Wow, it’s hot in Dar, and this is winter in Tanzania. My ankles are swollen and it helps to sleep with a fan on at night. The city seems to be booming...buildings are going up in the city centre, bill boards compete for consumer shillings and the morning rush hour(s) is a force to be reckoned with. The most prominent products for sale are mobile related services – Tigo, Airtel (previously Zain) and Vodacom compete through vibrant advertising for a share of this lucrative market. Thanks to the competition, call and SMS costs have become very affordable in Tanzania.
The AMARC10 conference held in November 2010 in La Plata, Buenos Aires brought together a colourful cross-section of people, places and passions. Plenary sessions provided a platform for theory, philosophy and utopian imagining. Workshops rooted the conference in the real world of illiteracy, intolerance, poverty, crisis, community, co-operation and hope.
Nelly's networking and linguistic prowess delivered a meeting room equipped with projector and professional simultaneous translation in Spanish. She handily filled the role of impromptu simultaneous French translator, making it possible for many more people to follow my presentation.
I'm on the road in South Africa for the next 8 days to spread the gospel according to Freedom Fone v 1.6.
I have enough equipment with me to start a computer booth at any of the 3 airports I'll be passing through this week. All I need is a World Cup pennant, a few flags, a big smile and I'll fit right in.
In late May, Amy & I went down to Bulawayo to run a hands-on Freedom Fone training workshop for 11 participants based in Zimbabwe's City of Skies. The workshop was hosted there by a vibrant community radio station called Radio Dialogue. That will sound like a contradiction in terms as Zimbabwe has yet to award a broadcast licence to any community radio station in the country.
I had visions of Bulawayo being a sleepy little hollow and perhaps in some ways it is. But last week, after arriving at Radio Dialogue nestled in Pioneer House in Bulawayo’s central business district, I was very pleasantly surprised. We were in the City of Skies to run a practical two-day workshop with six local organisations on using Freedom Fone and Pioneer House seemed to me, to be pioneering the way!
Here I am in Doha, Qatar with my jacket on inside a spectacular building on the Carnegie Mellon campus. I’m seated amongst hundreds of others listening to elevator music whilst we wait for Bill Gates to give his keynote address to the ICTD 2009 participants.