Presentation on theme: "The Zambia National Research and Educational Network [ Mwala K Sheba Copperbelt University, Jambo Drive, Riverside, Box 21692, KITWE, ZAMBIA ]"— Presentation transcript:
The Zambia National Research and Educational Network [ Mwala K Sheba Copperbelt University, Jambo Drive, Riverside, Box 21692, KITWE, ZAMBIA ]
Introduction Zambia/www.cbu.edu.zm/www.unza.zm The key players in the Zambian National Research and Educational Network are the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University respectively Eleven (11) institutions of higher learning have fully paid members of the Zambia Library Consortium (ZALICO) a privately registered organisation initially supported with seed funding from the Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL) There is also an active initiative to promote Tele-Medicine being spearheaded by the Medical Library of the University of Zambia (http://www.medguide.org.zm) The National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) (http://www.nisir.org.zm) with a focus on Research and Developmental together with the Tropical Disease Research Centre (http://www.tdrc.org.zm), a collaborating institution of the World Health Organisation and the Malaria Research Centre (http://www.malaria.org.zm) which could greatly benefit from effective Networking initiatives.http://www.malaria.org.zm Ten (10)High schools on the Copperbelt have been chosen for a pilot project sponsored by IICD worth about EU 200,000 for the Enhancement Visual Educational content. This is on a dial up network with a hub at the coordinating school- Mpelembe Secondary School
Stakeholders Government support is mainly through the bilateral agreements. Currently the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded a tender to NUFFIC for a 3 year project to commence in March, The project will cater for the Copperbelt & University of Zambia aimed at enhancing the delivery of information in support of : teaching, Research and Management information system. The project is worth Eu 1,256,000, out of which only one third of the funds are for infrastructure upgrading and the rest to be spent on training and up keep of project staff. It is therefore evident that the funding is very inadequate and other donors would be required to buy in within this project. There is need to engage in considerable negotiations with the two utility companiesnamely: the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) and the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) respectively who are key stakeholders to the the expansion of bandwidth infrastructure to create an enabling resource sharing activities. Zesco has a 45 km optic fibre between Lusaka and Kafue while CEC has a 24 – core 520 km optic fibre back bone on the Copperbelt that could be effectively tapped to expand bandwidth in support of Educational Research and Networking as envisaged in a study undertaken by Chikumbi (2005)
Consolidation and Strategies. However, infrastructure capacityy of most higher institutions of learning in Zambia is quite low to facilitate meaningful Networking due to inadequate infrastructure and in some cases due to obsolete low capacity donated equipments. Considerable support in term of capacity building and infrastructure upgrade is required for most institutions apart from the need to Network Concerted efforts should therefore be invested in the merger and harmonisation of the objectives of the envisaged Zambia National Educational and Research Network (ZNREN) and the Zambia Library Consortium (ZALICO) which is already a registered entity to reduce on the perceived duplication of objectives, roles, efforts as well human and financial resources. On the regional level there is need for effective collaboration and participation in such initiatives by the Africa Research Network, Southern Africa Regional Universities Association (SARUA) optic fibre project (Pehrson), Promoting African Research and Net working project (PAREN) (Holdt, 2005) as well consolidating on the concept of the African University Network, a proposal developed by UNU and ITU as well the University Bandwidth Consortium (Ubuntunet) project. These initiative must be tangible and results filter to the institutions for networking to be a realized vision.