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Über dieses Buch

This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the Third International ICST Conference on e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries, AFRICOMM 2011, held in Zanzibar, Tansania, in November 2011. The 24 revised full papers presented together with 2 poster papers were carefully reviewed and selected from numerous submissions. The papers cover a wide range of topics in the field of information and communication infrastructures. They are organized in two tracks: communication infrastructures for developing countries and electronic services, ICT policy, and regulatory issues for developing countries.



Track I: Communication Infrastructures for Developing Countries

Scenario to Serve Remote Areas in Emerging Countries with the Village Internet Service Station

The provision of Internet to remote areas has raised interests for many years and is particularly tough to address when the expected average revenue per user is low. Providing access to internet services in remote rural areas of emerging countries is a challenge for operators. Actually, the segments addressed may be key to their future market growth given the numerous but un-wealthy end-users. However, we tackle this issue in emerging markets by proposing an incremental scenario which conciliates investors’ return on investment and end-users’ needs and desire for communication. Actually, we first derive a set of requirements from the market segmentation and then specify the architecture for the low entrant segment. Furthermore, we show that there are possibilities to progressively address new segments in an incremental approach of the architecture first deployed. We also propose design to cost scenarios by combining deployed mobile-phone networks and intermittent data link. In every village an Internet service station is shared among all users in the village.
Gaël Fromentoux, Arnaud Braud, Xavier Marjou

Enhancing Service Provisioning within Heterogeneous Wireless Networks for Emergency Situations

Emergency situations where lives are at stake, such as natural disasters, accidents, or serious fire, require low reaction times. Especially in sparsely populated areas the distance between the nearest emergency station and its disaster location may be quite large. In order to minimize reaction times, emergency communication is to be prioritized with respect to other network services. For enabling efficient and privileged usage of available network resources for emergency services, we propose to handle diverse service requests, ranging from emergency voice calls to bandwidth-consuming streaming services for emergency news, collaboratively by a Joint Call Admision Control (JCAC) and Dynamic Bandwidth Adaptation (DBA) approach. Therefore, we introduce a novel utility definition of services. It represents a generic measurement of the provided level of importance of the emergency service with respect to the common utility, i.e. the utility of service provisioning for the population. The designed JCAC and DBA algorithms cooperatively manage resources of heterogeneous wireless networks and aim at supporting a maximum number of requested services. Further, system utilization is optimized by improving the QoS characteristics of the already granted, elastic services. Simulation results show an improvement in the overall gained utility for emergency services compared to other research approaches.
Christian Lottermann, Andreas Klein, Hans D. Schotten, Christian Mannweiler

Providing Some Quality of Service for Secondary Users in Cognitive Radios Using Time Slotted Systems

The current research in cognitive radio has been considering absolute guarantee for primary users allowing secondary users access to spectrum only if there is no primary users with data to send. At high arrival rate of primary users this might lead to complete starvation of secondary users and yet it is possible to release some spectrum to secondary users by delaying primary users without affecting their quality. We propose a resource allocation scheme that uses delayed time periods of primary users to transmit secondary user’s data packets without jeopardizing the quality of primary users. We analytically modeled the scheme using M/G/1 queue. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that secondary users can be offered some quality of service by delaying primary users in the system to a limit that does not degrade their performance.
Hudson Okii, Idris A. Rai

Fair Usage and Capping for Providing Internet for All in Developing Countries

The concept of fair usage is a technique that has existed for years to achieve dynamic network resource allocation when the users do not consume their broadband access continuously all the time. Each user is expected to use his/her Internet access for only a short time or not at full speed all the time. Otherwise they may impair the quality of experience of other users. The purpose of fair usage and capping is to prevent a small range of users from consuming the entire bandwidth allocated by the network operator for all users. In this paper we propose a new fair usage model that aims at satisfying all the actors (OTT providers, network operators, clients on top of the pyramid, mass-market clients). This model is dedicated to developing countries. We implemented it on an open BSD router and measured impact of performances.
Yvon Gourhant, Ali Gouta, Venmani Daniel Philip

