Friday, September 12, 2008

If I had a farm in Africa... might just take advantage of Web 2.0.

It's sometimes easy to let stereotypes dictate beleifs about the use of technology in farming. Nowhere moreso than on the African continent. In fact, when it comes to Internet penetration, a mere 5.3% of Africans have internet access according to

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What lies below this number is an explosive growth rate of adoption: Internet growth rates in Africa exceed 1000% over the last 5 years. Part of the reason for the growth includes the availability of increasingly powerful, low cost devices and networks. 

But a bigger part of the reason is the actions of people to make it happen. One such organization is BROSDI.  The group is focussed on sharing knowledge to the benefit of civil society, especially as it enables a livelihood. One major focus of the group is among farmers in Uganda. They have adopted blog, podcasting, and mobile messaging approaches to knowledge sharing. 

An overview news report is available here.

Blog postings and other agricultural web resources from the CELAC (Collecting and Exchange of Local Agricultural Content) project can be found here here and here.

While small in scale now, it certainly calls to mind the William Gibson quote: "The Future is here's just unevenly distributed."

In the case of BROSDI and efforts like it, one can only imagine the possibilities when the intellectual capital of the second most populous region of the world is unleashed in a collaborative, interconnected and always on world. 

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