In the first week of February Mobile Web East Africa was held in Nairobi, well over 110 participants took part from all echelons of the mobile ecosystem, with the ICT4D sector particularly well represented. Over the course of the two days there was a huge amount discussed and this would be a record breaking blog post if I were to repeat everything. So rather than going down that route I wanted to direct Kabissa members to the two best sources of information from the event:
Ukunda, Kenya, February 27, 2010 – For the first time, a Rural Internet Kiosk (RIK) has been installed for rural youth empowerment in Africa. Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development (VOA4SD) is building the capacity of local youth to empower themselves through the Internet and social enterprise. The community based organization, Voices of Diani will own and operate the Rural Internet Kiosk with training, support, and volunteers from VOA4SD. The Rural Internet Kiosk is a product of Intersat Africa, Ltd. who has generously provided the first year of bandwidth at no cost.
I got an interesting email just now from Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop Per Child project. I've pasted it below - if you have any extra XO laptops lying around and no longer need them, you may want to donate them to be used in child education projects in Haiti.
Personally, I am a little ambivalent about the offer - in it he seems to reinforce the idea that the laptops are not as useful as we all had hoped but that they are still useful for use by children in poor countries.
I spent some time this afternoon googling 'kabissa' (try this sometime - you'll be surprised what you find!) and was pleased to run into an article by Firoze Manji titled The internet and human rights advocacy in Africa from back in 2002. I had never seen the article before but was glad to be reminded of the early history and the excitement we felt at what we were starting back then.
My neighbors and friends on Bainbridge Island remember my active campaigning in December 2007 to get as many people as possible to order a One Laptop Per Child device for their children. Now it's being started up again at http://amazon.com/olpc but so far you can only buy them for other children in poor countries - not yet for our own children.
Africa Gathering: Sharing ideas for positive change.
What is Africa Gathering?
Africa Gathering, the event that brings technophiles, thinkers, entrepreneurs, innovators and everybody else together to talk about positive change in sustainable development, technology, social networking, health, education, environment and good governance in Africa, is coming to Nairobi on 21st and 22nd December 2009.
Our goal is to help highlight all of the great work being done in the world by Africans and friends of Africa. We are even able to help budding innovators and entrepreneurs by putting the profits of our events in to some the projects that our attendees like the most, this way we live out our ideal of sustainability without charity.
As a result, by attending you are not only directly supporting some of Africa's most innovative entrepreneurs and innovators, you are able to meet, network and share ideas with them - helping build confidence and develop interest in Africa-focussed initiatives and businesses. Everyone can benefit from this enlightening experience.
How can I get tickets?
Book & Pay for tickets using PayPal: http://agnairobi.eventbrite.com (Not available in Kenya due to PayPal Sanctions)
Reserve tickets online in Kenya and pay on the door in Shillings: http://agnairobi.eventbrite.com (Click on Other Payment Options, under the PayPal button on the order form and reserve your ticket so you can pay on the door).
For any of you who travel in the region and use the mobile phone as the primary mode of getting online, getting the settings for a data connection is seriously frustrating. More so since my phone (an android) doesn't for some reason allow me to save the settings from the phone company and I have to manually input them.
Thanks to Google (hat tip: ICTD chick) and some serious aggro, I was able to get the most updated (September, 2009) settings so here goes:-
Access point name: MTN
It is no longer news that the 21st century is the information and knowledge age. What is news are the ways most societies are adapting and engaging the new economy built on knowledge, especially knowledge of information and communications technology and how these can be applied as building blocks for development in the 21sts century.
All over the world, most societies, especially developed societies have engaged their children very early to prepare them for the challenges of solving the problems of the 21st century. This is what we mean by societies with vision.