4.1 CITI - Cape Information Technology Initiative
CITI is a non-profit corporation established to promote IT entrepreneurship
in the Cape Town area. A building has been purchased in downtown Cape Town
and good networking facilities and a secretary have been installed. Budding
entrepreneurs are able to acquire cubicle space in the building for their
companies at a low cost. 5-6 high-tech startups or related organization
are resident in the building currently.
The delegation met with the head of the initiative, Peter Frampton (in
the foreground above), followed by a more general meeting with those current
members of CITI that have an interest in graphics.
In talking to CITI about the value of the networking facilities, we
encountered a theme echoed throughout the region. Bandwidth to connect
to the net is a problem, at two levels: at the local level, South Africa
still has a government telecommunication monopoly, and fixed lines are
expensive and installed only after great delay. Secondly, the bandwidth
connecting the region to the global net is severely restricted -- only
a few tens of megabits are available for the entire country. This issue
impacted much of our discussions about online resources, as we realized
downloading multi-megabyte resources such as most ACM Digital Library papers
is not currently practical.
cape-on-line telemedicine applications
graphics-boutiques for possible post production facilities for the growing
film industry in the Cape Region
CITI to act as a ``phone-contact'' for AFRIGRAPH
desire for CITI to be represented at the proposed AFRIGRAPH reception at
4.2.1Department of Computer Science, Staff
An informal meeting was held between the delegation and several members
of the Department of Computer Science, Edwin Blake, James Gain and Gary
Marsden (James and Gary are pictured above, left to right).
One of their major concerns is the way in which large companies from
the U.S. and Europe hire their students to work out of the region. For
instance, last year 100% of their honors graduates in computer science
were hired to work outside the region by large firms (Microsoft was mentioned
as the largest employer), often to perform lower-level jobs such as software
quality assurance. This 'brain drain' leaves them not only with few or
no post-graduate students, but also no local talent to staff companies
in the region.
From discussing this concern at UCT and elsewhere, the idea arose of
having a Southern Africa reception at SIGGRAPH 2001, and publicizing it
among alumni from the region now working elsewhere, to make the former
students aware of the activity occurring in Southern Africa in case they
would like to return to pursue those (see Outcomes below).
funded collaboration between UCT and other universities, possibly through
the European Union Framework VI projects or NSF funding
attracting back and keeping graduates to do further research and staff
invitation for UCT (and other) alumni currently in the US to the AFRIGRAPH
reception at S2001. These lists to be provided by the Universities
4.2.2 Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research
The delegation met with Dr. Sibusiso Sibisi, UCT's deputy VC of research.
Issues discussed were the problems of keeping postgraduate students and
access to open source material for developing countries.
collaborative funding opportunities
visualisation of pollution dispersion
open source issues
possible panel at AG2001 on Open Source Issues
ACM SIGGRAPH proposed HUB to provide partnership opportunities
UCT to investigate ways of further developing links between their Arts
and Science departments
4.2.3 Department of Computer Science, Students
The presentation (Appendix A) was given to
the staff and students (after
we were allowed back into the building following a fire alarm).
getting involved with the SIGGRAPH conference
suggested submitting for Educators grant for S2001 and Student Volunteers
for S2002 (deadline for S2001 closed in January)
4.2.4 Dean of Science
A meeting was also held with the Dean of Science, Professor Daya Reddy
(an applied mathematician with an interest in visualisation) and several
other members of the science faculty including representatives from Geology,
Physics, Chemistry and Computational Chemistry. IT has been made a priority
of the Faculty.
Large Parallel Visualisation Centre to support multidisciplinary work
improving network bandwidth
ACM Digital Library consortia
provision of open source visualisation software to those interested
4.3 CAMA - Contemporary African Music and Arts
CAMA is the Contemporary African Music and Arts initiative aimed at
recording for prosperity, unique music and art from around the African
continent. Accordingly, they have raised sponsorship for equipping seven
locations around the continent (Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique,
Sudan and South Africa)with digital video capture and editing resources,
and their collaborators are now capturing video and audio records of Africa's
cultural heritage, particular the verbal and oral traditions that need
to be captured.
media for capturing art and music, copyright issues
possible CAMA participation at AG2001
4.4 Carolynn Wissema, Information Architect
We met with a local consultant, Carolyn Wissema (second from the right),
who works on data visualization projects in the region. Most recently,
she worked on some projects visualizing AIDS infections rates in the Western
Cape province. The dimensions of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa
are staggering; around 22% of pregnant woman in the country are HIV-positive
(hard statistics on the overall infection rate are not available). Carolyn
showed us the visualizations she had done in conjunction with the City
of Cape Town visualizing the most-infected areas with the aim of enabling
more effective targetting of preventional and education programs.
visualisation of complex data related to urban developments
visualization of data shown to be a powerful tool for understanding some
of the complex problems currently faced by Southern Africa, for example
AIDS and crime.
Go back to Part 3 - Executive Summary
Go on to Part 4 - Grahamstown
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