Inveneo Economic Development Archives

Improved Internet Connectivity in Haiti Thanks to Inveneo and Partners

  1. Posted by Inveneo on May 15, 2015 in the categories: Economic Development, Education, News, Projects
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From 2011 to 2013, Inveneo has been widely involved in the Haiti Rural Broadband Network (HRBN), a program created to bring broadband to Haiti in many rural areas. Inveneo worked extensively throughout the project, but when funding ran out, the system Inveneo put in place has experienced setbacks, and achieving sustainability has been a challenge.

These school kids could benefit from Inveneo's Haiti Connected Schools program.

These school kids could benefit from Inveneo’s Haiti Connected Schools program.

Inveneo’s San Francisco-based Project Manager Kelly Doley recently traveled to Haiti to join Inveneo’s Haiti-based Project Manager, Michelet Guerrier, to assess the HRBN project.

Haiti Benefited from the HRBN Project

Although the HRBN project has experienced challenges, about 50 schools that participated in Inveneo’s Haiti Connected Schools program initially received improved Internet connectivity through the HRBN. Inveneo is happy that it fulfilled its mission of expanding broadband in areas, and the HRBN infrastructure remains in place. However, the HRBN needs a sustainable business model and strong management from one of Haiti’s many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for networks to grow or continue, especially in the absence of continued donor funding. However, Inveneo has noticed that multiple ISPs have learned from the HRBN and used the same technologies as Inveneo in building out their own networks to reach remote areas.

8281245795_fd245290c8_o-2Struggles of BATI

Some of Inveneo’s approximately 50 BATI still work for ISPs to conduct outreach and repairs for the HRBN project. BATI are young Haitians with information technology (IT) skills who have been trained by Inveneo to deploy high speed, broadband wireless networks and new, relevant technology. All BATI benefitted from Inveneo’s training and working as part of the HRBN network. BATIs have a lot of respect for Inveneo and would like Inveneo to expand its presence in Haiti. Inveneo greatly respects the BATI, and recognizes they are a great local and skilled resource that could be tapped into Haiti.

Inveneo Moves Forward

Internet connectivity remains a challenge in Haiti, and the HRBN was a successful initiative to expand broadband in remote areas.  As with all development projects, achieving sustainability – in this case maintaining the HRBN after the project officially ended – has been a challenge. However, the HRBN infrastructure remains and could be leveraged to help connect the unconnected in Haiti.

Ongoing Inveneo Projects in Haiti

The Inveneo team is currently working on the successful Transforming Teaching Through Tablets project to improve the skills of and resources available to teachers in Haiti. To read more about that project click here.

The Ulwazi Programme: Sharing Histories and Culture in Communities in South Africa

  1. Posted by Inveneo on December 15, 2014 in the categories: Economic Development, Education, News
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Digital information and ICTs have transformed how knowledge is dispersed in Africa. A digital library project called the Ulwazi Programme is helping to ensure that, through social technologies, everyone has equal access to aspects of their history and culture through technology.

libraries-as-community-memory-the-ulwazi-programme-11-638Inveneo recently spoke with Grant McNulty, a Partner at McNulty Consulting, a digital media consultancy led by two brothers. They use digital media to foster cultural projects with technology, and McNulty Consulting has helped to create the Ulwazi Programme online library.

Sharing Histories Online

Many communities in South Africa do not have equal access to computer labs or other ICTs. The Ulwazi Programme is working to reverse that trend and ensure that those living in urban, peri-urban and rural settings can access online materials like never before. Ulwazi creates content like shared histories and local knowledge in local languages such as Zulu. McNulty Consulting, together with the eThekwini Municipal Libraries in Durban, is making this possible by “using open-source software, in collaboration with the public library and local communities”.

The Ulwazi Programme is not only being managed by the brothers at McNulty Consulting but instead is very much a community effort. Volunteer fieldworkers are recording personal histories which are saved digitally to be used in the online library. Local schools and formal researchers are also getting involved, and the project is quickly becoming quite successful!

Tips for Other ICT4D Practitioners

libraries-as-community-memory-the-ulwazi-programme-13-638Those working in ICT projects around the world can learn from the Ulwazi model. Grant McNulty  explained that the online library’s software will be kept open source and free to the entire community, meaning members won’t need to pay fees to license or access the resources.

