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
(Orginally posted in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs)
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
Comorian ICT regulator
I arrived in Moroni, the capital of Comoros, after a long trip which started in a Bostonian snowstorm, then a stop over in Paris to drop my winter clothes and take my scuba diving equipment, another stop over in Amsterdam, Nairobi, Dzaoudzi and finally the airport of Moroni. Right after the landing in Moroni, I went straight to my hotel for a fifteen minute rest then I went to meet my colleague Kas Kalba who was also there for a couple of days to work with me on the improvement of the international Internet connectivity in Comoros. I was glad to be in Comoros even if I was exhausted by this long journey. It was my first assignment under a World Bank grant and I am sharing the responsibility, with my local and international colleagues, to reduce the digital divide in Comoros.
I am Mitu, Co-Founder of Addis Ideas. This project is based on a mobile application that solely relies on African innovation and crowd sources African development ideas from African nationals and the African diaspora. Continue reading
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
The Geekcorps truck in the Sahara desert
I spent two years working for Geekcorps in Mali, from 2005 to 2007, a Washington DC based NGO specialized in ICT for development. I was the Country Director and I had to manage an exiting one-year project named the Community Mobilization through Radio Technology Program funded by USAID. It aimed to set up five renewable energy community-based radio stations in the north of Mali and I spent my first year managing the program, building with my team OpenFM transmitters, building local solar panels, designing mast antennas and organizing training sessions for northern Mali communities.
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
50Kw photovoltaic central on the roof of the Casablanca’s Technopark
I have been involved in building the first photovoltaic central in Casablanca. It was at the Technopark which supports the creation and development of businesses in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) areas. The Casablanca’s Technopark hosts about 180 companies and they started to turn green with this first public/private partnership focus on sustainable development. The consortium was composed of EnRafrique, ISEEP, Technopark and Sunset Solar. We spent five months building the 50Kw photovoltaic central on the roof of the Technopark. I also participated in giving workshops on smart energy and legal frameworks to government officers.