeded in obtaining approval for a post-graduate diploma and master's program in telecommunications from the Faculty Senate.

Field Visits between US and African Counterparts
Staff from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the New Jersey Public Utility Commissioners made field visits to South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia and Uganda, respectively. Additionally, Ms. Funlola Akiode of the Nigerian Communications Commission visited the Washington D.C. and Oregon Public Utility Commissions. NARUC has signed an agreement with NetTel@Africa to help refine the ten modules, and provide peer advice to African institutions.

Knowledge Exchanges and Learning Partnerships
Four South Africa-based "Knowledge Exchanges and Learning Partnerships" (KELPs) started under other programs have access to a total of US $9,000 from NetTel@Africa to continue the development of these networks:
  • Management Sciences Network (University of the North, South Africa)
  • Public Affairs Network University of Pretoria)
  • Transformed Agricultural Education Network (University of Fort Hare)
  • Recreation and Tourism Network (University of Zululand-Umlazi)
These networks will draw lessons learned from the NetTel@Africa experiences with the ten on-line learning and CD-Rom based modules. These networks will collaborate with the NetTel@Africa network, sharing information on how activities in each sector affect each other and are impacted by telecommunications.

Final review of the Africa.Dot.Edu. book, to be published by McGraw Hill-India, is taking place during March 2003. This book provides case studies on how ICTs are transforming the educational sector in African countries, which would not be possible without reforms in telecommunications policy and the development of telecommunications regulatory agencies.

The CBDD at WSU has applied for National Science Foundation grant to analyze how policy makes a difference in the performance of the telecommunications sector and how ICT diffusion contributes to economic development. The activities of NetTel@Africa will provide the primary information for this research, if it is approved.

NetTel@Africa, implemented by the Center to Bridge the Digital Divide (CBDD) of Washington State University (WSU), is funded by the Leland Initiative and USAID/RCSA. Internews was awarded about $3.5 million for 3 years (Associate award GDG-A-00-02-00008-00 under the dot-GOV Leader Award No. GDG-A-00-02-00008-00).

For More Information, Contact:
Maria Beebe
Global Networks Director, Center to Bridge the Digital Divide
Washington State University
Tel: 509-358-7947

Related Resource Partners
Related DOT-COM Activity
Africa Region - Network for Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange in the Telecom Sector in Africa
Related DOT-COMments Newsletter Articles
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