The Ulwazi Programme is not only available online within the local library’s computer network, but it is also accessible on tablets and mobile phones. Almost 90% of Internet usage  in South Africa is through a mobile device. McNulty Consulting concentrated on making the Ulwazi Programme mobile-friendly in order to engage communities and provide access to the resource on devices that they already use.

The Ulwazi Programme has seen incredible growth online through its website analytics, and the two brothers are very excited. To learn how you can get involved in this special ICT project in South Africa visit the website, Facebook page, or Twitter page. Best of luck to the continued growth for this well-deserving South African community!

Inveneo and Twitter Join Forces in San Francisco

  1. Posted by Inveneo on July 8, 2014 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Relief
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Inveneo Engineer Sam Perales discussing installation plans with Twitter volunteers.

Inveneo Engineer Sam Perales discussing installation plans with Twitter volunteers.

A charitable housing complex may be one of the last places you’d expect to find a group of Twitter coworkers gathered together on a Friday morning. But early on June 6th, they met up to join forces with the San Francisco-based WiFi organization called Inveneo to bring high-performing Internet access to Compass Clara House, a transitional housing program of Compass Family Services that helps homeless families get back on their feet.

Based in San Francisco, Compass Clara House consists of 13 apartments housing 13 families, which vary in size.  Parents and their children live in an apartment for up to two years and are offered services including employment counseling, enriched childcare, counseling and therapy and an afterschool program.  During their stay, parents are enrolled in an either an education or program with the goal of finding a self-sustaining job and all families are working towards finding a permanent home.

Twice a year Twitter encourages communities to band together and volunteer time at local charities. This program – known as #FridayforGood – brought Inveneo staff members together with Twitter employees.

The Clara House’s Internet connection was slow and left residents frustrated while they tried to look for jobs online. It was time to create a faster and more reliable link for the residents and their families.

Twitter and Inveneo brought 15 volunteers for the day. Sam Perales, Inveneo’s Senior Field Engineer, and Aaron Mason, Inveneo’s previous Sr. Marketing and Communications Manager, led the team. The event was also managed by one of San Francisco’s community leaders, Mike McCarthy.

Twitter4

Step by step, Inveneo guided Twitter employees on how to survey the building, run cables, and install the equipment. As soon as individual access points were plugged in, they were connected to the city’s WiFi configurations and fiber ring. By the end of the day the whole building was covered with better WiFi connectivity.

Twitter volunteers assembling wireless radio antenna mount.

Twitter volunteers assembling wireless radio antenna mount.

The Clara House’s new WiFi connection is now 15 Mbps, and the residents now have Internet that’s 10 to 15 times faster than before. Aaron Mason reported that as soon as the WiFi connection was up a few of the building’s kids rushed to try their online games.

The city of San Francisco is currently offering bandwidth and is working to bring city housing online. Current residents of Clara House do not pay for the Internet because the city is giving the building broadband access for free.

In just one day Clara House gained fast, reliable Internet access thanks to Twitter and Inveneo employees coming together. Sam Perales said, “It was great to see such a collaborative program between Inveneo, Twitter, and the city of San Francisco to help Clara House. The Twitter volunteers were very motivated and positive, and Inveneo was happy to help facilitate the technological aspect of it.”

If you would like to learn more about Twitter’s Friday for Good program or how you can get involved, please visit the Twitter blog.

Members of the team connecting WiFi access points on top of Clara House.

Members of the team connecting WiFi access points on top of Clara House.

A WiFi Connection for a Leading Bishop in the Philippines

  1. Posted by Inveneo on March 13, 2014 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects
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Sam Perales with UMCom’s April, United Methodist Bishop Pete Torio, his wife Joyce, and the rest of Bishop’s team.

Inveneo’s Senior Field Engineer Sam Perales has travelled to more than 10 countries to work on ICT projects, but his latest project was particularly special because of the collaboration between United Methodist Communications (UMCom) and local community members.

Last month Sam was in the Philippines in support of Inveneo’s typhoon relief efforts. He was asked by UMCom to add on a trip to the Baguio city region to design and implement an Internet link for the United Methodist Bishop leading the northern region. The typhoon did not impact the north, but it was still not an easy trek. Mountains and difficult terrain made the journey slow. After six hours of travel, Sam was able to meet up with Bishop Pete Torio and his wife, Joyce.

Sam joined the UMCom team which consisted of Nhots Celzo, a Filipino who is currently working for the UMC in IT, marketing, and website management, and April Gonzaga-Mercado, UMCom field staff who is very involved with the relief efforts from Typhoon Haiyan.

