Fulbright Journal

Presentation: The Status and Future of Mzuzu University Internet Connectivity

Over the past several months the ICT department of the Library has conducted an extensive analysis of Internet connectivity at Mzuzu University. Nkhaniyawo Nyirenda, of Mzuzu University, and Jon Saints, of The University of Arizona, will present the results of the analysis in order to educate and inform users of the Internet and influence future Internet policy decisions.

All members of staff and students and the general public are invited to attend.

Following the presentation there will a discussion session for members of staff
involved in ICT policy making.Presentation Discussion

Location: Mzuzu University Children’s Library
Date: November 24th 2006
Time: 1300 hours

Network Monitoring with Ubuntu

I am starting to publish the final results of my Fulbright research. Here is an article I published on the Ubuntu Linux Community wiki about creating a network monitoring server to analyze traffic on your network.

It has proven to be an essential tool for my resaerch and for improving the campus network at Mzuzu University. If you want detailed analysis of who is doing what on your computer network, this Network Monitoring Bridge is for you.

Pondering Poverty

When we were in Tanzania visiting Marissa's sister, Sami, and I stumbled across a very interesting discussion of poverty in a copy of the magazine NewAfrican January 2006 no. 447 in the article “Is Poverty African?” pg. 14:

In the article, Dr. Vandan Shiva says, “Poverty is a final state, not an initial state in the economic paradigm which destroys ecological and social systems for maintaining life, health, and sustenance of the planet and people.”

This may sound straightforward to some, but poverty is a word that I find most people use too carelessly. There are many who talk about it and even fight against it, but very few, I find, who can define it. It seems to me that dealing with social problems is just like dealing with anything else. You cannot fight against something effectively until you have defined it fully in your mind. Know your opponent.

Fulbright Research Proposal

Here is a shortened copy of the proposal I wrote for the Fulbright grant. It describes the project I will be working on while in Malawi

Overcoming the lack of access to appropriately implemented technologies in the developing world is fundamental to the problem of realizing social development. By increasing productivity and diversifying the workforce, the proper use of technology lays a vital foundation for public health, democracy and economic development. This is certainly true for the proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT). Studies by the Digital Opportunity Task Force, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank's Information Development Fund and Harvard eReadiness Project all prove that the expansion of ICT connectivity can augment social development. Building community telecenters, enhancing rural commerce via ICT-based microcredit lending, launching web-based e-commerce, using the internet to teach public health and land management in rural areas, and using email to relay commodity prices: these are among the many ICT strategies that can enable faster progress. Increasing access to technology and crossing the digital divide is not an option; it is an absolute necessity if the poorest nations are not to fall even farther behind.