OpenFlow as an Architecture for e-Node B Virtualization

The ability to enable multiple virtual networks on common infrastructure with different network architectures has been gaining critical importance recently mainly because this kind of sharing does not incur any additional equipment cost for operators. An aim of our ongoing research is to take pragmatic approach towards infrastructure sharing applying operator differentiation and provide a solution to improve traffic prioritization primarily for 4G-LTE mobile networks. We propose a novel solution to the same, based on exploring OpenFlow as an architecture for e-Node B virtualization. By demonstrating the feasibility of adapting the existing OpenFlow mechanism to mobile network architecture, we illustrate the evolution of network sharing via an open network approach, based on OpenFlow. With OpenFlow, we seek to define how far it can be gone within the sharing scenarios based on the architecture of LTE/EPC defined in 3GPP, where the key lock is to open facilities to define flexible and extensible policies.
Venmani Daniel Philip, Yvon Gourhant, Djamal Zeghlache

The White Space Opportunity in Southern Africa: Measurements with Meraka Cognitive Radio Platform

The global migration of television (TV) from analogue to digital broadcasting will result in more spectrum bands (known as TV white space), previously used in analogue broadcasting, becoming available and unoccupied. A question is on how much white space is available and how can it be used opportunistically and dynamically without causing harmful interference to licensed users? In this paper, we present work that is currently ongoing in our research lab with regard to the use of cognitive radio for accessing TV white spaces. We discuss the Meraka Cognitive Radio Platform (MCRP) developed using the second version of the Universal Software Radio Peripheral hardware and the GNU Radio software. We also present early results of the measurements conducted using the MCRP in rural and urban Southern Africa areas. The measurement results indicate that there are substantial white spaces available in both rural and urban areas for digital dividend.
Moshe T. Masonta, David Johnson, Mjumo Mzyece

Strategies for Energy-Efficient Mobile Web Access: An East African Case Study

The limited battery life of mobile handheld devices coupled with the lack of readily or reliable access to electricity is proving to be a major barrier to both adoption and usage of mobile Internet services in most African countries. Therefore, new methods of energy-efficient delivery of mobile web content are essential for prolonging battery life. This paper discusses and evaluates four energy-saving strategies, namely mobile optimization, HTTP compression, caching and proxy. The proposed energy-efficient proxy achieves at most 60% and 74% energy saving in 2G and 3G networks respectively without affecting user experience. As a case study, we consider usage trends and sample web content from three East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda).
Le Wang, Edward Mutafungwa, Yeswanth Puvvala, Jukka Manner

Scalable Scheduling with Burst Mapping in IEEE 802.16e (Mobile) WiMAX Networks

One Column Stripping with non-increasing Area first mapping algorithm (OCSA) was proposed by Chakchai So-In et al to schedule bursts on downlinks of base station by giving priority to the largest bursts to OFDMA frame. However, size-based scheduling that favor large items are known to exhibit poor average delay performance especially under workload distributions that are highly skewed (i.e., heavy tailed workloads). In this paper, we first study OCSA and use numerical results to show that it starves short bursts at high loads. We then propose improvement to OCSA (iOCSA) and a new algorithm called One Column Stripping with Increasing Area first mapping algorithm (OCSIA). In contrast to OCSA, OCSIA gives priority to short bursts. Our detailed numerical results to compare OCSIA to OCSA under varying workload distributions clearly show iOCSA improves the performance of OCSA, and OCSIA significantly outperforms OCSA under heavy tailed workloads without starving large bursts.
Mukakanya Abel Muwumba, Idris A. Rai

A Pilot of a QoS-Aware Wireless Back-Haul Network for Rural Areas

Rural areas in emerging regions often lack affordable broadband Internet connectivity, which limits the access to, for example, knowledge, government services or education. Themajor limiting factors are the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and theOperational Expenditure (OPEX) related to traditional wireless carrier equipment, its relatively large energy footprint and the vast but sparsely populated areas to be covered. Since in many rural regions access to a power grid is not available or highly instable, ensuring a 24/7 operation of cell site is a very costly task. To address those issues, we have developed a carrier-grade heterogeneous back-haul architecture in order to complement, extend or even replace traditional operator equipment. OurWireless Back-Haul (WiBACK) network technology provides wireless back-haul coverage while building on cost-effective and low-power equipment. In this paper we present a pilot scenario in Maseru, Lesotho, where an entrepreneur starts out with three eKiosk/VoIP sites with the goal to cover large parts on the city of Maseru. Using a testbed resembling the initial deployment scenario and identical hardware as planned for Maseru, we validate the self-configuration mechanisms, evaluate their performance in cases of node failures and show that the remaining network can quickly be reorganized.
Philipp Batroff, George Ghinea, Thorsten Horstmann, Karl Jonas, Jens Moedeker

