Musings on Technology and Africa

This recent forum by the Boston Review in which One Laptop per Child's Nicholas Negroponte took a lot of heat for his near messianic beliefs in the promises of his own laptops in the hands of any child piqued my interest in trying a few analytical pieces about technology and Africa for my employer, the Voice of America.

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Walking around my newsroom in Washington, I was surprised that most other journalists had very cozy feelings about the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

To get a more learned and realistic view, I called G. Pascal Zachary from Africa Works, who also happens to teach a class on the very topic of technology and Africa at Arizona State University.

One of his main points is that Africans don't need outside do-gooders to force upon them products that quickly become overrun but rather solutions to unreliable electricity supply.

Download this link if you want to listen to the full conversation, which also includes a good rebuttal to Negroponte's view and insight into Kenya's successful foray into mobile money.

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