I have been designing ICT policies, strategies and initiatives for several governments such as Liberia, Comoros, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Mali and Thailand under funding from the World Bank, the European Commission, the Global Fund, the African Development Bank and USAID. Those strategic documents delineate models that allow organizing national digital economies by improving digital universal access, data governance, broadband connection, innovation, human capital, digital inclusion and cyber security among others. At the same time, they promote openness, transparency and accountability through open source software use, public data releasing, open data and open standards advocating.
Most of these ICT policies set up good basis to support innovations, create more efficient nations, empower citizens and boost economies but few of them take into consideration the raise of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, and how it could transform the way governments design and deliver public services.
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.
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.
Inside the Berkman center
Last summer, I have been interviewed by Loren Newman from the Harvard Kennedy School on the impact of ICT policies on governments and societies. the original interview is here: https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/node/99150
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.
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.
Harvard metro station in Cambridge
I applied to the Berkman Center fellowship program for the academic year 2015-2016 with the following subject: Building a Developing Country Open Government Initiative. Bellow is my personal statement that I submitted to the Berkman Center. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Continue reading
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
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
IRD/Cirad office in Cotonou
I have been involved for the last couple of months in designing an ICT program for Benin that is the fist step for a National Research and Education Network (NREN). The request came from the government of Benin who would like to get their universities connected to the rest of the world. Continue reading