SolarMesh - Energy-Efficient, Autonomous Wireless Networks for Developing Countries

This paper presents the research and development activities within ”SolarMesh - Energy-Efficient, Autonomous, Wide-Area Wireless Voice and Data Network”, a R&D project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project, bringing together expertise from academia and industry in Germany, is specifically dedicated to develop reliable wireless communications infrastructure for rural areas in developing countries, such as in sub-Saharan Africa. Wireless mesh networks based on IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN technology combined with intelligent functions for self-configuration and self-adaptation can provide affordable ICT infrastructure for access and backhaul operation while at the same time offering carrier-grade QoS for voice and data services. Moreover, the paper outlines how the SolarMesh network operates independently from (potentially unreliable) local energy grids using autarkic energy supply (solar power) and implementing energy-aware routing and handover functions.
Christian Mannweiler, Christian Lottermann, Andreas Klein, Hans D. Schotten

Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) and Cyber Security in Africa – Has the CIIP and Cyber Security Rubicon Been Crossed?

This paper reviews some very negative views, made over the last few years, about Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) and Cyber Security in Africa. The paper addresses the expressed negative views that Africa can become the vehicle or platform from where cyber-attacks could be launched against the rest of the world. The paper evaluates the reasons for such negative views and then suggests some steps which should be taken in Africa to counter such negative impressions and to protect itself cyber wise.
Basie von Solms, Elmarie Kritzinger

Geographic Information System as a Tool for Integration of District Health Information System and Drug Logistics Management Information System in Malawi

While the Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) at the national level in Malawi is integrated, separate health information subsystems operate independently at the district level. For instance computerized Information Systems, such as District Health Information System that stores health data and Drug Logistics Management Information System that stores drug logistics data, operate as separate independent systems at the district level. Evidence however shows that information derived from fragmented systems is characterized by poor quality, irrelevancy, unreliability, untimely reporting and therefore inadequacy for management requirements. As one way of addressing problems associated with disintegrated HMIS, organizations worldwide are making collaborative efforts to integrate disparate information systems into one. Hence, this paper discusses possibilities of using Geographic Information System (GIS) to integrate District Health Information System and Drug Logistics Management Information System at district level in Malawi.
Patrick Albert Chikumba, Auxilia Nyaukaya Kaunda

Track II: Electronic Services, ICT Policy, and Regulatory Issues for Developing Countries

A Socio-technical Perspective on the Use of Mobile Phones for Remote Data Collection in Home Community Based Care in Developing Countries

The adoption of technology into the health care industry has been criticized as being overtly techno-centric. It is assumed that health information technologies will fit into the environment and be easily adopted by the user. This, however, is a fallacy. Research has shown that a socio-technical approach, optimizing the interaction between the relevant social, environmental and technical sub-systems, is preferred. In this paper, a socio-technical perspective is gained on the adoption of health information technologies in the home community based care context, specifically the use of mobile phones for remote data collection. Based on data gathered through interviews with and observations of caregivers administering care in the community, this paper identifies and discusses the social, environmental and technical factors that affect community health care workers while they are using mobile phones to capture patient data in the home community based care environment in developing countries.
Nobubele Angel Shozi, Dalenca Pottas, Nicky Mostert-Phipps

Open Source Software Solution for Healthcare: The Case of Health Information System in Zanzibar

Through a case study of health information system in Zanzibar, Tanzania, the article discusses adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) through strategic transition from a free Microsoft based application to a full-fledged java based FOSS application. Throughout the article, the adoption challenges and opportunities are discussed. The article contributes to approaches to FOSS adoption. Three areas are identified: the technical capacity of the software surpassing licensing terms, the role of local champions in initiating changes, and the importance of user capacity building prior to project adoption especially for a transitional project.
Yahya Hamad Sheikh, Abubakar Diwani Bakar

