New ｜A government only internet system solution package and a highly stabile electricity provision project.
Impact ｜Integrate communication industry from the upstream to downstream to fulfill the goal of exporting the whole system and expand the market for domestic developed equipment.
Key ｜Sustainable operation and systematical management, cross organization team spirit, and the experience and capability of international system integration
Evidence ｜300 government officials use G-Net voice service and the internet communication system runs consistently for 24 hours with high stability.
São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Western Africa where the Equator and International Date Line intersect with each other and is the center of the Earth. It consists of several islands including two main islands São Tomé (850 ㎢) and Príncipe (130 ㎢). With a census population of 180,000, São Tomé and Príncipe has an area twice as large as Changhua City. Tropical sunshine covers the island and sand beaches are all around. Fruit trees are nearby and one can pick breadfruits, bananas, and coconuts at hand. There are various schools of fish swimming in the transparent and uncontaminated ocean. In specific seasons, large squids from the south hemisphere float to the shoals or jump up the sand beach. Inhabitants can bend to their knees for a handful of food that satisfies the need for several days. It feels like living in the Garden of Eden. Since the soil is rich in volcanic ash, the land is extremely fertile and has the tradition for organic planting. In the mountainous areas 640 meters above sea level, the sun is bright and the weather is moderate. In the early 19 century, the Portuguese introduced coffee from Brazil to the country. The smell of the domestic coffee is as aromatic and tender as the characteristics of São Tomé and Príncipe People that is fascinating and lasting forever.
Since no road connects São Tomé with Africa, traveling in between relies solely on sea or air transportation. Further, planes taking off at the country normally fly to Europe for transferring which makes external contacts even harder. The infrastructure for communication between the islands is not well constructed. In 2011, S.E. Dr. Patrice Emery Trovoada expressed his willingness to collaborate with Taiwan in the expansion project related to the application of integrated information and communication technologies. Moreover, he assisted the establishment of INIC dedicating to the promotion of these technologies. In 2011, the government established ADOC and in 2012, mapped out the plan for e-government. In 2013, the country has started to build G-Net. Building the infrastructure from the ground up, the government develops its competiveness by the strength of the information and communication technologies. Under the support of Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan technology delegation has made building São Tomé and Príncipe “A Technology Island in West Africa” one of its missions. III International Team, The Pioneer in Technology Diplomacy
Because of the lack of complete infrastructure, the communication cost in this country is high. Normally, it costs an independent department 300～400 Euros a month, approximately NTD 2,0000. Since power failure often occurs unintentionally and the quality of communication is unstable, it becomes harder for various departments in the government to get in touch with each other when the signals are blocked and people have to talk sporadically by telephone. How to make communication more economical, effective, and stable has become the priority for the improvement of government administration effectiveness.
For this reason, III has teamed up with technology transfer companies to form a united team with members from various backgrounds. By using domestically developed digital micro wave and cables as internet backbone, adopting network switch to connect different network applications, uniting highly stable internet communication technologies and UPS system to provide electricity back up, the team manages to make micro wave equipment and servers run 24 hours constantly and give stable services including video transmission, Voice over IP (VoIP), video conference, mobile communication and monitoring etc.
In the future, III will assist the country establish optical fiber submarine cables as internet backbone so that internet services can be upgraded to a new level. Furthermore, e-Gov Services can narrow the digital divide between different areas in the country and improve the well-being of the citizens.
In order to develop the capability of staffs in the country to maintain the established system, III arranges INIC engineers to Taiwan for training and internship so that they can manage and operate the system by themselves in the future. Additionally, through the monitoring and management system from the far end, system developers in Taiwan can be fully aware of the internet condition in São Tomé and instantly provide repair solution package at long distance. G-Net Provides New Opportunities in Africa for Taiwan Companies
Currently, there are 9 departments and more than 300 government officials of São Tomé and Príncipe beneficial from the system. Officials above minister level are provided with video telephones without fear of lag and regular government staffs can use telephone conveniently. Since the outstanding performance of G-Net, the project has been expanded from the original 9 administration locations to 30 places. The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education of the country also expressed their interest in participating the project. It is worth expecting for the system to be used in fields like electronic official document delivery, video conference, tourism, and citizen service. From technology research and development, technology transfer, productizing, project planning, establishment, and local maintenance, G-Net provides end to end service and successfully creates a new business model for Taiwan companies to launch in Africa. Taiwan Technology Delegation dedicates wholeheartedly to its mission and has already broken a new ground for related companies.