Tonight I had dinner and some wonderful conversation with our visitors from Uganda Martyrs University. There were 6-7 guests from UMU, that are visiting for about 10 days with the ND Conference on Development this weekend.
The other guests at dinner included those who’ve traveled before to UMU or will do so in the near future. There was a great deal of discussion around the ICT, in particular Internet, at UMU. In addition a couple of my favorite topics came up, mobile and ICT4D.
One colleague, a physics staff member, will be traveling to Gulu in Northern Uganda to work on an engineering deployment of solar powered Internet access. Some of the gear they’ll be using is provided by Inveneo, so we had some interesting dialog about that group as well as other solutions to map data points using SMS, ala FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi.
The mobile environment was also a topic, especially the tremendous growth of mobile, carrier changes with Zain’s pending purchase by Bharti and the apps and services accessed with mobile devices. Some of these apps may have a direct positive impact on UMU and the surrounding villages, StopStockOuts, AppLab and SMS for Life are just a few.
Anyhow, we’ll be meeting this Thursday with some of the UMU team to talk about a way forward with ICTs for their campus.