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Mark Fiuczynski – Information Technology in Africa: A Journey from Grassroots Research to Policy Reform

Thursday, May 1, 2008
12:30 pm


302 Computer Science

Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

The deployment of networking and information technologies in the developing world can improve access to education, health care, and commerce and achieve better governance. While the basic technological building blocks are available (both in terms of price and ruggedness), there are many challenges when moving beyond a pilot deployment to a large scale deployment in rural villages. To overcome these challenges requires rethinking how such solutions are integrated into the fabric of the village’s society—i.e., beyond just parachuting technology into a rural village and hoping for the best.

This talk is about the beginning of an effort to bring information and communication technology (ICT) to developing nations. Marc is exploring what the “future internet” will look like for those who have never really experienced (or benefited) from it before. Marc has explored various avenues of bringing PlanetLab-based technologies to developing regions.

Marc E. Fiuczynski is an Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University R&D Staff member, PlanetLab Consortium.

Recently, he has started pilot deployments at a Health Clinic near Belmopan, Belize and at a fishing village in Kokrobitey, Ghana. While giving talks about these efforts in an attempt to smoothen out the deployment plans in Ghana, Marc was nominated to serve on the South African government’s e-skills council, where he is in the new position of tackling the challenges of integrating ICT into the fabric of a developing region from a top-down, policy perspective.