Sam and the team members joined Bishop and Mrs. Torio for dinner to understand the technical requirements and learn a little about how Torio uses the Internet. He described very long hours spent working in his office because it was the only place to get an Internet connection. He would even spend the night there because he had no connection at home (5km away).

Installation at the Bishop’s house was part of the process to build a WiFi connection.

It was clear that Torio was a man dedicated to his work and to serving his community, and that extending an Internet connection to his home would allow him to better reach his people and conduct church business without having to sleep overnight at the office. Needless to say, the Bishop and his wife were very excited at the possibility of getting a broadband connection that would allow him to be more efficient and to work from home when needed. Sam and the rest of the team were set to start the next day.

Morning came and the team began by getting a radio installed on the roof of the UMC 6-story office building. The only way to access this roof was through a small window on the top floor which quickly proved to be a feat in acrobatic moves. Once the team was through the little window and on to the roof, the installation went rather smoothly and quickly. Soon they were off to the other side of the link – the Bishop’s residence.

The project’s main challenge was hard to miss – a 4-story building directly in the way between the Bishop’s office and home. Determined as ever, Sam knew there had to be a way the team could literally “get around” this issue.

The team traveled to several nearby buildings to see if they could get a signal from the neighbors’ balconies. What was previously an Inveneo/UMCom project now quickly turned into a community activity. Residents in several buildings were more than happy to open their doors and let these strangers (and all their equipment including the Inveneo Cable-Free Survey Pole) in. Sam remarked that walking around the community was the one of the most enjoyable parts of the project.

At last the UMCom and Inveneo teams were able to relay a signal by attaching the receiver to a long pole and placing it on the Bishop’s roof on his house. Within the same day they were able to do a full installation that included configuring a radio, cabling, setting up the modem, and installing the software.

Sam and the rest of the team successfully installed the 5km Internet connection. Currently the Bishop is the only one in his neighborhood that has Internet at his house, and this opens the door for network sharing that he and his wife are very happy to offer their neighbors. In the future though, and as other neighbors get their own WiFi connections, this won’t restrict the bandwidth of the Bishop’s Internet.

Getting online to serve the community.

Just the very next day, the Bishop had Internet access at his house because of the combined talents of the UMCom and Inveneo teammates. This will help him spend more time at home with his family, allow him to connect and serve local congregations better and communicate globally as his position requires. In addition, the Bishop and his family can offer their neighbors access to broadband Internet that’s fast and reliable.

By the end of the project, Sam was very pleased to see the increased capacity of the local UMCom workers. He knew of their previous skill sets, but this challenge of finding a signal and setting up a WiFi connection in mountainous terrain will help both Nhots and April in future projects. Sam considers UMCom to be a valued partner to the Inveneo team saying “It was a feel good project.” He felt the team worked very well together on this challenging installation.

The partnership between UMCom and the ICT engineering non-profit Inveneo has been one of continued growth. Collaboration is key in an ICT project like this, and with the combined efforts of UMCom and Inveneo, the enduring partnership is easy to see.

Written by Jana Melpolder, Inveneo Staff

Solar Powered WiFi Links in Micronesia

  1. Posted by Inveneo on September 11, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects
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Two long-distance, solar-powered wireless point-to-point connections were set up in the Micronesian Region of the Pacific in early August 2012. The installations were part of the Pacific Island Schools Connectivity, Education, and Solar (PISCES) Project, a multi-partnered endeavor focused on training and local capacity building vis-à-vis solar-powered information and communications technology (ICT) within the Pacific region. This project falls under the umbrella of Inveneo’s innovative Broadband for Good initiative.

Mentoring Small ICT Businesses for Big Impact

  1. Posted by Inveneo on July 11, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, News
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Inveneo launched the Bati Anfòmatik Teknisyen yo ak Inveneo (BATI) Program to train and certify rural Haitian IT entrepreneurs to deploy and support a high speed, broadband wireless network in rural population centers across Haiti. BATI participants are rural youth who have experience in information technology and an interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Through the BATI program, Inveneo trained youth in the technical skills needed to deploy broadband and computers in rural areas, and how to run their own ICT businesses, graduating 64 new Haitian ICT entrepreneurs.

