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.
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.
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.
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
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
A computer room at the University Polytechnic of Bobo-Dioulasso
I spent two years working on a French government project named RESEAU from 2005 to 2007. This project aimed over a period of 48 months to integrate universities in Burkina Faso into the world of knowledge sharing and an eLearning network.