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Home Page | Margaret Ngwira

Affiliation: Ubuntu Net Alliance, Malawi



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Mrs Margaret Ngwira holds a Bachelors Degree in English and Economics and Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia. She is a member of CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in UK.

Since the1980s she has pursued ICT innovation, developing information products to assist in service delivery especially to the growing post graduate student population. In the late 80s, with Rockefeller funding, working with CDS/ISIS she developed several databases backed by full text documents in critical areas such as soil fertility. Then 1990, still with Rockefeller funding she developed a pre-html hypertext system, Development-Related Information for Malawi (DRIM) using GUIDE software. These were, of necessity, stand-alone systems. In the late 90s she led a team developing e-learning materials for environmental information specialists for IUCN VeSATS (Virtual Environment, a Southern Africa training system).

She is a founding member of MALICO, the Malawi Library and Information Consortium www.malico.mw. But the coming of the packages that provided low cost access to electronic journals through the work by INASP, AGORA, HINARI and eIFL brought infrastructure issues into focus - World class journal content available but no infrastructure to access them effectively. This led to her involvement in the installation of a VSAT system through MALICO for a string of 4 academic institutions from north to south of Malawi. This provided access but at a price vastly beyond what the institutions could afford hundreds of times what equivalent bandwidth would cost in the west.

This then led to the pursuit of fibre from 2005 initially as part of the SARUA Fibre Study. She is a founding member of MAREN www.malico.mw/maren and also of UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking of which she has been a Director since its founding. www.ubuntunet.net. Within UbuntuNet she represents the Alliance as a consortium member of the GLOBAL EU FP7 project.

She is a Board Member of the Malawi National Library Service and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

She has led consultancy teams for Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation /World Bank, IUCN, EU / CTA and Norwegian Church Aid among others. She has carried out a great deal of capacity-building training mainly in Malawi but also externally in places such as Gaza and Mali. She has served on several editorial boards.