To help jump-start their businesses and provide support to the broadband network, Inveneo brokered meetings between the newly trained ICT entrepreneurs and local ISPs to create partnerships to expand the broadband network and serve rural clients. The match-making was a success – the network, supported and deployed by Inveneo-trained ICT entrepreneurs, now provides access to broadband Internet to over 20% of the Haitian population, ensuring that rural schools, healthcare centers, non-profits, and enterprises can help Haiti build back better after the devastating earthquake.

MicroMentor mentorship

Yet, training and business leads alone do not create sustainable entrepreneurs. Long-term mentorship is crucial for entrepreneurs to survive and expand in the competitive ICT marketplace and in Haiti’s under-developed business climate. To help the entrepreneurs, Inveneo launched a partnership with MicroMentor in May 2011 to build a mentor-support network for the business aspects of the BATI program.

Since the program’s inauguration, 46 Inveneo-trained BATI entrepreneurs, representing 72 percent of the entrepreneurs trained by Inveneo in Haiti, have joined the program as entrepreneurs seeking advice from seasoned businesspeople. Twelve local Haitian business professionals and staff of Inveneo Certified ICT Partners (ICIP) around the world have signed up as mentors to provide advice to the entrepreneurs, resulting in a total of 26 mentoring relationships.

BATI entrepreneurs use the MicroMentor website to find and engage with professional mentors. In addition, the BATI entrepreneurs can pose specific questions related to their businesses and mentors can post responses, starting a dialogue that can be viewed by all entrepreneurs. There are also groups where members are able to participate in discussions and find resources specific to their program, such as Inveneo products and business plan templates.

The program is providing much needed encouragement as well as start-up expertise to the entrepreneurs. The feedback has been very positive. Here are a few examples:

«Il est toujours disponible pour moi quand j’ai des questions”. – It [the website] is always available to me when I have questions.»
«Je profite encore de vous féliciter pour ce programme, il est vraiment utile à tous ceux qui font partie et il porte du succès dans leurs entreprises » – I would like to again take this opportunity to thank the program; it is truly useful for everyone and the help that is needed to create a successful business.
« Nous avons beaucoup parlé de mon business, et elle m’a donné des bons conseils. » – We have spoken a lot about my business, and [my mentor] has given me a lot of great advice.

Overall, the program has been very successful in supporting Inveneo-trained entrepreneurs. The ultimate gauge of its success will be the number of entrepreneurs whose businesses survive the crucial first two years of operations.

Beyond Haiti, one of Inveneo’s aims over time has been to promote and strengthen collaboration among Inveneo Certified ICT Partners in the twenty plus countries in which they work. This initiative is our first opportunity to build collaboration among the francophone countries of Africa and with Haiti. Through MicroMentor, we are beginning to see trans-Atlantic mentoring matches being formed, and are very excited about the potential impact.

Inveneo partners can now support one another and share their expertise. They may be small businesses, but we see big impact in reaching our ultimate goal of improved ICT entrepreneur economic self-sustainability.

20% of the Haitian Population Now Has Broadband Access via the Haiti Connected Cities Program

  1. Posted by Inveneo on June 20, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects
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Inveneo is committed to bringing real economic and education opportunities to Haiti in 2011-2012 through the Haiti Rural Broadband Initiative, also known as the Haiti Connect Cities program, and its related efforts, launched in January 2011. HRBI is a collaborative program involving Haitian Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Haitian IT entrepreneurs and the many organizations – NGOs and otherwise – that will benefit from access to reliable and affordable broadband Internet.

Building on last year’s progress, in the first quarter of 2012, Inveneo’s Haiti Rural Broadband Initiative (HRBI) continues to make progress in all key program areas:


1st Quarter 2012 HRBI Report

Network Build Out/Infrastructure
Inveneo engineers and our local partners have successfully completed Zones 1 – 5 of the network. This backbone comprised of hundreds of radios at 31 tower sites now provides a fully operational and stable network to connect 65 clients in these regions of Haiti.

Entrepreneur Training – BATI Program
A total of 64 BATI have now been trained throughout six provinces of Haiti: Artibonite, Cap Haitien, West, South East, Central Plateau and Grand Anse.

Network Governance and Operations
Inveneo handed off the day-to-day operations of the network to Haitian organizations in the first quarter, reaching a significant milestone.

Inveneo established a framework by which BATI provide the first line of support followed by the Haitian telecommunications company Haicom and their team, who have taken over the Network Operations Center (NOC) responsibilities. On a daily basis, they monitor the ever-growing rural network while the ICIP Transversal handles every physical installation and all maintenance of the equipment across Haiti.

