Identification of Open ICT Access Solutions for Socio-Economic Development

Harnessing the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for Social Economic Development.

The University of Ghana, Legon in collaboration with The Royal Swedish Institute of Technology (KTH) and Ghana Academic and Research Network (GARNET) will host the 7th International Conference on Open Access in Accra Ghana from 2nd to 3rd November 2009. There will be a preliminary meeting on the 1st November, 2009 ushering the OA conference, and will focus on Regional Research Education Networks (RRENs) , by bringing together key players in West and Central African Universities and other participants who may share their experience in forming RRENs; it is expected that this meeting will lead to the formation of the West and Central African Research Education Network (WACREN).

Introduction

Open Access in the context of Communication (Open Communication) means that anyone, on equal conditions with a transparent relation between cost and pricing, can get access to and share communication resources on one level to provide value added services on another level in a layered communication system architecture. There is currently a high momentum in the deployment of infrastructures such as optic fiber, wireless and the like. Also, the advancement in the use of ICT in general such as mobile phones, multipurpose telecentres. If used wisely, we believe these developments can facilitate provisioning of relatively inexpensive, easily accessible, diversified and expandable ICT services.

An important objective of this conference is also to focus on the relevance of Research and education Networks in all these endeavours. Research and Education Networks are initially potentially the largest anchor customers for broadband links and need to nurture their infrastructure provider community. Universities are also the strongest driver of the knowledge society, both directly via projects they engage in and indirectly by producing students that are exposed to broadband services and will demand such services also when they get into their working lives in different sectors of society.

The conference series has facilitated dissemination of successful Open Access schemes in different regions, both from technical and business perspectives, and pointed at the need to place society interests and strong consumer organizations, such as academia, in the driver seat on the road to the knowledge society.

This conference will be addressing the harnessing of the rapid growth of fibre infrastructure for Social Economic Development. There will be special discussion of the formation of the West and Central African Research Network making use of the extensive availability of Bandwidth that will be offered by SAT-3, Globacom and other fibre projects under construction.

 


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