3. Historical context
Mobilisations in 1950s
Rise of independence movements
Privatization of the commons
Concentration and centralisation of capital
4. Set the context for
Effective re-appropriation of destiny of African
people (landgrabs, economic control, resource
extration, ‘repatriation’ of profits, tax evasion etc
6. Lack of content from
Economic Commission for Africa survey conducted
in 1999 : Africa generates only around 0.4 percent
(1:250) of global content.
Excluding South Africa, the rest of Africa generates
a mere 0.02 percent (1:5000)!
7. Articles in Wikipedia
The whole continent of Africa contains only
about 2.6% of the world’s geo-tagged
Wikipedia articles despite having 14% of the
world’s population and 20% of the world’s
10. Educator vs Native
Academic and scientific discourse tends to be from a
paternalistic / uninformed / and completely
‘educator v. native’.
For no other continent is there so much written
about it by outsiders
11. Spatial Solipsism
“This uneven distribution of knowledge carries with it
the danger of spatial solipsism for the people who live
inside one of Wikipedia’s focal regions. It also strongly
underrepresents regions such as the Middle East and
North Africa as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. In the global
context of today’s digital knowledge economies, these
digital absences are likely to have very material effects
(Solipsism = belief in self as only reality – polite term for
12. Access and bias
Internet allows those with time and money and easy
access to the internet to control large proportion of
13. Cultural homogenization
Since it is cheaper to send a data package from the
North to the South than vice versa, and since access
is greater in the North (Africa 13%, or 3% excluding
the big ones), there is structural built in dominance
of information coming from the North.
Africa has more than 800 languages spoken
amongst its various ethnic groups. However, the
Internet is an ‘English’ based medium which affects
the usability and content creation thereon. A vast
majority of programs, applications and services
continue to be provided in English thereby denying
access to large swathes of the population and
exacerbating the digital divide.
40. Software import / lack of
production of software
Nigeria imports 90% of all software used in the
country. The local production of software is reduced
to add-ons or extensions creation for mainstream
41. Patent applications filed in
Only around 10% of applications for the registration
of intellectual property (IP) rights in Africa are
made by African citizens or residents.
“Both anecdotal accounts by African IP agents and
WIPO statistics on IP activity in Africa show that
more than 90% of applications for registration of IP
rights in Africa are by foreign IP applicants”
Microsoft has apparently attempted to arm-twist African
governments on policy issues repeatedly – for instance by
threatening to withdraw funding to Kenyan government
programs in view of its support of free software (OOXML), by
hiring government officials and their relatives as in Namibia
Lobbying with governments to ensure use of Microsoft
products including by tying governments into long term
Also see South Africa’s clamp down on open source in
education-department-bans-open-source-software/ http://techrights.org/2009/05/12/south-african-schools-windows/ and
44. Thinking about the future
Each generation must discover its mission,
fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.
45. Thinking about the future
If you don't change direction, you will end
up exactly where you are heading.
46. Thinking about the future
If you don’t know where you are going, any
direction will do.
47. Thinking about the future
The future belongs to those who give the next
generation reason to hope.
Teillard de Chardin
48. The challenge of thinking
about the future
Thinking outside the box
Recognizing that we are in a box, we are imprisoned
by our past.
Cognitive hindsight bias
Our capacity to imagine the future is limited by our
knowledge of the present / past.
49. The task
Imagine you are meeting 20 years from now.
Discuss what you achieved and how you got there.
Imagine you are able to see your own funeral. What
would you like people to say about what you
achieved or made happen.