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[liberationtech] Tim Berners-Lee in Africa: Web Foundation Announces 2 New Projects

Yosem Companys ycompanys at
Mon Dec 28 15:17:22 PST 2009

Tim Berners-Lee in Africa: Web Foundation Announces 2 New

Posted: 16 Nov 2009 01:48 AM PST

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, has embarked on a trip through
Africa on behalf of the non-profit Web
Foundation<> -
which today announced two new projects.

The Web Foundation exists to bridge the 'digital divide' in Internet usage.
Only about 25% of the world population uses the Web today, however more than
70% of people have access to mobile or fixed communication devices capable
of displaying Web content. According to the
"the gap in Web usage is partly attributable to the lack of accessible or
relatable content, and the lack of available training on how to use the Web
to its full potential."


On his African trip, Berners-Lee will visit Kenya, Nairobi and Uganda. There
he will meet with government leaders, development workers and educators to
help support local Web initiatives - such as improving local health and

The Web Foundation was founded in
Tim Berners-Lee, with the aim of studying the Web and expanding access to
the billions of people worldwide who aren't currently online. Today, the Web
Foundation launched a fundraising campaign and announced two partnerships.

[image: Farm land, Ghana, near Adwaso]

On the former, Web Foundation CEO Steve Bratt hopes to raise $10-20 million
per year, much of which will be put towards programs that train people to
use the Web.

One of the partnerships is with the University
Amsterdam<> in
the Netherlands, which aims to expedite "re-greening"
the African continent. The other partnership is with the
CDI<> (Center
for Digital Inclusion), a social enterprise based in Brazil dedicated to
educating disadvantaged youth about information technologies. The Web
Foundation and CDI plan to develop training programs to teach young people
how to create accessible Web content.

It's interesting to note that many of the Web Foundation initiatives have *a
big Mobile Web component*. In the CDI partnership, Web-based applications
are being created that will be "mobile ready."*Accessibility* is also a key
aspect of these projects. The CDI web apps will integrate voice and
graphical elements.

In a previous trip to Africa in September, Tim Berners-Lee visited Ghana to
meet with officials and educators. He's currently at the 2009 Internet
Governance Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - where he made today's
announcements. Starting next week, Berners-Lee will travel to Kenya, Nairobi
and Uganda.

Below is a video of Berners-Lee in Ghana <>,
courtesy of BBC's Digital
Revolution<> program,
talking with a Ghanaian about why he values the Web. You can see more of
these videos here <>.
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