When I went to the eLearning Africa Conference 2008 in Accra, Ghana, we noticed Google (looking by the way, exactly what one would expect Google people to look-young, healthy and full of funky glasses) hiring quite vigorously for their African offices.

Well, it seem seems they are making some positive inroads in Kenya, more or less the hub of East Africa. Acording to this site (Evan Carmichael), Google is:

  • Mapping Kenya
  • Partnering with the largest mobile carrier (Safaricom) and giving free email accounts to all subscribers
  • Partnering with universities to make inroads with their web-based office applications and associated services
  • Encouraging local content providers to get online (ex: NTVKenya on YouTube)
  • Fighting for more bandwidth for all Kenyans
  • Working with legislatures to create the right atmosphere to get the right internet infrastructure

Not bad at all. Except significant changes in the technological landscape of Africa in the next five years. We struggled with these issues, but they might not be as problematic in the near future.

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.

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