Sixteen African leaders representing higher education and the four major African regional telecommunications regulatory authorities will meet 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in FSHN T-101 to take part in a discussion about opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration with Washington State University faculty. The visitors are from several African nations, including Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Members of the WSU community are invited to take part in this unique opportunity for collaboration in global higher education. The two-hour forum will highlight lessons learned from the NetTel@Africa initiative. This case study illustrates the power of higher education partnerships to create collaborative post-graduate degree programs. This program specifically will address the goal of African nations to build more efficient information systems that are broadly accessible to ordinary people.

For the past three years, the WSU Center to Bridge the Digital Divide has been actively facilitating African and U.S. higher education partnerships focused on two areas particularly important to the development of African nations. The first, NetTel@Africa, seeks to strengthen the capabilities of policy-making and regulatory bodies, private sector operators, consumer advocacy groups and academic institutions that can assist with sustained capacity building in the information communication technology sector.

A second initiative (Malawi NetTom) is aimed at building human capacity within both the government and private sectors for effective transportation operations management and policy.