Millennium Development Goal Responses 2
Developing a Global Partnership for Sustainability with regard to Somalia:
This was one of the honors presentations given in lecture. I found it to be very interesting, not because it was amazingly good, but because some of the things they presented just seemed completely ridiculous. The idea of giving every child in Somalia a laptop for their education, for example, seemed pretty far-fetched. Even though the lap-tops were relatively cheap ($100), it seems like the money could be much better spent in other places, providing text books, teacher training, school supplies, even school buildings themselves or improvements to them. Providing primary school students with laptops that are programmed to only perform a certain way, and are navigable with pictures seems strange. Many of these students can't read yet, and therefore can hardly use a computer to its full functional capacity. Furthermore, these computers are equipped with wireless internet ports, but wireless internet, and even cabled internet, is something that is very rare in Somalia. These computers, while they're a nice thought, and might be a good idea at some point in the future, mostly seem like a big waste of money and effort because all of these energies could be much better focused somewhere else. Unlike with wireless internet, wireless phones in Somalia are more common, since land-lines are essentially non-existent, and are far more difficult and expensive to install than picking up a mobile phone. Still, even though mobile phones are the most popular form of phone, only six percent of the population has them. However, that percentage is rapidly increasing as service areas increase and the prices of the phones and the services decrease. Equipping Somalians with mobile phones seems like a better idea than equipping the children with computers, since mobile phones enable a quick means of communication instead of sending mail, which may or may not arrive, or going in person. These mobile phones have the potential to change the Somalian way of life to make it easier to communicate between people who are far away, since this is a very large issue when family members and close friends move apart. However, such a technology also has the potential to change Somalian society negatively, because it is so different from traditional Somalia. It is never wise to force a new technology (or anything, really) on people. Although they are helping people get connected to one another, it is not really developing a global connection, either. In order to develop a global partnership, Somalia would need more communication and information from outside sources, something that it does not seem to be receiving at the moment, although that too is increasing. The development is present, but it is not moving along as quickly as the UN Millennium Development Goals specify, nor as quickly as most people would like.