Laptop in schools projects. Importance of Stakeholder Analysis and Management


kenyaA recent article in Rwanda daily newspaper (print and online) had the following article on one laptop project by pic-cute-kidNicholas Negroponte. Link
Currently Rwanda National Police has recovered 616 computer laptops that went missing from various schools across the country.  OLPC project officials made a quick and noteworthy rejoinder by an official in the project was here

In Summary: At least 2 schools in every administrative sector (416 in total) have the laptops deployed and more than 275,000 laptops have been deployed.  The project also trains teachers, provides repairs and maintenance and support to usage of laptops.  Current governance framework includes, Rwanda Education Board signs a contract agreement with the school head, that transfers ownership and responsibilities of the laptops to the school management including ownership of its use to facilitate learning in the class.  Rwanda Education Board remains with monitoring oversight of the project through regional pedagogical inspectors, who provide reports on the usage of laptops with focus on teaching and learning process. Education officers at the district and sector levels also monitor the use of laptops and report technical issues to REB.  The Parents-Teachers Association must also be involved in the implementation of the program.

kenya-teacher-kids teachers-learning
I must commend the Rwanda Government for moving quickly (well recognized for this) in recovering the misplaced/stolen laptops. This points to a deeper problem, which is lack of stakeholder analysis/management as recommended by popular project management methodologies including project management institute PMI standard.
From the answers above: The following are stakeholders identified and how to manage them in laptop for schools projects?
Key Organization Name Power (1-5) Interest (1-5)
A Teacher Repr XXX 2 5
B School Heads XXX 5 5
C Rwanda edu board 5 5
D Supplier xxxx 5 5
E Parents teachers body X 5 5
F Local leadership xxxxx 5 2
G. Private sector/computer xx 1 4

From the above mapping the stakeholders in a power/interest quadrant, the following would be the outcome
1. Teacher Representatives: Low power/High interest: Strategy Keep informed:
2. School heads: High power/High interest: Strategy: Key Player
3. Rwanda Education board: High Power/High Interest: Key player
4. Laptop Supplier: High power/High interest: Key player
5. Parents teachers body: High Power/High interest: Key player
6. Private ICT companies: Low power/High interest: Keep satisfied.

From the above stakeholder analysis and strategy an appropriate communication strategy can be developed to promote all round project support hence ensure the above issues do not re-occur.
6. Local leadership: High power/Low interest: Minimal effort

In conclusion, stakeholder analysis and associated roles and responsibilities and the stakeholders buy-in seems to be a key missing link in the project management of OLPC.


Drones – Africa…. An (exploding?) story

Got to admire Rwanda.  Rwanda is the little wiry football player that leaves the big guys furtively scrambling for the ball as the little country (11 million people) dramatically kicks the ball to the net.  Rwanda made international headlines when they facilitated Zipline to test-bed their medical products delivery project.  This was done complete with the regulatory laws in place.  Kenya on the other hand was stuck in drafting the laws, but presto couple months later (got to add after Rwanda news), the law has been approved.  Tanzania has promised to do so, South Africa however did it first in 2015.  How are African countries (52 in all) so far faring with the drone technology?

South Africa: Drones to monitor South African ports, has about 400 drone pilots already registered.

Kenya has about 1000 drones that were confiscated by the revenue authority due to lack of legal framework. The military has already bought around 12 mainly for surveillance ‘not bombing’ from US. Revenue people say they will return the drones once the framework is in place.  An investor is planning to set up 100 drone schools for the needed trainings although as yet no certified drone pilot in Kenya.  Let’s also cross fingers that all the drone owners ACTUALLY get back the drones.  Watching carefully how the naturally entrepreneurial Kenyans run with drone technology. (googles drones OLX Kenya…..


.. yep… drone camera for sale @1500 usd..#gofigure)

Price Waterhouse Coopers predicts drone application is highest in infrastructure sector from pre-planning to implementation to maintenance of infrastructures.

Nigeria using drones to monitor electronic installations and petroleum installations to check vandalism.

Ghana Kwame Nkrumah university college of engineering have developed a home made drown.. Kudos to the university in leading the  university pack.

UNICEF partnered with Malawi government to launch a humanitarian drone testing center doing pretty much what Rwanda is doing (but with the nicer sounding name)..

Zimbabwe has announced use of drones for border patrols.

Some interesting infographics on drones..drone infographic.jpg

drones infographic.jpg

African market has been exploding for some time.. Rwanda just added some clearly needed dynamite..

The big Q is how will the regulatory authorities majority civil aviation track and monitor them, probably in their one time as many as cars? phones? who knows?


Now off to watch some spectacular drone videos on Utube… #DSTVforwho?

drones cheetah.jpg

Of Digitization projects in African Governments.. #Todo or #Howtodo

One of my earliest memories of my working class father, was him hauling home this box-file on a regular basis and then proceed to pore over the contents.  We were forbidden to touch it (with grimy fingers) in case we messed up the order of the papers and the hallowed contents within.  A little while later, my dad took me to an office and I still recall the smell of papers everywhere.  A few years later, I trooped to a government office to get my national ID right in the middle of shelves and shelves of paper, and the musty paper smell.  Now, trooping to the national ID office, one is met with a computer and the musty paper smell is now long gone.



