Press - what people say about APC-200906-8828

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The APC wireless project and other initiatives that were spawned by this effort shared the idea that if we can provide techies in developing countries with good information on how they can build wireless networks and overcome the infrastructural shortages that they are faced, that they could build networks with inexpensive equipment. This seemed quite possible based on our collective experience doing such projects in our home countries in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the USA and elsewhere. In 2006 while completing some research with APC, I found myself in a very remote part of Tanzania with Joseph Sekiku. I wanted to find a project that I hadn’t been directly involved in, to study and contrast with my findings from earlier projects that I had worked on. When I arrived, I found that Joseph, with remote tutelage and time at an APC workshop and the Wireless Networking for the Developing World book which we authored, had been able to carry-out our prophecy – he had built his network himself and had connected a school, government office, business to his small telecentre in the middle of the jungles of Africa. This finding truly validated our work. Despite the enormous constraints, we had begun to hear of such endeavours inspired by, and tutored by people and resources made available through this initiative.

Though the story of Joseph’s network is incredible, the greatest feat accomplished by APC’s work in wireless was not the wireless networks built, or computers connected to the internet, but rather it was the human networks that it created. Those human networks live-on and have led to many more initiatives. This result is hard to measure and regrettably is not a measure that corresponds to traditional development objectives, or “deliverables”. I am a beneficiary of this work and have the great privilege to keep in touch with Joseph, the APC team and the many others spread around the globe who I met. APC was able to bring together a group of passionate people who shared an idea and donors like OSI, IDRC, Network the World who then further funded initiatives spawned by these human networks. Work like the aforementioned book was a result of this. What was started was another approach to development that is people-network focused. This I believe has been the greatest result of this work, that has been vastly under appreciated. Keep up the great work APC!

- Ian Howard, consultant and ICT expert, Canada, June 2009

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