Ahead took part in a syposium organised by Information and Communications Technologies for Development ICT4D Collective (www.ict4d.org.uk) from 14-15 Sept 06. There over 30 participants from many countries and diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Prof Tim Unwin (http://www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/tim) who opened the symposium welcomed the participants and outlined that the purpose of the event, was to bring together scholars who are interested in research ICT4D to discuss and share ideas, experiences and expertise.
The two day event was a great success. A number of PhD and. research studies were presented, covering several topics on ICT in development, health, science, rural development, education etc.
Elfneh Bariso, who represented Ahead gave a presentation entitled, “The Digital Dividend in an Ethiopian context: Ahead’s plan 4 a community college”. He gave an overview of Ahead’s vision, mission and goals. Then he outlined the state of the learning and the digital divides in Ethiopia. Elfneh argued that there is a potential for new technologies to bridge the divides, by giving examples of success stories such as the work of imfundo in Ethiopia and “the hole in the wall”experiment in India. He emphasizedd Ahead’s intention to harness new technologies and mobilise educational radio to reach excludedcommunitiess in rural Ethiopia. Ahead’s plan for setting up a community college and community radio was elaborated.
The social aspect of the symposium included an invitation to greatbarbecuee by Prof Unwin at end the first day at his residence.
Prof Unwin closed the symposium by summarising the achievements, indicating future plans and thanking the participants. It was an academically stimulating and socially entertaining event.
Elfneh is gratful to Prof Tim Unwin and his family, members of the ICT4D Collectives and the participants. Ahead will continue its participation in the Collectives activities and networking with the participants. Ahead appreciates the encouragement expressed by some symposium participants about Ahead’s efforts.