Prompt 8: Response to Goal 8 Presentation
This blog is in response to the honors presentation of Millennium Development Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. Broc Blegan and Kelly Berry decided to focus their investigation and implementation of this goal in the capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu. They chose this place for two main reasons. First, it was behind the ‚Äútechnological curve‚Ä? and was the last country to offer the internet in 1999. And second, only 10% of their population use mobile technology. Both of these statistics were very valid reasons for Broc and Kelly to choose to develop a partnership with Mogadishu.
They decided to come up with a solution that would lead to a society of mobile communications, through the internet and cell phones. In doing research, they looked to Kenya as an example for technological progress. Cell phone use increased there and it ended up helping produce record high turnouts for their last political election. Since 2000, cell phone use in Somalia has increased from 1.1% to 6.1% in 2005. Telecom, Nationlink, and Hormund are competing to provide Somalia with affordable communication options.
The two presenters decided that it was important for Somalia to leapfrog landline communications in order to catch up because wireless is both easier and cheaper than landlines. They included a quote from Dr. Sugata Mitra in which he said, ‚Äútechnology should be designed for education, not be adapted for it.‚Ä? I felt that this was great and that it really resembled my feelings toward technology.
Another solution this team explored was the One Laptop Per Child program set up by an old professor at MIT. This charity designs cheap personal laptops (about $150) and distributes them to children in developing countries to improve their education and communication capabilities. The laptops have educational games, wireless internet, a word processor, and are very durable so that they can be implemented effectively in the third world. The only problem with this service is that they require the recipient country to have an established, stable government (something that Somalia lacks).
I think this group did an excellent job presenting their research, ideas, and goals for their Millennium Development Goal. The layout of the slide show was easy to read and not too busy. They kept the audience‚Äôs attention rather well and presented their conclusion very clearly