Visiting the United Nations University in Macao

The UN University - Computing & Society in Macao

The UN University – Computing & Society in Macao

I spent a couple of weeks in Macao after a kind invitation from the United Nations University – Computing & Society (UNU-CS) and I arrived during the Chinese new year. It was nice to see the city enlighten by three festive days!

UNU-CS opened last year under the direction of Mike Best who was the former director of Media Lab Asia in India and the former head of the eDevelopment group at the MIT Media Lab. UNU-CS defines itself as a new research institute at the intersections of information and communication technologies and international development (ICTD) focusing on the key challenges faced by developing societies through high-impact innovations in computing and communication technologies.

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The Impact of a Move Towards Open Data in West Africa

Infrastructure as a basis of the Internet

Infrastructure as a basis of the Internet

The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs contacted me last october to write an article about open data especially in the international development context. We agreed on an article about the Impact of a Move Towards Open Data in West Africa and I spent a couple of days at the Berkman Center working on this interesting problematic. the whole article is bellow and on the Georgetown website.

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The Internet Monitor

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The Internet Monitor

The Internet Data Dashboard is a new research project supported by the Berkman center. It aims to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world. The project compiles and curates data from multiple sources, including primary data collected by the Berkman Center and partners, as well as relevant secondary data.

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The AfriBox Initiative

The AfriBox Initiative

The AfriBox Initiative

During my last trip to Mali, fellow technologists and I decided to create an adapted computer named Afribox, based on a single-board microcontroller such as Arduino or Raspberry pi, to bring digital educational content and games to kids.  Indeed, access to education is still a big issue in West Africa and we saw the promise of inventing a kind of « old school » Nintendo Entertainment System for rural Africa. This computer could be played with pads, and used on a TV screen or a pico-projector.  Below is the concept note of the AfriBox Initiative.

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Writing a National Open Source Policy, Strategy and Action Plan for Mauritius

National Computer Board  reception

Mauritian National Computer Board reception

I have been lucky enough to spend six weeks in the beautiful island of Mauritius to work on their National Open Source Policy, Strategy and Action Plan. My colleague, Andrej Kositer, and I were based at the National Computer Board (NCB) in Port Louis.  The NCB was set up in 1988 to promote the development of ICT in Mauritius and they expect to be the key enabler in transforming Mauritius into a cyber island and a regional ICT hub. Continue reading

Improving eLearning and building the National research and education network in Guinea

French Institute of Conakry

French Institute of Conakry

I spent one week working in Conakry on a consulting assignment for the French Institute.  I had to study the National Research and Education Network (NREN) in Guinea and I had also to find eLearning solutions to improve French learning in Guinea.  It was an intense week as I had to find time to meet with colleagues from the French Institute, Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the University of Conakry, local telecom providers and the French Embassy. Continue reading

Designing the digital Education Plan for Higher Education and Research in Haiti

Computer center of the university of Quisqueya

Computer center of the university of Quisqueya

I worked for three months on designing the digital Education Plan for Higher Education and Research in Haiti named PENDHA (Plan d’enseignement numérique à distance en Haïti).  This program was intended to provide significant support in the reconstruction of Haitian higher education and research system.  Indeed, Haitian universities welcomed 60,000 students and 2,000 teachers before the earthquake and these people need to keep going in their academic activities. Continue reading