When I was invited ‘to shoot arrows at the year 2000’ to predict what would happen with the use of CDROM products and services in Africa by then, mixed feelings and thoughts first came to mind. To begin with it was easy for me to be taken by the wishes and enthusiasm of the day where technological developments, particularly with regard to electronic communications such as the Internet, are so soon to become the everyday means of access to information on the African continent. My other reaction, however, was influenced by the grim facts of the information provision scenario prevailing on the continent, which will be the prime factor in deciding the direction of any development taking place for years to come: low financial input available, weak technological bases, and absence of conscious and informed guidance and support from governments. My realistic view in the end prevailed, which left no room for wishes but only reality, and I will be looking hard at where we will be by the year 2000, four years from now, and putting together what I know and am convinced of.
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