African Universities: Ready for the Cloud?
Carnegie Corporation’s Claudia Frittelli Looks to the Cloud to Bridge Gap Separating Africa’s Researchers from their Global Counterparts.
The educational and social implications for cloud computing in the developing world, particularly for the rapidly expanding education sector in Africa, are potentially transformational, writes Carnegie Corporation’s Claudia Frittelli in the current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
“African institutions could benefit rapidly—essentially leapfrogging to the cloud—given that they are relatively unconstrained by existing IT infrastructure. In addition, the fact that users can access the cloud directly from their own devices and modems frees up institutional electrical power and bandwidth,” writes the program officer in the foundation’s Higher Education and Libraries in Africa program.
In “African Universities: Ready for the Cloud?,” Frittelli contends that cloud-based management could help foster collaboration and sharing of research across organizations, decreasing academic isolation, and encouraging African researchers to engage in global conversations.
While there are of course drawbacks to cloud computing, including bandwidth, security and privacy concerns, the potential for transformational impact are nevertheless significant. The cloud could help to effectively bridge the gap separating Africa’s researchers from their counterparts in developed nations.