W3C

World Wide Web Consortium Launches Office in Southern Africa

W3C Invites Technical Experts of a Rapidly Growing Economy to Join Web Standardization Activities

Contact Americas, Australia --
Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe, Africa and Middle East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94 or +33.676.86.33.41
Contact Asia --
Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

(also available in French and Japanese; see also translations in other languages)



http://www.w3.org/ -- 24 April 2007 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announces the launch of its Southern Africa Office and invites experts in the region to join the international effort of developing Web standards at W3C. The Office is hosted by the Meraka Institute, a center managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa.

W3C invites the public and press to attend the opening ceremony, which takes place on 14 May 2007. Representatives from the industry and academic leaders in Southern Africa will speak on the state of Information Communications and Technology (ICT) and the W3C staff will present recent work. The list of speakers at the event include:

To register, visit the registration page or send an email containing your name, designation, company and contact details to Dikeledi Moche at +27 12 841 2110 <dmoche@csir.co.za> .

Southern Africa Experiencing Dramatic Growth in IT, Telecommunications

The Southern Africa Office serves the region defined as Southern Africa by the United Nations and the Southern African Customs Union. The countries include Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

South Africa ranks among the top 20 in the world in telecommunications development and Internet use. Given the substantial growth in Mobile and Internet use, there are a significant number of local companies that are seeking to establish a foothold in this region as well as the larger African continent. Most of them have realized that it is only through the use of innovative Web technologies that they will gain a substantial advantage and guarantee their continual growth. These are all areas closely associated with the work of the W3C.

The Meraka Institute Brings Regional Expertise in ICT to W3C

The Meraka Institute is the unit of the CSIR focusing on research and development within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain. The CSIR is a government supported research council constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945. The Meraka Institute has partners in the private/public sector, with tertiary institutions and peer institutions internationally.

One area of Meraka focus is innovation in ICT, leading to applications that address development challenges facing Southern Africa, the Continent and the developing world. Projects such as the National Accessibility Portal (focussing on ICT for people with disabilities and the aged), Digital Doorway (Minimal Invasive Education), Wireless Africa (root-level community owned access), and ICT in Education have already made an invaluable impact on the ICT landscape of Southern Africa.

This focus, along with CSIR's established regional partnerships in industry and research, makes the Meraka Institute a natural choice for hosting the W3C Office.

About W3C Offices

As its Members work to realize the full potential of the Web, W3C collaborates with regional organizations wishing to further W3C’s mission. The W3C Offices assist with promotion efforts in local languages, help broaden W3C’s geographical base, and encourage international participation in W3C Activities. W3C has Offices in Australia; the Benelux countries; Mainland China; Germany and Austria; Finland; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Israel; Italy; Korea; Morocco; Southern Africa; Spain; Sweden; and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/