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IDRC Funds Project To Teach Wireless Builders, Programmers In Africa


Plans To Educate Wi-Fi Implementers Via Organized Workshops,

Urbana, IL, July 3, 2004 - Following attendance at a European wireless conference, the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) worked closely with the Association for Progressive Communications, Ecole Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications, and wire.less.dk, a Dutch wireless consulting company, to draft a proposal
designed to educate wireless implementers in Africa. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has funded the proposal for $225,000 US over the period from July 2004 to June 2006.

CUWiN's involvement in this program is key to sharing our cutting edge technology and experience with trainers and technologists in developing African countries. A positive benefit of making this technical information available online to this target audience is that it will then be available to wireless implementers globally.

The program will be used to teach trainers in Africa how to build out wireless infrastructure and programmers adding features to existing software and those creating new software. The diverse population of Africa faces unique hurdles which this program will overcome through a variety of techniques:

-- Training: hands-on workshops in North, South, and West Africa;

-- Materials development: documentation collected and translated to English, French, and Arabic; and

-- Distributed knowledge base: development and maintenance of the CUWiN

-- SourceForge development site to collect technical information of interest to wireless implementers and programmers

Through projects such as this, the groundwork is being laid to establish lasting communities of wireless networking practitioners in Africa -- and across the world -- with a vision of holding future in-depth training sessions in greater numbers once this path-finding and the program itself are concluded.

About CUWiN

The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has built a communications network using wireless networking equipment. This is essentially the same "WiFi" equipment used in homes and offices, but CUWiN puts it on rooftops to connect neighbors and form a high-speed community network.

CUWiN's three-part mission is to:

-- connect more people to Internet and broadband services;

-- develop open-source hardware and software for use by wireless projects world-wide; and

-- build and support community-owned, not-for-profit broadband networks in cities and towns around the globe.

CUWiN is a program of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. OJC Technologies is CUWiN's development home.

For additional information, contact:

Sascha Meinrath
Project Coordinator
Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network

Date: 07/13/2004
Source: CUWiN

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