Rwanda National Commission for the fight against Genocide (  announced this week that it will be completing its digitization project of 63 Million pages by 2018 at a cost of 5 Billion RWF (6 million USD). This does not include other materials including CD’s, video cassettes etc. The archived documents will be on Islandora an open source digital repository system. 20% of the materials has been digitized so far.

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South Africa Government announced it will be digitizing its own civil records of 286 Million records at a cost of 700,000 USD.  Kenya News Agency will be digitization its own photographic library with a portal at  The Civil registration department has already digitized 62.5 Million records so far.  The United Nations digitization program as of September 2016 had digitized 400,000 documents which is 13.3% of important documents needing urgent digitization.

Canada’s Minister of Works and Public services has a freely available Guide for managers planning and implementing digitization projects .  It gives a breakdown on

  1. project planning including a management policy for digital assets, prioritizing the work skills required etc.
  2. Legal issues related to digitization including rights management and protection technologies.
  3. Determining the costs of a digitization project including decision whether to digitize in-house or contracting.
  4. Standards and guidelines to consider
  5. Implementation: Selecting equipment and software for the project, workflow and process
  6. Maintenance and management including migration of data to new formats, storage and back up preservation.

The United States has a federal agencies digital guidelines initiative

For African governments though, with weak in-house teams, outsourcing digitization projects through a competitive procurement process is a double-edged sword.  Creating jobs is inevitable while closing this multi-year projects in as short time as possible.


Given the magnitude of government archives in Africa governments,  a good approach would be to consolidate the efforts around core sectors like health, agriculture etc rather than individual institutions doing this.  This will attract bigger players to the project, which brings in innovations and efficiency.  Care has to be taken to ensure during the procurement process that as much of the labor is outsourced locally, but also the high value skills like development, workflow designs are also carried out locally.

For now, every time I think digitization, that old musty paper smell inevitably comes to mind and with that some of the memories of a rapidly disappearing era of paper.

Free and Open Source Software policy adoption in Africa Governments: Status


Every ICT practitioner nightmare in government is the legal team.  Usually very general law education and little ICT specific law training and knowledge.  I always cross my fingers when I push the ICT contract to the legal team that I don’t get questions on any technical term and asked to give the legal implication or some legal-esque probes.  Meanwhile I am looking at the deliverable deadlines at the corner of the eye to deliver this project ‘on time’.

I came across an article that the US government spends 16 billion USD on software licenses and maintenance.  The government in August approved a new federal software policy with the aim to adopting use of open source software and open standards to reduce this bill.  But even more encouraging, use of open source software will encourage innovation in the public sector.  An interesting part is the policy mandates all agencies to release 20% of its custom software code into the website for free access to the public.

In 2007, South Africa was the first country in Africa to adopt use of FOSS in the government.  Brazil was the first country in the world to adopt use of FOSS.  China adopted FOSS in 2007 and is actively promoting LINUX. Nigeria so far seemed to look into adopting the use of FOSS, but I almost LOLed at the article that said that ‘the effort was hampered by a generous Microsoft for software’.

Uganda holds an annual FOSS Conference supported by the National IT Authority and this year held the 7th edition.  The Minister of ICT of Uganda Frank Tumwebaze showed that the Ugandan government spends 40 Million USD annually on software licenses from proprietary companies.  The officials say they are soon approving a FOSS policy for the government.

A really interesting project is the Nigeria Mirror Project hosts FOSS in local servers to enable easier access by local programming community.

Bulgaria government passed a FOSS policy and will create a new government agency to enforce the law and set up the public repository. A public registry will track all software projects from inspection to technical specs deliverables and subsequent control.

European Union, France, India, United Kingdom have all moved to adopting FOSS in government software development.

According to the map below (Source: only 4 countries have open source policy encourage not mandated: South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Benin.  Only 1 country Ghana has an open source law proposed but not enacted. Perhaps the fact that E-government has not really taken off and hence have not met with the software license and maintenance bills of more developed countries is partly why FOSS in government is not an issue yet.  Obviously this presents a big lessons learned for the governments to adopt FOSS policies now rather that when faced with a huge software maintenance bill.


The big ICT advocacy bodies International Telecommunication Union, World Bank and United Nations are a bit silent on FOSS policies for African governments.

The rhetorical question is therefore, should we wait for the 5o or so African governments go through the costly lessons learned cycle in avoiding proprietary software?

The best interventions is when national ICT polices are being formulated where FOSS policy is mainstreamed into the ICT Policy.  However the (very keen) presence of vendors in the ICT policy consultations (especially with behind the scenes lobbying) makes FOSS policy adoption chances quite slim in Africa.

Partnering to protect children and youth online

Africa this is a priority!

Tim Unwin's Blog

I am so delighted to have been asked by the ITU and Child Helpline International to moderate their important session on “Partnering to protect children and youth” at the ITU’s Telecom World gathering in Bangkok on 15th November.  The abuse of children online is without question one of the darkest aspects of the use of ICTs, and it is great to see the work that so many child helplines are doing globally to counter and respond to this.

