The Learning Information Networking and Knowledge Centre (LINK) was established in 1999 on the back of the Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) programme which has offered training in the telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology sectors since 1996. The programme was initiated by the Department of Communication who had identified a critical need for regulatory and policy training in this rapidly transforming and liberalising sector. The training and projects of the Centre are focused on achieving the national policy goals of achieving universal access and empowerment while meeting the economic challenges of globalisation and convergence through the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The telecommunications certificate was first offered in 1996 and this was followed in 1997 with the information management for Government certificate. The two flagship programmes have provided the foundation for a number of short courses, a Masters specialisation in ICT and information literacy training. In addition a range of projects supporting universal access through to efficient governance have been undertaken. In 1999 the programme was expanded into the first specialised Centre of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management in the Faculty of Management at the University of the Witwatersrand.
The Centre is provided with direction by an advisory board consisting of prominent public and private leaders within the sector. Currently serving on the advisory board is Luci Abrahams, Andrew Mthembu, Andile Ngcaba, Joe Tstotetsi and the director of the Centre.
Five full time academics staffed the Centre during 1999, including the director of the Centre, and three admin staff. A senior part-time lecturer and two lecturing/research fellows further support it
Alison Gillwald (director)
Peter Benjamin (part-time)
Kgatliso Masetlha (part-time)