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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Is Connectivity a Human Right?

“For almost ten years, Facebook has been on a mission to make the world more open and connected. Today we connect more than 1.15 billion people each month, but as we started thinking about connecting the next 5 billion, we realized something important: the vast majority of people in the world don't have access to the internet.

Today, only 2.7 billion people are online -- a little more than one third of the world. That is growing by less than 9% each year, but that’s slow considering how early we are in the internet’s development. Even though projections show most people will get smartphones in the next decade, most people still won’t have data access because the cost of data remains much more expensive than the price of a smartphone.

Below, I’ll share a rough proposal for how we can connect the next 5 billion people, and a rough plan to work together as an industry to get there. We'll discuss how we can make internet access more affordable by making it more efficient to deliver data, how we can use less data by improving the efficiency of the apps we build and how we can help businesses drive internet access by developing a new model to get people online.” READ MORE 
New online media buying platform sets Africa in its sights
Venture Burn

“With rising levels of internet penetration on the mobile continent, the number of Africans accessing the web is growing by the millions. The latest tactic to reach that audience seems to involve a focus on highly connected mobile devices along with a strategy that relies on logical math, not intuition.

Newly launched Elastic Media Africa, a platform developed by the South African-based Amorphous Group, is placing its bets on an algorithm which it claims is a first in the country. Its ‘real-world algorithm’ is designed to combine the available ad space with factors like the desired target audience reach, frequency, price, budget and asset spread to give brands and digital agencies options which maximise every cent they spend.”  READ MORE

15 Virtual Ways to Make Real Change
Impatient Optimists

“Every day is an opportunity to perform a good deed—big or small, online or off. There are endless opportunities to  honor and celebrate everyday heroes who face danger to help others around the world. Below we share some virtual activities you can do to leave your mark.”  READ MORE

Let’s use mobile technology to meet youths’ healthcare information needs
Daily Monitor

“On August 12, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Youth Day under the theme: ‘Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.’

In today’s increasingly developing world, more and more young people leave their homes in search of better livelihoods. According to the United Nations, most of these migrants are aged between 15-24 and have become powerful agents of change and development.”  READ MORE 

Newsmaker – Mo Ibrahim: It’s time we started talking about real issues
City Press

“Billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim believes SA can still attain social cohesion by narrowing the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
I’m curious about Dr Mo Ibrahim’s accent. It’s heavily Sudanese, even though he has spent 40 years living outside of Africa and hasn’t returned to his homeland for eight or so years after becoming “fed up with what is going on that side”.

“I’m lousy at languages actually. That’s the problem,” explains the billionaire philanthropist in typically self-effacing style.”  READ MORE

Scaling Mobile for Development
Linda Raftree

“According to the latest GSMA statistics, nearly 50% of people own a mobile phone in the developing world and almost 70% have access to mobile phones. With mobile access increasing daily, opportunities to use mobiles in development initiatives continue to grow and expand. The area of Mobiles for Development (M4D) has attracted investment from all sides, including mobile operators, entrepreneurs, investors and international development agencies – all working to generate social impact and improve wellbeing at the base of the pyramid. However, efforts to scale M4D initiatives and make them sustainable have largely failed.

Our July 25th NYC Technology Salon examined the topic of Scaling M4D. Lead discussants Corina Gardner from the GSMA’s Mobile Development Intelligence (MDI) unit and Sean McDonald from FrontlineSMS joined us to kick off the conversation, which was hosted at the Rockefeller Foundation.” READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite


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