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.
Mike is involved with the Alliance for Affordable Internet in the design of the National ICT policy for Liberia and I am currently working on the Liberian eGovernement Web Development Strategy. Liberia was our main topic and we discussed the new ICT policy for this country. It is a real challenge to bring ICT in Liberia while they don’t have yet proper infrastructures and they have little local competencies. The Government of Liberia is planning to build a Metro Fiber Network and Establishing National Data Center but I will discuss more the Liberia case in a dedicated post.
Thus, I could keep working with UNU-CS on policies and distance learning for the developing world. My first visit is documented on the UNU-CS website. Mike and its team are doing a great job empowering ICT in the developing world and there main topics are digital peace, gender tech and small data. Designing policies to empower governments and societies could become another topic for the UNU-CS, its wonderful researchers team and public entities.