UN helps choose 12 African civic and technology activists to attend PopTech

13 October 2005

In partnership with United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, a major corporation will sponsor a dozen Africans who are outstanding not only in technology but also in civic consciousness to attend one of the world’s leading forums exploring the social impact of technology.

In addition to full participation in the three-day PopTech conference next week in Camden, Maine, the 12 people sponsored by Sun Microsystems Inc. and called Sun Participation Fellows, will speak at a roundtable there on how technology can be used for social and economic advancement in Africa.

“From blogs to Java™ technology, SMS messages to Web services, participants are forming communities to drive change, create new businesses, new social services and new discoveries,” Sun said, adding that sharing and collaboration in the Participation Age would stimulate innovation and help all participants worldwide grow and prosper.

In collaboration with the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, PopTech selected Fellows in Africa and abroad who are helping their home countries in such areas as reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, reducing extreme poverty through fair trade, business and government reform, and improving health care.

"The young African leaders at PopTech will have a significant opportunity to draw on the knowledge of technological visionaries and discuss ways that technology, combined with the convening power of sport, can contribute to accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Djibril Diallo, director of the UN New York Office of the Geneva-based Sport for Development and Peace, said.

PopTech was founded in 1997 to explore the impact of technology on people. The audience is limited to 500 people, including founders, chief executive officers, senior technical personnel, artists, investors, inventors, and policy makers from academia, Government and private think tanks.

The African Fellows range in age from 20 to 41 and include Neema Mgana of Tanzania, who, at 30, was the youngest of 1,000 global women activists collectively nominated for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Peace for her work for youth and as an anti-HIV/AIDS activist.

Others come directly from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, while Nigerian finance and sustainable technology blogger Emeka Okafor lives New York.

Sun said the Forum continues the company's agreement with the United Nations, a previous result of which was Sun's donation of technology, support and training at the UN's Second Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit in Morocco.


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