In terms of information access, the internet and the World Wide Web hold forth a historically unique chance for African universities to gain a more equal footing with their sister institutions in the West, yet most African universities are many years, possibly decades, away from reliable, robust ICT and adequate bandwidth. This paper will examine the ways in which the dearth and expense of bandwidth in Africa, in spite of heavy donor investment, pose a structural disincentive for the digitization of local content. It highlights the human and technical hurdles that face librarians. Finally, it reviews the potential role that bandwidth augmentation schemes, like the WiderNet Project's eGranary Digital Library, have to play in the sustainability of digital library development on campuses around Africa and in the rest of the developing world.


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pp. 21-37
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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