AAU ICT Case Study by gabyion


									     Information and Communication
      Technology at the Addis Ababa
           University - A Case Study

Paper Presented on the Joint ITU/UNU/CERN Workshop on AFUNET
                   September 25-29, 2005

                       Moges Delelegn
                   ICT Development Officer
                   Addis Ababa University
                      September 2005
ICT AT THE AAU - A CASE STUDY                                                         2

ICT at the Addis Ababa University - A Case Study

I.     Background

Addis Ababa University, one of the oldest higher education institutes in Africa with
current enrollment of over 40,000 students in its regular and continuing education
programs. The various faculties of the University are distributed over eight major
campuses and eight minor campuses, all within the capital, except one that is 45 km
south of the capital.

Four major campuses (Main Campus, Business Campus, Technology Campus, and
Science Campus) form the core network and connected via fiber network. The
remaining campuses are connected with virtual private network (VPN) provided by
the national service provider the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC).

On the application side, the University uses Student Record System, Pilot Library
Automation System, and Payroll Management System. Currently, there is a plan to
install an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that covers most of
the administrative and academic applications.

The university has organized an ICT Development Office, reporting to the Office of
the President, which overseas and coordinates all ICT activities throughout the
University    including    three   ICT   departments   that   run   undergraduate   and
postgraduate programs.

II.    The University Network

The university network is based on a cluster of Unix and Windows servers
distributed across the eight data centers in major campuses. The server types vary
from Intel based HP DL360 and to SunFire V880. In total, there are well over 40
servers of various categories for different applications and services.

 ICT AT THE AAU - A CASE STUDY                                                        3

 The network uses a private IP address for internal addressing and has one class C
 public IP address for external communication. The internal IP addressing is done
 using DHCP servers to assign IPs automatically. The external link is through firewall
 where the mail relay and the DNS servers are in the DMZ zone. The up stream
 provider is Ethiopian Telecommunication and the current bandwidth is 6Mbps. The
 primary access to the telecom is through fiber connection between the premises of
 Addis Ababa University and the local telecom office. There is also a limited dial up
 access to the Internet for those who critically need to connect to the network from
 their home.

III.    ICT Services

 Internet and e-mail services constitute the major part of the network services. Both
 services are fully managed by the full time ICT staffs of the university. The Internet
 service is rendered through a chain of eight proxy servers that will give redundancy
 and ensure the availability. The university also has a mail service for each staff or
 student under the fully qualified domain name of its unit. Currently there are more
 than 1,000 staffs that use the e-mail services under the domain of the university

 Managing the desktop and providing a defense against virus attacks is also the other
 part of the service for the community. There is a fully managed antivirus solution
 that eases the burden of updating for viruses manually. Moreover, the ICT unit has
 service delivery guidelines that will help to measure the service quality and also set
 a service level target. A call management system and manual forms are also in place
 to track and effectively address helpdesk problems.

 The university also has various applications that are part of the teaching and
 learning system. Among which is a registrar system, which partly address the
 processing of students copies and grade reports. An online application system has
 been recently developed by in house programs, and will be operational soon.

ICT AT THE AAU - A CASE STUDY                                                         4

As part of the effort to strengthen and complement the teaching and learning
programs, the MIT open courseware is locally available. A preparatory work has also
been done to launch a pilot e-learning program. In addition to the existing initiative,
there is one academic, African Virtual University and one professional, Cisco
Network Academy, program that is based on e-learning at the University.

An open source library package called KOHA has been recently customized and now
piloted at the main library of the University. The library system, can now give an
online catalog access and other library functions. This has made the first step in
strengthen and developing localized digital content in the libraries

There is a major expansion of services and capacity upgrade. Infrastructure upgrade
and automation of the internal activities of the university are among the few
currently undertaken by the ICT unit. The scale up of the library system and the
lunching of e-learning systems are among the priorities considering for the coming

IV.     Challenges in ICT Management

    Technical Staff Recruitment and Retention

        As in many countries, the pay in universities is too low to attract well-
        experienced ICT staff and even those started to work leave the university
        leave after gaining some experience.

    Lack of Awareness

        There is no clear understanding and appreciation of the role ICT plays in the
        University and hence inadequate commitment of management to support the
        ICT development activities.


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