Many organizations are active in research, advocacy and initiatives to help improve Internet connectivity in African universities. Here are some notable examples:
IDRC's PAREN (Promoting African Research and Education Networking) project has investigated possible long term scenarios for the establishment of a continent wide network.
- PAREN project background and description
- Promoting African Research and Education Networking (2005)
- A survey of investment in education and research networking in Africa by development agencies and other organisations (2005)
- Open and Closed Skies: Satellite Access in Africa. Policy Reform and Regulatory Issues in Bridging the Digital Divide through Satellite Technologies (2004)
Two African Tertiary Institution Connectivity Surveys (ATICS) have investigated current Internet usage in African Universities.
- The initial ATICS study (2004) supported by the World Bank collected information from 83 institutions, representing 40 countries.
- A follow-up ATICS study (2006) supported by IDRC collected information from 54 institutions in 27 countries.
Initiatives related to improving Internet connectivity in African universties are often linked with of national research and education networks.
- The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) provides an overview of current issues in National Research and Education Networks in Africa: Understanding NRENs and key considerations in establishing them (2007).
- TENET provides a brief overview of Research and education networking in Africa (2006).
- NRENS in Africa summarizes these and other resources.
A study sponsored by the World Bank Institute, IDRC and KTH calls for universities and research institutions in Southern Africa to have access to broadband services and the global Internet on the same level as peers in the developed parts of the world.
'Solving' the inadequate supply of bandwidth will not enough if appropriate systems are not put in place to deal with issues of bandwidth optimimisation and management.
- INASP offers a program of bandwidth optimimisation and management training support and a set of related resources.
- How to accelerate your Internet provides practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from a connection to the Internet.
Libraries can potentially play a key role in university connectivity efforts in Africa.
- INASP examines this link as part of its larger investigation, Towards the digital library: findings of an investigation to establish the current status of university libraries in Africa (2005).
- The eGranary Digital Library is one innovative project to provide 'simulated connectivity' to African universities by loading vast amounts of educational content on hard drives installed on existing university networks.