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SomaliREN and Emerging Terrestrial Infrastructure Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 1 Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "SomaliREN and Emerging Terrestrial Infrastructure Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 1 Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 SomaliREN and Emerging Terrestrial Infrastructure Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 1 Presentation for 7th International Conference on Open Access, Accra, Ghana, 1st - 3rd November 2009 Contact: Tom Munyasya, SomaliREN Regional Coordinator email: tmunyasya@yahoo.com or tom.munyasya@ussfs.orgtmunyasya@yahoo.comtom.munyasya@ussfs.org

2 Somali Background Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 2 Somali in Brief Population: 8 – 10 Million Economy: Livestock, trade, agriculture Politics: unstable over 18 years SomaliREN has 7 participating Tertiary institutions across the three zones of Somalia: Somaliland Puntland South-Central – Mogadishu

3 SomaliREN Background Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 3 Initiated through the support of WB and UNDP since 2004 to 7 universities in ODeL mode VSAT solutions – platform and bandwidth of at least 1 MB per site Multi-media labs with facilities & equipped E-content and global partnerships

4 Courses: Online Distance Education & eLearning Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 4 University of Fort Hare, South Africa - Financial Planning and Management (Including PFM and ACCA professions) programme New Jersey Institute of Technology (USA) – Information Technology Master Certificate Maestro LLC (USA) – Crossroads Café (English as a Second Language) and English for Business and Academic Success Indiana University in Pennsylvania (USA) - Journalism (certificate, Diploma and Degree programs) Georgetown University (USA) - Business English (Certificate and Diploma) African Development Bank (AfDB)/ AVU - Teacher Training Program (Diploma and Degree programs)

5 HIGHLIGHTS Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 5 More than 1200 Somali students benefited annually since 2004. 185 Somali professionals completed initial cycle of Financial Planning & Management, further 700+ on other job-related courses. By August 2008, ODeL graduates were over 4,000; 30% females and 60% civil servants, a practical testimony for value of technological investment and open access.

6 SomaliREN – Social Economic Impact 6 Access to technology supported training catalyzed Somali development and peace building in conflict zone Professional development opportunities especially with the short courses, led to career progression Networking opportunities for the seven Universities with the global knowledge economy

7 Emerging Terrestrial Infrastructure Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 7 Entry of www.swedfund.se, providing risk capital for investments in developing countries, which has invested in Somali Telecom Group (STG) based in Djibouti and having a GSM network in Somaliland and Puntland.www.swedfund.se Somali Association of Telecom Operators (SATO) that covers the Central-South zone is planning a terrestrial connection from Kenya and is also a key partner in the ongoing EASSY Project. STG planning a fiber infrastructure from Djibouti into Somaliland and Puntland that may provide links for SomaliREN and its interconnection to Ubuntunet in Djibouti. PPP possible – Telecom operators to connect the universities in exchange of staff training opportunities.

8 Accessing Communication Infrastructure Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 8 Access to communication infrastructure is important and timely in Somali today as it remains the main backbone to education, research and access to global knowledge resources. The Swedish Government and higher learning institutions have lately indicated their willingness to collaborate with the Somali Universities through the AfricaConnect initiative, which is part of the 8th partnership on Science and Technology between the African Union and the European Union.

9 SomaliREN – Other Developments Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 9 Re-entry of the World Bank - providing Video Conferencing Facilities to SIMAD, University of Hargeisa and Puntland State University before end of 2009. Centre for British Teachers (CFBT) Education Trust – supporting establishment of Somali Higher Education Commission with the help of Commission for Higher Education in Kenya, an EU funded project. UNDP Somalia re-engagement - to support Somali Universities before the end of the year. USAID contract - US universities offering Conflict Resolution courses in collaboration with Somali Universities.

10 Key Focal Areas Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 10 Somali Universities Institutional Capacity Building Research enhancement Curriculum Development and Harmonization Fellowships, International Recognition and Accreditation Donor harmonization and coordination

11 Challenges - 1 Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 11 Inadequate human, financial and infrastructural capacity in the region emerged as being integral to the core challenges confronted by the public sector Political instability/uncertainty Integration and co-ordination of capacity building support initiatives

12 Challenges - 2 Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 12 Social-Cultural factors – prayer breaks, separate rooms ODeL concept unknown in Somali Limited technology – Fiber optic Bandwidth Costs - high Limited qualified human capital Ability to tailor material to local context Quality assurance framework Obtaining accreditation and articulation High cost of Communication Infrastructure

13 Challenges - 3 Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 13 Public Sector Skills & Expertise ODeL vs traditional learning Capacity across government organs Changes in workforce Staff turnover at sites Travel visa restrictions Donor coordination & fatigue

14 Lessons Learned Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 14 Access to communication infrastructure can fast track training programmes - the teacher program will see Amoud University train and offer degrees to over 1,200 teachers by 2010 who are junior secondary teachers but are currently teaching at high schools due to poor staffing levels in schools. Using distance learning to offer education qualifications is prudent and globally acceptable. Inadequate infrastructure at local universities hinder the responsibility of offering quality education to qualified students.

15 Lessons Learned – contd Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 15 ODeL partnership to offer open and distance e- learning to students provide an innovative and practical way of extending access to University education to people around the country. ICT supported learning has the potential to improve the quality of teaching and training in Africa. African governments, cooperate partners and universities need to mainstream Information Communication Technology (ICT) in their educational policies and higher education to increase access to university education.

16 Conclusions Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 16 Online Distance Learning is gaining international acceptance as a preferred mode of delivery for capacity building initiatives. Efficiencies obtained and costs saved should compensate for the challenges experienced. Technological access and innovative education has shown the potential it can have in restoring posterity in Somali and hence the international community should not tire in further enhancement to achieve full sustainability.

17 Websites Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 17 Somali Universities 1. University of Hargeisa, http://hargeisauniversity.net http://hargeisauniversity.net 2. Amoud University, www.amouduniversity.net www.amouduniversity.net 3. East Africa University, www.eastafricauniversity.com www.eastafricauniversity.com 4. Mogadishu University, www.mogadishuuniversity.com www.mogadishuuniversity.com 5. SIMAD, http://simadsom.orghttp://simadsom.org 6. Puntland State University, www.puntlandstateuniversity.com www.puntlandstateuniversity.com 7. University of Burao, www.universityofburao.com www.universityofburao.com

18 Mahadsanidiin (Thanks) Theme: Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for social economic development 18 Questions? Comments!


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