NEPAD LOOKS TO LINK AFRICA SCHOOLS TO INTERNET

Internet

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) hopes to use satellites to connect 600,000 schools in Africa -- which have no fibre-optic cables -- to the Internet using VSAT terminals.

The second sitting of the Pan African Parliament heard in a report at its seventh ordinary session this week that the education network would also be linked to other functions, such as health services.

"This satellite network has the potential to serve other projects, which need broadband connectivity in areas not served by fibre-optic networks," read the report.

"The network is therefore designed to provide a platform for e-health, e-governance, election activities and so on."

"At the completion of the preliminary definition of the space and ground segments, the e-Africa Commission will start planning for the full system specification of the network and its operations centre," read the report. "Thereafter, the e-Africa Commission will initiate the building of the operations centre and establishing national hubs and VSATs at schools."

No figure was reported for the number of schools connected under the scheme over the last three years.

Sapa