Bringing the High-Speed Internet to African Universities

Higher education in Africa is hindered to a large degree by a lack of Internet access. At many universities that are wired to the World Wide Web, slow connection speeds make the use of the Internet cumbersome. Many scholars agree that a high level of Internet access across the continent will be essential if African nations are ever able to work through the region’s problems.

One step in the right direction is the Bandwidth Initiative sponsored by six major American foundations. The five-year, $200 million program will connect terminals at 11 African universities to the Internet through satellite technology. Many of the universities will use the technology for distance learning projects, enabling a far greater number of students to enroll in higher education classes.