W3C Digital World Forum

W3C Workshop in Africa to Explore the Role of Mobile Technologies For Development

Participants to Examine the Potential of Innovation in Emerging Markets

Contact Americas, Australia --
Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447
Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33 6 76 86 33 41
Contact Asia --
Fumihiro Kato <fumi@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

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



http://www.w3.org/ -- 25 November 2008 -- As part of its mission to ensure that the Web is available to all, W3C invites participation in a public Workshop on the Role of Mobile Technologies in Fostering Social and Economic Development in Africa in Maputo, Mozambique, on 1-2 April 2009. Participants will explore ways to fulfill the potential of mobile phones as a platform for deploying development-oriented ICT services towards the poorest segments of populations in developing countries, with an emphasis on the African context.

"The penetration and low cost of mobile telephony in developing countries, combined with its ability to provide Internet access, gives us the possibility of providing Internet-based services to billions of people who would not otherwise be able to afford it," explains George Sadowsky, co-chair of the Workshop. "The potential to use the mobile Internet for providing real social and economic benefits to such people is immense, and deserves to be explored and exploited."

Participants will explore ways to lower existing barriers faced by both content providers — grassroots, NGOs, governments, and local entrepreneurs seeking to develop and deploy services, and users who face issues related to illiteracy, internationalization, accessibility, and usability.

Anyone may attend and must provide a statement of interest in order to participate due to limited space; more information about participation is available. The meeting will feature real-time simultaneous translation in Portuguese, English and French.

Sponsorship Opportunities Seek to Enable Broad Participation

W3C invites all stakeholders who wish to support the event to become Workshop Sponsors. A three-tier Sponsorship Program has been designed both to showcase the sponsor organization and to support the participation of those with expertise who might not otherwise be able to attend due to travel or other costs.

The Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of Mozambique will host this Workshop. This Workshop is organized as part of the Digital World Forum project (European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme - FP7) which seeks to understand how low-cost technologies can help bridge the digital divide.

The event is the third organized by W3C's Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) about the mobile Web and social development; see previous meetings in Bangalore, India, and continued in São Paulo, Brazil. MWI aims to identify and resolve challenges and issues of accessing the Web when on the move.

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 440 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 and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/