Sunday, March 20, 2011

Digitally engaging LatAm and African Nations

One aspect in the immediate timeframe after the colonial age was India's strong ties with the third world countries especially the ones in Africa and South America. The Non Aligned Movement (NAM) that Nehru evangelized was something that kept our ties with these nations strong.

Almost half a century later, most of these nations including India have progressed, new generations of leaders have taken over, people aspire for better lifestyles. NAM is no longer relevant in post Cold war era.

While this by itself is not bad, the expansion of US and Chinese might in these continents is quite jarring. India too will need the support from these nations as it asserts itself in the world. In this context, one suggestion I have come across is the use of our IT knowledge to help these countries progress and provide better lifestyles to their citizens.

While India may not be able to match China's massive investments, India can definitely put to use its IT knowhow for the betterment of the LatAm and African people. One example quoted is the Pan-African e-Network project. This project provides tele-medicine and tele-education services and facilitates easy video-conferencing among African heads of states across 33 nodes.

If this is do-able, why not invest in IT education and also develop Africa and S. America as the next hubs to scout for IT talent?

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