Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Students at Sulaymaniyah University, in Kurdish Northern Iraq, have completed the first half of a course in the American legal system, taught by Captain Kevin Curseaden, a lawyer and Army Reservist from Milford, Connecticut and member of Lawyers Without Borders. On active duty in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, he was welcomed by the Dean of the Law School, but needed to find a textbook on American law, in Arabic. Within days, he got what he needed by contacting Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB), the international nonprofit organization based in Hartford.
Captain Cursedean had learned about LWOB three years ago and first made contact with Christina Storm, the founder and Director of Lawyers Without Borders, after his return to Connecticut from Kosovo. From Iraq, Capt. Curseaden emailed her for help. She immediately put LWOB's network into action.
LWOB, with the generous help of Lexisnexis had 25 copies of the English version of Professor Fine's book delivered to Iraq. LWOB also arranged for Arabic translations of the same book to be delivered along with various supplies for the students, provided by LWOB.
The Winter semester of that course is scheduled to begin in January 2004 and a request has been received at LWOB for Arabic translations of the Federalist Papers and US Constitution. Thanks to several NYC based volunteers, area libraries and Attorney Joel Feffer, at Wechsler Harwood, LLP multiple copies of the translations of those documents should arrive in Iraq just in time for the start of the new semester.
Did I mention that Free textbooks in local languages is one of the basic requirements for global development? Now can we get those Federalist Papers and US Constitution out on the net to the whole Arab world? You don't suppose any governments would block them as subversive literature, do you?
Monday, February 14, 2005
Rwanda getting out ahead
Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the African ICT conference in Accra said that all of the country's secondary schools were to be connected to the internet by 2017. Rwanda has an aggressive Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) policy, aiming at making the poor country a technology centre within the next decades.
President Kagame of Rwanda is the only African state leader to attend to the Africa Regional Conference of the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), except the Ghanaian host, President John Agyekum Kufuor. In an interview with David Kezio-Musoke of Highway Africa News Agency (HANA), President Kagame reveals Rwanda's ICT strategies.
Asked on how Rwanda had achieved to become "a role model of a country with an effective ICT policy at national level," President Kagame said that his government had made that choice "in terms of overall objectives." The UN's Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) had helped Rwanda with necessary resources, including the human resource. "It is on that basis that everyone has started using us a model," the Rwandan President said.
- Today we have put in place broadband infrastructure, Mr Kagame explained. "It is possible to have wireless internet access. We have
the fibre optic infrastructure in the city and most of the towns and the provinces. We are working to expand it to other areas of the
(Rwanda has its own version of Linux localized into its own language, Kinyarwanda, as I reported here last year.)
Friday, February 04, 2005
Wi-fi web reaches farmers in Peru
A network of community computer centres, linked by wireless technology, is providing a helping hand for poor farmers in Peru. The initiative is being coordinated by APC member in Peru, Cepes. The BBC Online reports following a story picked up in APCNews last month.
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