Research on the future of ICT development in Africa


Help me funnel ideas to Martin. Thanks! – Ed

Dear Ed,

I am writing to you because I am conducting some research on future developments in ICT to assist development in Africa, in particular mobile and internet. I’m aware of the HIMSS Medical Banking Project and World Bank Task Force  and some of my research may be of interest to you.

This project is to inform Comic Relief’s grant-giving, who are a grant-giving charity based in England that raised a £100 million or so last year through their telethons. I’m looking for any ideas, projects, contacts  or resources you may have on this. The most restrictive parts of the brief, which makes it interesting,  are technologies must be future, have direct impact and have some component of ICT in them, but I try to be flexible. Amongst other things, I’m looking at:

•        Cutting costs of ICT devices to include more people

•        Increasing the numbers of people connected through subsidising mesh networks (eg. Solar panel equipped mesh devices), WIMAX and 3G

•        Converting information from one medium to another (eg. SMS to Facebook or translated voice calls from local to commercial language)

•        Citizen journalism

•        Voice recognition

•        Crowd sourced information on complex events

•        ICT that enables other technologies (eg. Add-on sensors for mobiles eg. Ultrasound wands, 3D printing in remote areas)

•        Machine to machine communications (eg. Micro-grids for solar and other power sources with dyanamic pricing linked to m-banking)

Assuming this is of interest, I’d like to talk further about this sometime this week. I can send through a slide deck that may be of interest as well.


Martin Underwood

Future Media & Technology

Comic Relief

1st Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP

tel: +44 (0)207 820 2298

email: website: