Contributed by Vera Doku
Update – Mobile Entrepreneurs in Africa
Accra, Tuesday, June 29: The Internet Society, Ghana Chapter (ISOC Ghana Chapter), hosted the Web Foundation during their second quarter social evening event. The Web Foundation is a sister organization of W3C founded by Tim Berners Lee, founder of the World Wide Web. The event was chaired by Nii Naaku Quaynor, convener of ghNOG and chair for ISOC Ghana.
The Web Foundation was in Ghana on a fact finding mission related to its Mobile Entrepreneurs in Africa Project. The Mobile Entrepreneurs in Africa Project, which is being funded by Vodafone, aims at training entrepreneurs to leverage mobile and web technologies that are particularly relevant to developing countries. The Project will also enable developing countries to launch new services to provide locally relevant content and applications so as to make them economically viable.
Discussions from industry experts evolved around issues of certification, development of training initiatives, incubation, creating an enabling environment and building communities. According the Stéphane Boyera, who led the Web Foundation team, the first mobile training laboratory will be launched in Ghana and training which is expected to commence early 2011 will include a segment on business models and methodologies to deploy services and build sustainable businesses.
The guest of honour, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Gideon Quarcoo, pledged Government’s support for the project. “Ghana Government’s Better Ghana agenda includes improving the way people communicate and use the web for socio-economic development,” he said. He urged Web Foundation to consider involving the educational institutions in the country to help build the capacity of students in ICT.
There was also an update on the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) workshop held in Kigali and suggestions for the realization of ghCERT, Ghana’s first CERT.
Other members of the Web Foundation team present at the event were George Sadowsky, a consultant, Dominique Hazael-Massieux, a W3C staff member doing volunteer work on the project, Heinke Akkermans, a student of VU Amsterdam, working on exploring the potential of web alliance for regreening Africa project in Ghana plus Steven Wolak, and Franco Papeshi from Vodafone UK.
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