Monitoring & Evaluation
Independent evaluation experts Mission Measurement (funded by the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Initiative) released a draft version of the closing report on the social and financial impact of the Haiti Connected Cities program. Some affirming statistics from the report include:

  • As of April 2012, the broadband network covers 20.72% of the Haitian population.
  • In the case of NGOs, the increased efficiency [from broadband Internet connectivity through HRBI] drives development outcomes by allowing the organizations to better deliver their services through increasing beneficiary access, service quality and timeliness.
  • One of the strongest assets of the model, the BATI training program, has led to a networked group of local IT entrepreneurs who have built their own businesses, acquired clients, hired employees, obtained ISP contracts, and enjoyed increased incomes.

Challenges and Solutions
Customer acquisition is slower than anticipated. This is due to a number of factors, including: Complex processes within the ISPs to absorb the BATI; Speed of customer order process – organizations in rural Haiti need to work through 
multiple steps in order to get contracts signed by their country offices located in Port-au-Prince; Insufficient sales capabilities of the BATI themselves.

We are currently seeking additional funding in order to conduct supplemental entrepreneurial, marketing and process training with the BATI to accelerate customer acquisition. Inveneo is currently developing a detailed proposal to share with potential funders.

Haiti Connected Schools

Inveneo is partnering with Microsoft, World Vision and HP to deliver 40 ICT labs in rural schools across the regions where the broadband network has been deployed. In Q1 of 2012, HCS added solar-powered computer labs to an additional six schools (19 in all) in four departments in Haiti: Artibonite, Central Plateau, Ouest and Nord. One school installation was completed with a new solar partner, Solar Electric Light Fund, a US-based non-profit. Also, 18 teachers were trained with the new basic curriculum and 5 with the advanced administrator curriculum. This is brings the total teachers trained to 98.

The next phase of Haiti Connected Schools will bring rapid program expansion to more schools in rural Haiti now that processes, materials and qualified local resources are in place. Inveneo and NetHope received a grant from Intel to provide basic computer training in rural communities. Together, the two organizations will leverage the curricula, local trainers, train-the-trainer approach and computer labs implemented through HCS to offer training to new populations in the communities.

Working Past Bees for Long-Distance WiFi Networking

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 25, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects
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Planning an installation in a remote area asks for a lot of careful thought: one doesn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere missing a specific piece of equipment thus having to drive back several kilometers to complete the work. The unexpected being expected, even after several installations, you are never too cautious. But, what level of ’unexpectedness’ can a tower full of wasp nest be?

Bees in general are not really harmful to humans. Living in a tropical country you have been stung enough by these insects to know if you are of the allergic type. At best if you have a cold or indigestion it may cure you. This level of risk falls into the category of negligible.

But talking of something and seeing it right in front of you are two different things. The colors, the noise, the menacing zigzags and of course old memories, all this being put together, you think twice before even starting to put on the climbing gears. And just when your courage is at a sufficient level to face the wasp, local superstitions shatter it in thousands of pieces.

I am Jeffrey Carre of Transversal and recently we had to verify an old installation at Pont-Sonde, a small town on the way to Gonaive, pass St Marc in Haiti. With no hills to climb, and the site being right in the middle of the town, it’s not a difficult site.

Food and water are at hand ad you don’t have to drive a long way to get to a passable road. The aiming is generally easy in such a flat land that these usually take half a day of work to setup everything and pass the acceptance test. But…

“They can give you a fever so unbearable that you may not have enough time to go to the hospital,” the guardian says. Some time ago our townsfolk pride would have us walk past that statement with a “Let me show you how we do things,” tone and maybe we would have shamefully been victim of that ego… But today that bee problem was taken seriously. The questions is how to get pass that problem:

 

  • Bug spray is a real bad way the get rid of them – it kills some and infuriates the rest. They fall on the ground and fly back at you right away with their last remaining breath. And personally seeing all those creatures fall and die, you cannot help to think of yourself as an evil, heartless person (just a little).
  • Smoke. Yes but you have to climb high enough to reach them and they are sometimes in unexpected places. You have to use it on your way up and also, less easy, on the way down. Every nest that is on your path must be submitted to smoke for long enough to drowse the wasps. We don’t have that time.
  • Gas/oil. We once used this to repel hornets from the lightning arrestors they were using to construct their mud nest. We didn’t have enough with us and we couldn’t think of a good way to spread it.
  • Fire, same almost as smoke but for clear reasons, not a good solution.
  • Luck, hopefully you go up and don’t put your hand right in the middle of a nest. We engineers prefer not to play with luck to much. We prefer quantifiable and measurable facts, but then again, sometimes it surprises you pleasantly.

