Appended below are several items of posible interest. The first four are recent
news stories concerning or mentioning the importance of African languages in
development. The linguistic aspects of the "digital divide" in multilingual
societies such as those in Africa merit increased attention, esp. by
foreign-sponsored ICT for education and development projects.

Aside from fundamental concerns of optimizing communication (what better
languages to deliver basic health info or promote discussion of agricultural
innovation than people's first languages?) and basic social justice (choice of
language can include and/or exclude), another possible framework for
considering issues of linguistic diversity in ICT might be that of
"ethnocomputing." The fifth item below is an academic article introducing this
concept (although much of the thinking behind it would not be unfamiliar to
readers of this list).

Don Osborn, Ph.D.         [EMAIL PROTECTED]
*Bisharat! A language, technology & development initiative
*Bisharat! Initiative langues - technologie - développement

1) "Language Barrier in Info Society" Daily Champion  (Lagos) [Posted to the web
July 29, 2004]
By Remmy Nweke
This article from Nigeria discusses the significance of African language use
with ICTs as well as some other aspects of African multilingualism.

2) "Technology: Rural Africa Yearning for Internet, Connectivity" IPPMedia
[2004-07-24 13:37:21 ]
By  Joyce Mulama, IPS, Nairobi
Don’t be put off by the title. It’s a nice summary of a recent APC conference in
Nairobi. Note the comments on Uganda's approach with Luganda.

3) "Minority Languages Face Extinction"
The Herald (Harare) 
[Posted to the web May 17, 2004]
By Sifelani Tsiko
One hears a lot about loss of languages worldwide - here is a view from

4) "South African languages boosted"]
[31/03/2004 08:49 (SA)]
Edited by Tisha Steyn,6119,2-7-1442_1505745,00.html
Discusses recent strategies to implement S.A.'s National Language Policy

5) "Ethnocomputing: A Multicultural View on Computer Science" 
Paper presented at IEEE Conference ICALT 2002, Kazan, Russia, September
Matti Tedre, Piet Kommers, Erkki Sutinen at 
[Tedre also has an M.S. thesis on the subject at]

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