I have seen my feelings towards Africa fluctuate between pity and fascination, between despair and glimpses of hope. Working for a non-profit that deals primarily with Africa has shown me firsthand some of the obstacles these nations have to overcome to be stable, productive, and peaceful entities.

When establishing aid or offers of help for Africa, it is important to remember the history of colonialism and the legitimate fear of some sort of neo-colonialism that might project a certain distrust of outside, international aid and assistance groups. Generally speaking, Africa needs to develop through the efforts of Africans and we, the international community, need to support any efforts towards that goal. That being said, there are a few groups that are attempting to provide this type of structure. They are stressing the need for flexibility in response to diverse circumstances, and scalability, i.e. can this solution/paradigm be applied to the greater entity.

This is one such group. If you can spare the time, have a look.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.