Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Africa, the offline continent"

This excellent article, "Africa, the offline continent," discusses "Africa's struggle to get online."

I asked digital activist Ndesanjo Macha for his thoughts on this subject. Here are the key points from his reply:

"I think the future of internet and web in Africa will be on mobile devices. Mobile phone penetration is big and Africa is one of the fastest growing markets.

"The fiber optic thing along the Indian Ocean will be up soon, which will make internet faster and much cheaper. We are hoping everything goes well.

"But also there is the education part. It is not just about going do what? Digital literacy is necessary. Literacy is getting a new meaning, not only the ability to read and write, but also the ability to use new technologies for production, fun, play and all that...

"Your question is tough. What to do to get more Africans online? There are policy issues, infrastructure, skills...I guess one has to choose an area and focus on it, depending on your capacity."

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