First day of TED in Arusha, Tanzania
By SunScience on Jun 04, 2007
Between Bono and John Doerr, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Jane Goodall, we're in for a dissection of what is and is not changing in Africa, and, by extension, a dissection of what information technology can and cannot do as an element of transformation.
Google is making a large-scale investment in Africa, starting with creating a Google Center in Nairobi; if services can be provided across the rapidly-growing fiber infrastructure in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania, this data center could be the testbed for small and medium enterprises, for schools and clinics, for agricultural cooperatives--the testbed for keeping the packets in Africa.
This can be the testbed for local content: all curriculum, all languages, all local markets, all local advertising, all local health and medical information, all local virtual world construction...just waiting for connection to the branches of the rest of the world tree.
There is no fiber connectivity from East Africa to the outside world. Not yet.
It's a scandal, in a way, because there is fiber in Mauritius, there is fiber to a node off Yemen, but there is no action bringing the fiber to Mombasa or Dar es Salaam, though there are multiple plans and meetings and discussions and high-level agreements.