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From: "ADRIAN QUINCY LABOR"
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 19:55:02 EST5EDT
SierraNet - the Network, the Centre and the Team
"Collectively, they provide the necessary awareness, technology and
support to make information Technology (IT), particularly computer
networking applications, available to the Sierra Leonean
academic, professional, business and NGO communities."
the Network - Fidonet Technology, the exchange of electronic data
between two computers over public telephone lines, is an appropriate
starting point to introduce computer networking in Sierra Leone.
During the feasibility studies, a fidonet network involving three
gateways, and several local nodes was in place to carry out tests.
Messages were sent locally in a store-and- forward manner among local
nodes. Internet style addressing was possible from local points.
Looped messages where sent out of one gateway into the Internet and
received via the other two gateways. Public database was created for
both the COMAHS library and the Edward-Davies library. File
requests among local nodes was also tested to support the development
of public databases. These basic functions and appropriate gateway
scheduling are all that is required to establish the network. The
gateways used during the feasibility tests were the CABECA gateway
at IPAM, the HealthNet gateway at SierraNet and the Baobab gateway at
Securicom. The local nodes included, IPAM, FBC-Library, Securicom,
SierraNet and the Edward-Davies Engineering Consulting Firm. However,
this network would be started with the CABECA and HealthNet gateways
along with dedicated local nodes mainly within interested
institutions. This gives us access to the Internet via a European and
NorthAmerican gateway. The IPAM gateway is polled on tuesdays and
thursdays. The HealthNet/SierraNet gateway will be resumed later this
month on two other days at most. Collaboration among these projects
makes it possible to route messages between their respective
gateways. In other words, once the network is fully operational, the
users will be able to send and receive external Email four days in a
week. The dedicated local nodes located within institutions will hold
public databases that can be accessed via file requests.
the Centre - By the end of the feasibility study, it was felt that
the activities initiated during that study should continue. The aim is
to reach a level of awareness that could sustain the introduction of
Information Technology in Sierra Leone. A pilot centre was built to
house the SierraNet Setup and to allow team members and support staff
to operate from. The SierraNet Setup includes Two 486 Computers &
monitors, each with a printer, 14400bps modems. Other peripherals
included a fax machine, flatbed scanner, hand scanner and
a phone line. A stand-by generator was provided for the centre too.
The support library holds, a software sections containing the
standard spreadsheet, wordprocessor, drawing software,
programming software, fax software, communication software and a copy
of the Microsoft office suite. The other section included textbooks
on programming, computer-related magazines, and relevant
documentation on Fidonet Technology and Information Technology in
You are invited to donate materials of interest to the centre. Please
use the mailing address -
P.O Box 903, Freetown,
Sierra Leone, West Africa
These are some of the electronic networking events, demonstrations
and seminars conducted (or supported) by the SierraNet Project in
Sierra Leone during the past seven months.
1) January 27, 1995 - Department of computer studies at IPAM
organized a seminar to sensitize the public and private sector on
electronic mail and the services currently available at IPAM
2) March 17, 1995 - SierraNet Project organized a follow-up to the
seminar at IPAM. Librarians and interested individuals met to
discuss the SierraNet proposal made at IPAM meeting.
3) May 19, 1995 - SierraNet presented the 1st Annual Exposition in
Electronic Mail and Computer Networking. The Flexibility and scope
of the SierraNet Setup was demonstrated. Other demos included
Fidonet Technology for local and international polling sessions
4) April 25, 1995 - The Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers
organized a seminar on the theme "Information Technology: The Sierra
Leone Perspective". SierraNet members attended this event.
6) July 5, 1995 - Sierra Leone Science and Technology Information
Network (SALSTINET), University of Sierra Leone opened their Pilot
Centre. SALSTINET is an initiative of the university for
collaboration between information generators, researchers and end
users of science and technology in Sierra Leone" The SierraNet
Team witnessed the opening
7) July 23, 1995 - SierraNet held an Open Day (with demonstration) at
their newly erected site off congo cross.
9) July 26, 1995 - SierraNet conducted an electronic networking
demonstration session for the technical staff at Sierra Leone Road
Authority. This was done at the request of the Director-General of
SLRA and in collaboration with their MIS division.
the team - the team is responsible for planning, organizing and
conducting SierraNet activities. The centre located at congo cross is
staffed with two administrative persons responsible for all
clerical duties and two technical persons responsible for maintenance
of site and equipment.
The SierraNet Team Members include:
1) D. T. Chaytor: Acting head of computer studies, Institute of
Public Adminstration and Management, University of Sierra Leone.
CABECA committee member.
2) L. E. Peters: Senior Library Assistant (In Charge), Institute of
Public Adminstration and Management, University of Sierra Leone
3) O.Clinecole: Systems Analyst, Management Information Systems
Division, Shell Company LTD, Freetown, Sierra Leone
4) A. Q. Labor: Engineering Graduate Student, McGill University
(Montreal, Canada, SierraNet Project Coordinator
5) A. McCarthy: Business Adminstration, Graduate Student, McGill
University (Montreal, Canada). SierraNet Project member.
We welcome your support
Adrian Q. Labor,
SierraNet Project Coordinator,
M.Eng Student, McGill University.