A Software Business Incubation Model Using ICTs for Sustainable Economic Development in Uganda

In low-income countries, a recurring challenge in the use of mobile and web-based services to foster development is to ensure the economic sustainability of those new services after their initial launch. The Makerere University Software Business Incubation programme tests a novel approach to this challenge, by applying a venture-capital-like management discipline to ICT innovations created by students, recent graduates and staff of the College of Computing and Information Sciences. The incubation process, which has been refined over the past 3 years, has already resulted in six new business start-ups. Scaling up appears feasible, because of the very low capital funding needs of the programme: the new services are profitable from the start. This paper describes the programme’s structure and operational processes and gives several examples of the new services created, along with a discussion of the challenges faced and solved by the programme’s management.
Hugh Cameron, Benjamin Kanagwa, Michael Niyitegeka

Crowdsourcing ICTD Best Practices

A large number of projects in ICT for development include software development to a certain degree. A review of the literature highlights how most of these projects ultimately fail to be sustainable. In this paper, we expose our views on the need for a more structured approach to software development in ICTD and we present our plan to collect best practices from software project managers through a crowdsourcing web portal. This will provide input to a broader study that aims at adapting existing software development processes to the ICTD context.
Aaron Ciaghi, Adolfo Villafiorita

Information and Communication Technologies and Firms Productivity in Cameroon

Using panel data from manufacturing firms in Cameroon, this study investigates the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on firms’ productivity in Cameroon. The empirical model is derived from the flexible Translog production function. The strategic complementarities between ICT-capital and organizational changes are accounted for. We estimate our model using the System-Generalized Method of Moments (GMMS) estimator as it is adequate to deal with endogeneity issues. Our results reveal that the effects of ICT on productivity are catalyzed by the implementation of organizational changes. Moreover, we identified the specific organizational changes that deliver the highest benefits.
Pierre Valére Nketcha Nana, Christophe Péguy Choub Faha

e-Health for Rural Areas in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Sebokeng Experience

We report the experience gained in an e-Health project in the Gauteng province, in South Africa. A Proof-of-Concept of the project has been already installed in 3 clinics in the Sebokeng township. The project is now going to be applied to 300 clinics in the whole province. This extension of the Proof-of-Concept can however give rise to security flaws because of the inclusion of rural areas with unreliable Internet connection. We address this problem and propose a safe solution.
Massimiliano Masi, Rosario Pugliese, Francesco Tiezzi

On Development of a Collaborative ICT Infrastructure for Online HIV/AIDS Advisory Service Provision

The initiatives to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS across African society have been following different approaches ranging from workshops and seminars to posters across streets. One of the main challenges has been on the dissemination of relevant information related to HIV/AIDS advices to the appropriate in demand users. However, the advances in ICT have not been benefited in this area and particularly in developing economy countries. This paper first provides an understanding of needs and challenges for developing an online infrastructure (Collaborative Infrastructure for HIV/AIDS Advisory Services – CIHAAS system) that can facilitate the provision of HIV/AIDS advisory services to youths. It also addresses requirement identification, specification of services and functionalities of the proposed ICT infrastructure, and finally, it presents architectural design of the proposed system.
Simon Samwel Msanjila

Socio-technical Arrangements for mHealth: Extending the Mobile Device Use and Adoption Framework

This paper extends the mobile device adoption model by Sarker & Wells [1]. We extend this model from being focused on individuals, to discuss intra and extra organisational socio-technical arrangements that interplay with mHealth solution implementation and adoption, in low resource contexts. Among others, highlighted factors include user characteristics, influence of supported work, modality of user mobility, technological characteristics, change management, and other contextual factors such as economic, social, and political factors. This is done by reviewing an mHealth initiative from Malawi and related mHealth literature. We argue that the above mentioned factors form the installed base on which solutions are built, and continuously interplay with the use of mHealth solutions, thereby influencing adoption outcomes.
Tiwonge Davis Manda, Yamiko Msosa

Power Dynamics in E-commerce Adoption in Least Developing Countries: The Case of Dar-es-Salaam SMEs, Tanzania

