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Low Bandwidth Technology : The African Virtual University Experience ICTP Workshop, Trieste, Italy, 9 - 20 October 2006 Chimon Alberic , IT Specialist -Dakar Regional Office Agenda What is AVU ? The AVU technology Model and Bandwidth Challenges

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low bandwidth technology the african virtual university experience
Low Bandwidth Technology : The African Virtual University Experience

ICTP Workshop, Trieste, Italy, 9 - 20 October 2006

Chimon Alberic , IT Specialist -Dakar Regional Office

agenda
Agenda
  • What is AVU ?
  • The AVU technology Model and Bandwidth Challenges
  • Bandwidth Solutions and Initiatives
  • New Challenges and Way forward
what is the avu
What is the AVU ?

Who we are ?

The African Virtual University (AVU) is an innovative educational organization established to serve the countries of Africa. The objective of the AVU is to build capacity and support economic development by leveraging the power of modern telecommunications technology to provide world-class quality education and training programs to students and professionals in Africa. After a successful pilot phase, AVU has been transformed from being a project of the World Bank to an independent reputable Inter-governmental organization based in Nairobi, Kenya with over 57 Learning Centers in 27 African countries

what is the avu4
What is the AVU ?

Today : 68 learning Centers in 30 African Countries

what is the avu5
What is the AVU ?

What we doThe African Virtual University is working in collaboration with African Universities to identify the most essential program needed for Africa’s development. Upon identifying the programs the AVU partner with best universities in the world to developing content and delivery through our network to African students, professionals and civil servants

the avu technology model and bandwidth challenges
The AVU technology Model and Bandwidth Challenges

The technology model is responsive to the mixed mode delivery and pedagogical models utilizing a Learning Management System (based on WebCT) and satellite based content delivery network (VSAT) for video, online and Internet access.

technology model
Technology Model

The AVU Learning Resources :

  • Digital Library : ( http://www.avu.org/dlibrary.asp 2 live servers -Jo-USA and nairobi )
  • WebCT : ( http://64.106.243.70/webct/public/home.pl , Jo-Burg and USA )
  • Interwise : ( http://avu.interwise.com/avu/ Canada and USA )
the avu technology model and bandwidth challenges9
The AVU technology Model and Bandwidth Challenges
  • Cost of Bandwidth in Africa
  • Bandwidth Management problem
  • There is none ICT and Bandwidth policies in most of African Universities .
  • Most of National Telecom have unreliable Internet Access
  • The existing Bandwidth is not well managed .
  • Most of Universities Campus Network are not well design
  • Power failure
  • LAN Design
  • Technical skills in Linux field
  • Migration from windows to linux or open source software
bandwidth solution and initiative
Bandwidth Solution and Initiative
  • Decision Makers Meeting in Kigali -2003
  • Vcs and ICT heads conference
  • Outcomes : Bandwidth consortium (The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa contracted the AVU in July of 2004 to investigate the possibilities of reducing the international bandwidth costs for Partnership supported universities by consolidating the universities’ bandwidth needs to achieve economies of scale, greater bargaining leverage and command volume discounts )
  • The African Connectivity survey ( www.atics.info )
  • Today with a support of partnership ( Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation ) , the AVU has established a Bandwidth Management Unit in Nairobi ( cut down bandwidth price from $10 /kbps/month --> $ 2 /kbps/month
bandwidth solutions and initiatives
Bandwidth Solutions and Initiatives
  • Workshop on BM at Decision Markers Level and Technical level to enforce policy and Bandwidth regulation within the Universities :
  • Francophone sites : November 2005 ( http://www.techfranco.net )
  • Anglophone sites : Abuja and Nairobi September 2006
  • The AVU has tailored its VSAT solution to provide substantially lower pricing at approximately one-third of the cost paid by institutions of higher education for dedicated bandwidth.
the avu learning centers bm solution
The AVU Learning Centers BM Solution
  • Integrated the Use of Automatic playback ( recorded all live session which students can use any time )
  • Local webCT Miror servers wich synchronize tonight with Jo-Burg and Washington servers , students are able to access course and resources on their Local server
  • Local proxy Squid on the campus network
  • Enforce Bandwidth Management policy within campus
  • Assist University in Re-designing the local network using DNS caching and text based browsing such as ( http://www.loband.org/loband/main link ).
  • Modify web cache tools as wwwoffle
  • Thin Client Technology
current pilot research project
Current Pilot Research Project

A key aspect of the AVU ‘s mission is to increase access to quality higher education opportunities across Africa . The traditional residential University model currently adopted by most universities in Africa is unable to meet either current or projected demand . Therefore , there is a need to extend access outside the universities physical campus by developing high quality Open and Distance Learning capacity within AVU Partner Institutions, including those that make use of new technologies for e-learning where appropriate .

The Main Question is : How to expand the reach of the web , e-mail , and other learning resources in Africa ?

off line web browsing e mail and voice to mail technology
Off line web browsing e-mail , and Voice to mail Technology
  • On going Two main Pilot Projects :
  • Nairobi Kenya with eGranary ( off line web browsing )
  • Dakar office with three sites :Senegal ( Saint-louis ) Mali and Burkina-faso on asynchronous communication technology
slide17

What do we use ?

Hybrid Linux OS system modify by Andy from Wizzy Digital in South Africa and my self -

· DHCP server for IP addresses - dhcp as provided by Redhat

· SMTP mail server - exim4

· IMAP server for local mailboxes - courier packaged by wizzy

· LDAP authentication server - openldap as provided by Redhat

· DNS server - dnsmasq - community contribution

· UUCP for all communications - uucp as provided by Redhat

· LTSP bootserver for Linux Thin Client networks - ltsp 4.2 packaged by wizzy. This is just a bootserver - it requires an LTSP application server as well for full LTSP functionality.

· TFTP, NFS servers for booting and diskless workstation support for LTSP - tftp-server , nfs-utils as provided by Redhat

· wwwoffle offline web cache - wwwoffle modified and packaged by wizzy

· apache webserver for webmail - apache as provided by Redhat

· vsftpd ftp server - vsftpd as provided by Redhat

More information on : http://www.wizzy.org.za/

what we use
What we use ?
  • Linksys 54 G Access and wrt54GL routers
  • Laptop
  • Asterisk VOIP server for Voice to mail record
  • Pebble linux based on ubuntu from Metrix .
  • Dynamic DNS configuration
lessons
Lessons
  • Using loband and offline web is not enjoyable to browse offline and with loband .
  • Asynchronous Communication can provide a Bandwidth Solutions for campus and remote school in Africa .
  • Wireless software development skills will be relevant for success in Asynchronous communication development.
  • Technicien Turn over within the AVU network .
way forward
Way forward
  • The AVU with Senegalese Ministry of Research will start from November 2006 a real case studies in one Senegalese village to proof the concept
  • The AVU BMU will still cut down price and provide Internet access
  • Internet Survey In Africa will have a key role to play in next few years
  • Work about the Business Model for rural area and Universities .
slide23

Did you need More bandwidth ?

  • Did you need VSAT link ?
  • Did you need e-learning technology for learning and teaching ?
  • Did you need asynchronous communication technology .
  • PLEASE CONTACT US !!!
merci thanks for ictp and sdu
MERCIThanks for ICTP and SDU

Chimon Alberic , UNIVERSITE VIRTUELLE AFRICAINE , Bureau Regional Afrique de l\'Ouest

E-MAIL : [email protected] , [email protected]

web site : http://www.avu.org et http://www.techfranco.net

tel : + 221-427-5343

Office : +221 -867-03-24

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