A British newspaper reported today (via All Africa) that South Africa will become the first African country to make top academic journals widely and freely available to the public. The first journal on open access, The South African Journal of Science (SAJS), is scheduled to be available at the end of March. By the end of 2009, 35 other journals should also be on open access.
A supporter of the initiative says, "Open access is relevant to the development of Sub-Saharan Africa, as some of the "closed" journals are expensive and some of our print-only journals do not reach the international academic community."
A round of applause to the SAJS for leading the way.
Admittedly, there is still a long way to go before closing the digital divide. Hopefully initiatives like these bring us one step closer.