Thursday, March 6, 2008

100 Nigerian Universities To Become Digital Campuses

As promised, more things that make you go "wow!". I met Nam almost 2 years ago while he was a Reuters Digital Fellow at Stanford. I remember the first time I heard about this mammoth project and thought, wow, is he serious? A network of Digital campuses in Nigeria when we're still grappling with basic NEPA problems? Well, eighteen months later, Nam is hard at work in Abuja making steady progress on the ICE network . Watch this space.

Coming to a campus near you.

ICE network is a broadband wireless network initiative that will transform 100 Nigerian universities into digital campuses by connecting them to each other and to the world. The digital campuses will serve as hubs for digital cities whose success will fuel a regional rollout. This affordable community-driven infrastructure/content play is sustained by a scalable subscription business model.
The venture is being developed in partnership with Cisco Systems (the world's largest networking company), NeGSt Global (Nigeria's eGovernment process managers), and other leading global ICT partners. With local and international patners, icenetwork is building virgin internet capacity in the emerging markets — the next frontier for IP-related business people — by first interconnecting 1.5 million subscribers in 100 higher-education campuses in Nigeria. Icenetwork will expand services to communities around the campuses and provide broadband voice, video, data, internet, and multi-media services to more than 10 million on-campus and off-campus subscribers in Nigeria and sub-sahara Africa over the next 5 years.
Users will also be able to browse the web, share and create applications and content, do research, and interact with those on other networks in other regions and continents.
To get involved in ICE as an investor, donor, business developer, or technical assistor, please email Founder, Nam Mokwunye, at


Naijachic said...

I'm firsttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*hurries to post before someone claims her posititon*

Naijachic said...

Phew! Now I can sit back and relax, I'm 1st and 2nd!!!! yippee!!!

Darling- Happy, happy, birthday to you, more joy, prosperity and FAME, particulalry more Grace from Him to bring change to your motherland (Amen).

Now to topic: I am so proud of Nam, heard about the ICE campus project but did not really know much, hmm, this is indeed noteworthy. Lets see what ideas can be given business sense wise.

Good job on being positive, I'm summoning that zeal for my motherland....

TheAfroBeat said...

Thanks (and Amen!) my sister! March babies rock (that's for you to Ms Sula)!

As for the ICEnetwork project, i really can't wait till it goes live, because i believe it will encourage a lot of us (who've been sitting on the sidelines with arms crossed in helplessness) to get up and try out some of those "wacky" ideas we have which we tend to brush aside as not being able to work in "a place like Nigeria". From talk about Vaginas to internet hubs in local universities...tings dey happen!

Sherri said...

yes o, naija on the move!

when is the jollofing day nah?

Ms. emmotions said...

...never heard of it, quite informative,

Allied said...

Wow.. this is very positive..


oh how exciting. Can you imagine the opportunities this will create? Nice.

Something positive this way comes on Monday at Nigerian Curiosity, in support, ok?


Naapali said...

Happy Birthday. So did u rock any ICE for your B'day? :-)

Jinta said...

whoever thot up the idea is akin to a genius. i only hope our problems like power outages and theft do not derail the idea.

TheAfroBeat said...

@ Naapali, thanks for the birthday and get well wishes o. The day went well, we thank God. the only ICE i was rocking was my work email ;)

@ Sherri, we are waiting to get paid o, then mayhaps some "jollofing" will occur.

To all 'una, pls read the letter to you all in my latest post, and let me know if you're game.

For the love of me said...

Nice idea but like jinta said, I hope the power outages will not run the dream down. I am for all things positive in Nigeria but surprisingly, this doesn't quite make me go wow.
I wish them very well though.

guerreiranigeriana said...

interesting...keep me posted about this...

Sugabelly said...

How about this: Why don't they take that money and PAY the professors, give the university a respectably vast library of academia,and improve the living facilities in the universities (particularly the toilets)?

Why don't they strike a deal with a transport company to provide free (or very cheap), regular, and reliable transportation for university students into the city and back via their student ID?

Why don't they negotiate with existing and up and coming companies to allow currently enrolled university students to fill up part time positions as paid interns to help them get the work experience they so desperately need while supplementing their income and helping to pay for their university education?

No, they want to provide broadband access and social networks to schools where just a handful own laptops and professors cannot earn enough to feed their families.

That's the daft Nigerian mentality for you: Carry the cart on your head and leave the horse at your grandmother's house.

It's a good, bright and shiny idea, but it's not going to work until what needs to be done has been addressed.

Sorry to pour sand in your garri,but it's true. Who wants to bet?

TheAfroBeat said...

Hehe, sugabelly, i'm going to have to cover my garri o! I really think this has the potential to work o. Unfortunately there are several other immediate problems with the Nigerian university system, as you've pointed out, but Nam (and his technology-company funders) are passionate about the lack of IT resources in our schools and no one can instill any other passion in them till they've satiated that particular one. To each his own. Those who are passionate about making sure university faculty are duly compensated can go ahead and lead alumni-fundraising efforts to raise money for such, but to beat down a great initiative because it fails to solve EVERYTHING is a bit harsh.

We assume these folks don't buy laptops because they can't afford it, perhaps they don't buy 'em because there's no broadband hence, they would be useless. Let's wait and see, but i suspect this will turn the system around, at least in the IT sphere and at least encourage other similarly innovative approaches to solving other dire needs in Nigerian universities.

Other than that, how dey u?

Sugabelly said...

I'm doing alright. if my latest blog post is anything to judge by, I'm losing my mind. I turned nineteen a week ago so I'm using every opportunity to say it. heh heh