This paper examines power structures that make E-Commerce adoption amongst Small and Medium Enterprises in least developing countries a daunting task. The study adopts structuration theory as a lens, focusing specifically on structures of domination. The results indicate that at organizational level, lack of management support was the reason. However this was caused by government’s reluctance to adopt E-Commerce. By not adopting E-Commerce, government creates structures of domination by drawing on both of its allocative and authoritative resources. Further results show education institutions possessing authoritative power - they design the curriculum by determining what to teach and how to teach it; and whilst doing it, fail to take into account the industries and specifically SMEs needs. However with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies, E-Commerce is becoming a reality through the development of mobile enabled trade websites, which gives SMEs numerous ways to diffuse and rejuvenate themselves in the global economy.
Salah Kabanda

The Expansion of the Siyakhula Living Lab: A Holistic Perspective

In this paper we discuss the recent expansion of network connectivity within the Siyakhula Living Lab. This is part of an ICT-for-development project located in a rural area on the Wild Coast of South Africa. Thus far, five schools in the area have been the primary points of access to the network for the surrounding communities. Thanks to external funding, eleven more schools will be connected. Consistent with the Living Lab approach, the expansion needs to take into account technical as well as social aspects. Technical challenges relate mainly to the constraints of working in a rugged, mountainous terrain with poor road and electricity infrastructure and harsh environmental conditions such as dust and temperature variances. Social challenges relate to obtaining the buy-in of the local community and to reaching consensus on the criteria for the expansion. In this paper we account for the preliminary work which led to the implementation plan. We hope our experience will inform similar interventions in other parts of Africa.
Lorenzo Dalvit, Ingrid Siebörger, Hannah Thinyane

Effect of Attitude towards SMS Technology and Its Applications on Blood Donation Behaviour

This paper assesses the effect of attitude towards SMS technology and SMS based reminders on blood donation behaviour through a survey using a self-administered questionnaire. Specifically, the study assesses the attitude towards SMS technology and content of SMS based reminders among blood donors of the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service. Furthermore, the paper assesses the relationship between attitude towards SMS technology and SMS based reminders on one hand and blood donation behaviour on the other.
The paper has shown that blood donors at the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service have positive attitude towards the SMS technology and SMS message content on all dimensions. Although the results have shown that blood donors attitude towards SMS technology was positive irrespective demographic variations, the results have also shown that level of education of the donors moderates their attitude towards the content of SMS message with donors without formal education qualification exhibiting relatively negative attitude compared with those with formal qualification. However, the survey was limited to effects of overall attitude towards SMS technology on intention to donate blood. Since intention to donate blood is a socially accepted behaviour, the results may have been biased by respondents who may have given socially acceptable responses while their actual position may have been different. Furthermore, dimensions that significantly contribute to these relationships were not examined.
Harry H. Gombachika, Maganizo D. Monawe

The Intelligent City Operations Centre: An Integrated Platform for Crisis Management

Emergency and disaster management – collectively referred to here as crisis management – have traditionally been practised as distinct and separate disciplines. In recent years, however, it has been recognised that crisis management is a complex, multi-disciplinary problem that requires continuous collaboration among all stakeholders in order to be effective. At the same time, technologies have emerged that can support cross-disciplinary approaches to crisis management. This paper describes the essential components of the ‘city crisis management problem’, and then maps the people, process and technology requirements that emerge from this problem description. The intent is to identify the critical success factors by establishing clear linkages between the problem requirements, the solution space and crisis management best practices. The paper also describes an embodiment of the Intelligent City Operations Centre concept, an ICT platform that can be specifically configured to address these requirements in developing countries.
Mweene Monze

Enabling New Interaction Forms and Applications through Next Generation Mobile Platforms for Urban and Rural Africa

Mobile phones constitute the most ubiquitous computing platform across Africa and in many rural areas it is the only computer available. Through rapid technological development a new wave of “low-end smartphones” are becoming available and affordable, and in this work we investigate how to use the new features of these devices to enable more natural interaction forms that lower the technical and knowledge threshold for people to access and use mobile ICT solutions in urban and rural African contexts. Specifically we investigate how new sensor-based interactions can be designed for mobile applications and how to implement a software platform for facilitating the development of such applications.
Kasper Løvborg Jensen, Gary Marsden


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