PICNIC08

The conference Picnic08 took place 24th to 26th September in Amsterdam (it’s somehow like TED I guess) and as amongst others Ethan Zuckerman and Erik Hersman were giving presentations, I want to point to the coverage of their and all the other talks.

So generally there should be videos of the talks online on PICNIC TV, but also Ethan Zuckerman himself wrote a lot about the different speakers.

His talk “Surprising Africa” and Erik Hersman’s “If it works in Africa it will work anywhere” are imho best covered on Lucy Hooberman’s blog and White African.

Both are presenting ingenious and unique ways of people in Africa coming up with useful services and tools.

There is a lot happening in Africa concerning technology nowadays and generally those things are not triggered by foreign aid, but by the innovation of people directly confonted with problems. As Richard Heeks put it some time ago in his article on ICT4D 2.0, the approach to development for the poor (pro-poor) will not work in the future, but rather development with the poor (para-poor) and by the poor (per-poor).

We should dismiss the “aid” approach towards development, we should just focus on enabling everybody to participate in it and not putting poor countries down any further – through unfair trade agreement or financing wars for example.

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PICNIC08
was published on 27.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Interesting projects – Nabuur

Just a quick link to Ethan Zuckermans blog, where he introduces a project called Nabuur.

It’s about volunteering in ICT4D projects in developing countries over the web – like translating a web page or doing research on questions like “How much does it costs to ship 30 computers from the UK to Ghana?”

It makes it really easy to help, even from in front of a computer in any developed country.

Here’s the link to the entry, check out the project.

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Interesting projects – Nabuur
was published on 08.08.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Solar powered GSM towers Remote / Rural Areas

Ethan Zuckerman posted about an interesting investment of the Indian telecom vendor VNL, which is related to a former idea of his and Russel Southwood’s – Chief Editor of Balancing act, a portal which :

…seeks to be the primary source for information on the telecoms, Internet and audio-visual media industries in Africa. [Snippet taken from here]

It is about solar powered GSM towers – the link:

an announcement by Indian telecoms vendor VNL that they’ve developed a solar-powered, battery back up low power GSM tower. [Snippet taken from here]

The towers are specifically designed to run solely on the power the sun provides. A comment from VNL themselves:

VNL said that, with solar power, WorldGSM both reduces the operating expenses for mobile operators and contributes to a much lower environmental impact. [Snippet taken from here]

This is, of course, a great solution for areas with no connection to the electricity network.

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Solar powered GSM towers Remote / Rural Areas
was published on 28.07.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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