The main objective of the session is to highlight the work done by a range of ICT stakeholders to initiate and support child helplines in various parts of the world.  The session will begin with introductory remarks from Houlin Zhao (the Secretary General of the ITU) and Professor Jaap Doek (Chair of the Board of Child Helpline international).  This will be followed by a short video entitled No child should be left…

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Of Africa Internet Exchange Points

Rwanda yesterday 10th October 2016 launched its Rwanda Internet Exchange Point and is quickly targeting to make it a regional internet exchange point.  The project was financed by the African Union Commission’s Infrastructure and Energy Department through its project African Internet Exchange System or AXIS. The project cost 180,000 USD and funded by AU Commission.  It becomes one of eight regional internet exchange points and 32 national internet exchange points funded by the commission. (Link to Rwanda NewTimes Article   On 23rd June this year, AU commission also launched the Kenya Internet Exchange point in Mombasa which also is to be a regional exchange point.  As H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy puts it “In the context of celebrating 50 years, the AU Heads of State and Government agreed to develop a Continental Agenda 2063. The overall objective of Agenda 2063 is to chart Africa’s development trajectory over the next 50 years. One of the envisaged activities is putting in place an intra-African broad band terrestrial infrastructure”.  The Network Resource Center by University of Oregon has a nice link of the IXP with website addresses.

The Africa Union also has quite well updated and comprehensive link of the project here..  The project has a best practices workshop where stakeholders come together to share ideas and best practices, as well as technical workshops, both excellent approaches in such a continent wide project as this.

Now onto the nitty gritty.

nitty gritty pics.png

  1. Enabling Environment namely

a.Policy and Regulation.

b.Technology and infrastructure: Accesibility of host facility to participant networks, reliability of key utilities and availability of modern equipments are key.

c. People and community: IXPs run well if there is a sense of community amongst the participants and efforts must be made to create a community of trust. Capacity building of technical persons is equally key to this.

Others details include

  1. Choosing a governance and business model usually falling in the four categories: Nonprofit industry associations of ISPs, Operator-neutral commercial and for-profit companies, University and government agencies  and Informal associations of networks.

University of Oregon Internet Resource center has a nice and website linked of Africa IXPs.

Country Name Internet Link
Angola-IXP / ANG-IX Angola Internet Exchange point


angonix Angola Internet Exchange Point


BurundiX Burundi Internet Exchange Point
RDC-IX Kinshasa Kinix
CGIX Congo Internet eXchange


Congo Internet eXchange Congo Internet eXchange
CIVIX Cote d’Ivoire Internet Exchange Point
CAMIX Cameroon Internet Exchange Point
DjIX The Djibouti Internet Exchange
GIXA Ghana Internet Exchange Association

KIXP Kenya Internet Exchange Point
LIXP Lesotho Internet Exchange
MIX-BT Malawi Internet Exchange


MOZIX Mozambique Internet Exchange


WHK-IX Windhoek Internet Exchange Point
IXPN Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria
IXPN Lagos Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria


RINEX Rwanda Internet Exchange


Somcable S.A.S Somcable


SISPA Swaziland Peering Point
TunIXP Tunisia Internet Exchange Point
AIXP Arusha Internet eXchange Point
TIX – Tanzania Tanzania Internet eXchange


UIXP Uganda Internet Exchange Point
CINX Cape Town Internet Exchange
Cool Ideas Cool Ideas Service Provider
DINX Durban Internet Exchange
JINX Johannesburg Internet Exchange
NAPAfrica IX Cape Town NAPAfrica IX Cape Town
NAPAfrica IX Durban NAPAfrica IX Durban
NAPAfrica IX Johannesburg NAPAfrica IX Johannesburg
LuIXP Lusaka Internet Exchange Point

map africa internet exchange points.PNG


So what does this mean to the ordinary African?

THREE words: Faster, Cheaper, RICHER Content>Hopefully the IXPs will plug part of the puzzle needed to fix the F-C-C huge need for the growing number of Africans plugging into the internet. and… well and not exactly what we have in mind.



Transform Africa 2015 ICT4D conference

It has been quite a journey.   This began in 2007 in Kigali Rwanda with the Connect Africa Summit.  Quite a good summary here of the ICT conference then.  5  or so years later in 2013, Transform Africa conference was in Kigali again.   A post conference analysis by International Telecommunication Union (and generous sponsor and supporter) was done  Next Month October 19-21 Kigali Rwanda proudly hosts Transform Africa 2015.  Website and online registration here .  I have been privileged to take the front seat in Rwanda ICT journey over the last decade. Lots of painful lessons learned.. but also bigger, lots of inspirations on how it all is possible.   Youtube has some pretty cool accolades to Rwanda ICT Journey. This is the first that documented that journey produced by Rwanda Development Board

The International Telecommunication Union ITU has been a strong sponsor and brains behind these 3 conferences.  Transform Africa 2015, is a must watch.  Make sure you register and attend Africa premier ICT4D conference.