A couple of different projects designed to bridge the “digital divide” in Africa have been brought to my attention recently. I thought I might just highlight the project with a short summary and a link to their website.
Mlogik is an African start-up that designs and sells value-added mobile services using open source technologies. With headquarters in Mauritius, Mlogik’s objective is to extend its network throughout Africa by the end of 2006.
Ndiyo! is a project set up to foster an approach to networked computing that is simple, affordable, open, less environmentally damaging and less dependent on intensive technical support than current networking technology. They have a very interesting video, that explains what they are doing very well.
Mobile for Good
Mobile for Good (M4G) is a social franchise project designed to use mobile phone technology to help alleviate poverty and improve the lives of people in the developing world. It delivers vital health, employment and community content via SMS on mobile phones in order to inform and empower disadvantaged individuals.
More than 3400 producers, middlemen, traders and hotel keepers receive by phone on a daily basis, a free SMS indicating the prices the product they want in any selected market.
The good news is that these are just a few of the projects being developed. They only represent the great amount of work being put in by individuals, that are in NGO's as well as private enterprise, to bring the everyday African into the digital age. You'll notice that many of the companies are leveraging the widespread use of mobile phones as the platform for connectivity – a trend sure to increase in the coming years.