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African Tertiary Institutions Connectivity Survey (ATICS): 2006 Report

Gakio, Karanja

The state of Internet connectivity in tertiary institutions in Africa can be summarized by three characteristics – too little, too expensive and poorly managed.  Building on the initial African Tertiary Institutions Connectivity survey carried out in 2004, this follow-up study collected information from 54 institutions, representing 27 countries in Africa (full results will be available at  Most of Africa is still to be networked by terrestrial Internet infrastructure, and those networks which do exist are not independently owned or managed.  As a result, in order for most academic institutions to improve their connectivity, the formation of a VSAT based bandwidth consortium is the most effective strategy in the near term, and would lower their bandwidth costs by an estimated 50%.  As has been seen elsewhere in the world, the formation of consortia to purchase bandwidth in higher volumes increases both the quality and lowers the cost of bandwidth to its members.  Models all over the world (such as TIEN in Europe and Asia and CLARA in Latin America) as well as within Africa (TENET South Africa and EUMEDCONNECT in North Africa) reinforce this potential value.  Almost all the universities surveyed indicated a strong desire to join a bandwidth consortium if it would lower the current costs those institutions are facing. Through such an initiative, not only will African researchers and academics be able to increase the quality of their research, but it will also stimulate collaborations across the continent. The networks that such initiatives will create will have long-term impacts on the overall bandwidth market in Africa and enable a host of innovations that can bring the dream of a truly connected continent closer to reality.  The report provides an overview of the key findings of the study conducted as well as the recommendations that are offered.  

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Document Title: African Tertiary Institutions Connectivity Survey (ATICS): 2006 Report
Project Title: African Tertiary Institutions Connectivity Survey (ATICS)
Institution: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Document Type:Research Report (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Research
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Internet, Bandwidth, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Developing countries, Information & Communication Technology ICT, Infrastructure, Statistics

File Size:409 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this report was granted by the author.
Date Added:30 July 2007

Gakio, Karanja (2006). African Tertiary Institutions Connectivity Survey (ATICS): 2006 Report Commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).