Minutes of Weekly Meeting May 14th, 2007

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Present
Dorothy Okello
Frank Kitumba
Edwin Mugume

Absent
Alberto Escudero-Pascual
Louise Berthilson

Proceedings

1. Incorrect Import Tax on SmartBridges Equipment

On contacting URA, CWRC was informed that the code was provided by UPS. UPS then requested the papers for review. However, UPS found that the code used was the right code and no changes were made to the tax value. CWRC then decided to pay without any further delay since the cheque had already been provided. The cheque was written in dollars but UPS refused it and CWRC had to pay them in cash. UPS is to call CWRC today or tomorrow (Tuesday, 15th) for information on delivery of the equipment.

Action: Waiting for a call from UPS today or tomorrow about the status of the equipment since they have been cleared. If we don’t receive a call by Tuesday 15th, 2 pm, Edwin will call UPS to check on their progress. We recommend that any equipment to be shipped should have the HS codes to avoid such misunderstandings with the customs.

2. Shipping of Equipment from Sweden

The equipment has been shipped as was noted in last week’s meeting.

Action: CWRC will inform everyone concerned when shipment arrives in Uganda.

3. Ministry of ICT (MICT) Meeting

CWRC held a meeting with Dr. David Turahi and Eng. Odoi on Thursday, 10th May 2007 on the Nakaseke issue. Peter Balaba, the Nakaseke Telecentre manager also attended the meeting. The meeting started with each side briefing the other on what their project is about. From the proceedings, it was very clear that MICT is determined to go on with their project. Dr. Turahi said that MICT had identified 10 partners, the telecentre inclusive. He also said that each partner will be provided a computer set, a VoIP phone, a printer and a period of six months free access. He further said that MICT was going to use an E1 line connected by UTL.

Dr Turahi said that he was against duplication of services in this area and that instead, both sides should look to collaborate with each other. On the issue of sustainability after the six months pilot project, MICT had no plan in place. However, Dr. Turahi argued that this issue can be sorted out within the six months. We advised MICT to borrow and use the CWRC plan that addresses this sustainability issue better. We advised them to use the idea where the Telecentre would buy the bandwidth in bulk and then meet each partner’s bandwidth requirements using bandwidth managers. This would allow partners to access only that bandwidth that they can actually pay for.

Frank recommends that CWRC pulls out of Nakaseke. Another option is that CWRC takes up and connects the partners not considered by MICT in their project. These are Jesus is Lord Complex, Nakaseke S.D.A and Christ the Rock S.S. CWRC’s focus should be on these partners.

Action:
Frank to compile a report on the meeting between MICT and CWRC.
From the CWRC meeting, CWRC recommends connection of the three partners mentioned above to the telecentre. However, they need to be advised that the connection would be done in the manner that was originally planned and that no extra equipment would be provided (as in MICT’s case). By the meeting of 28th May, Frank will have a preliminary connectivity plan for the three partners.
Edwin to follow up with Eng. Odoi to check on the status of the proposed meeting with MICT, scheduled for Wednesday, 16th May 2007. CWRC feels it is important to remain involved and look out for any opportunities for collaboration with MICT in connecting Nakaseke. CWRC can also look to be partners with MICT in this area.

4. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

The SLAs have been provided. They will be tried first on Lira since Nakaseke is now out. Jimmy Okee, the manager of Lira Telecentre, has been involved in all workshops and all other CWRC activities. That is why his telecentre has been chosen for this exercise.

From discussions between Frank and Edwin on the SLAs, one particular issue of concern was the ownership of the radio equipment to be installed at the partner premises. This issue needs to be revisited and addressed further. For example, what happens in scenarios like theft or damage of the equipment?

Action: Frank to follow up with Louise and Alberto so as to obtain advice on this issue.

5. Kampala II Workshop

Communication has been received from Louise to postpone the Kampala workshop scheduled for the first week of September 2007 to the second week of September 2007.

Action: Edwin and Frank to confirm to Dorothy the viability of having the workshop during the second week of September 2007.

7. AOB

The money for outdoor cables has been received. Technology Associates are to give their quote of the dollar in shillings so that they can be paid in shillings.

It is projected that this project will end in December 2007. Currently, the funds available are for the period up to September. Dorothy will follow up IDRC to request for the necessary funds for the remaining period.