The guardian happened to be a beekeeper and had in his possession a pair of protective suits and it would only take him 5 minutes to get them for us. No need to tell what a relief he was to us. Maybe he enjoyed being our hero but he continued to help us by reassuring us. We learned that:

  • Bees, wasps, and hornets only attack when they sense danger. So if we calmly approach them they will stay away from us.
  • They tend to build their nest at a specific height, not to high to avoid strong currents and not to low to avoid the heat and natural enemies. So as soon as we pass that “activity zone” there is no need to watch out for them.
  • And the most beautiful part: bees are a sign of life and hope, and as we are spreading life and hope via our Internet installation they are doing the same with the flower pollen.

We put on the protective suits under the climbing gears and started to work. And as the day goes by, I couldn’t help to think of the bees working as group, coordinating their movements, each taking care of a specific task.

This was at our 3rd site of the day and the sun was getting low on the sky. As we climbed down the tower and started to pack, nature was slowly falling asleep and even the bees were regaining the house. Their nests that were once very busy spots during the day were now calm – technology and nature in quiet harmony.

Inveneo Awarded the Internet Now! Project in Uganda

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 5, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects
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Inveneo has been selected for the Internet infrastructure segment of the newly launched Internet Now! Project in Uganda. Working with Oxfam Novib, Arid Lands Information Network, and Samasource, Inveneo will provide computer hardware and Internet connection to 100 planned ICT work centers, all of which are targeted for rural Northern Ugandan regions.

The Internet Now! project aims to implement 100 ICT work centers, that will offer outsourced ICT data services, wireless Internet access via a wireless café hotspot model, and services such as agricultural education and crop pricing information. All of this with the goal to generate increased income and employment in rural communities of northern Uganda.

The network of 100 ICT centers will cover a total population of 872,000 people in the districts of Adjumani, Amuru/Gulu and Moyo. Each center will have two fully equipped and renovated rooms with 10 PC workstations for visitors to use. All centers will be stand-alone solar powered, independent from a grid, and are staffed with a Field Officer and two Knowledge Facilitators, who will provide training and support to center visitors.

Inveneo in conjunction with CLS Ltd., an Inveneo Certified ICT Partner in Uganda, will deploy energy-efficient, high performance computers and reliable Internet connections at each center. In addition, Inveneo will lead the network backbone planning and negotiations with Ugandan ISP’s and wireless carriers.

Inveneo is excited to be part of the Internet Now! project as it will bring Internet connectivity and employment opportunities to an area of Africa where such needs and potential benefits are great.

Every African Woman Should Have Access to Broadband – But How?

  1. Posted by Inveneo on March 9, 2012 in the categories: Economic Development, Events, News
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If we are serious about ICT as an accelerant for social and economic development, and we know that a) women are the key to investments in family health and education, and b) broadband connectivity is a major ICT catalyst for both, then we should be working towards a world where every African woman can have access to broadband Internet.

Broadband for Women

But what does “broadband” or “access” really mean? And how can we accelerate connectivity? Yes, mobile operators will play a role, as will ISPs, national backbones, sea cable operators, and the private ICT ecosystem. In fact, its a policy, regulatory, financial, and cultural challenge, which will take many actors working together to achieve impact.

How do we start? What advice do you have for the technologists? The technocrats? The ICT4D community as a whole? Or the whole US government foreign assistance framework? What levers and leverage can make broadband ubiquitous?

Come to the next Technology Salon for a lively discussion at the intersection of technology and development, boosted with broadband. We’ll be joined by Priya Jaisinghani of USAID, Ann Mei Chang of State via Google, and your peers – so please RSVP early – we will reach capacity fast.

Broadband Access for Africa
March Technology Salon
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
IREX
2121 K Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC (map)

We’ll have hot coffee and Krispe Kreme donuts for a morning rush, but seating is limited at IREX’s headquarters. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance – once we reach our 20-person capacity there will be a waitlist.


About the Technology Salon™

Our subscribersThe Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:

  1. technology’s impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  2. private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.

Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 20 people – and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged.  It’s also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!