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Stabilizing Southern Africa Through IT

Rural News Stabilizing Southern Africa Through IT

A leader in the worldwide fight to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Roland M. Msiska of Johannesburg, South Africa, Director of the Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (SACI) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will deliver a lecture and conduct a discussion at Stevens Institute of Technology on two topics of global importance: Capacity Crisis for Service Delivery in Southern Africa and Opportunities to Stabilize Societies with Information and Communications Technologies.

Dr. Msiska’s lecture and discussion will take place in Room 122 of The Babbio Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, 6th and River Streets, Hoboken, N.J., Jan. 25, 2007, 6:30 p.m. The evening will begin with a reception at The Babbio Center at 5:30 p.m.

SACI (http://www.undp-saci.co.za/) is a flagship project designed to assist countries in Southern Africa to respond to capacity erosion resulting from AIDS, brain drain, weakened capacity to govern and recurrent disasters in the region.

These countries also suffer from other illnesses, poverty, inappropriate retirement policies, poor educational systems and infrastructure weaknesses.

Dr. Msiska will discuss how SACI has come to understand these challenges while sharing specific examples. He will present a conceptual framework for responses that link to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) and national development plans. While noting that existing mental models or worldviews have failed to see the full potential for utilizing Information and Communications Technologies (ICT’s) in meeting these challenges, he will articulate potential solutions based upon the experience of SACI. Points of contact of these potential solutions with the ICT expertise at Stevens in areas of both Technology and Technology Management will be discussed.Dr. Roland M. Msiska has served in leadership health care and development projects for the United Nations for more than a decade. Prior to that, he oversaw numerous projects in Zambia. He received his medical training in Zambia and a Master in Public Health with Excellence from the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He currently heads the Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (SACI) and is the Project Director for the UNDP Regional Project on HIV and Development for Sub-Saharan Africa. In prior years he served as a Health Systems Advisor for UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland and as National Manager of the AIDS/STD/TB & Leprosy Programme for the Government of Zambia. Dr. Msiska has served on numerous task force groups and as a consultant for the UN, WHO, the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa. He has delivered presentations at numerous international conferences and has published more than a dozen research studies on various health issues in African countries.

In 2002, Dr. Msiska was interviewed by journalist Bill Moyers regarding the HIV/AIDS pandemic on an edition of the PBS series NOW. Bishop Desmond Tutu was also a participant in that program.

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