The PanAfrican Localisation workshop held in Casablanca, June 13-15, brought
together localisation experts and representatives of localisation projects from
various countries in Africa and some beyond. We considered the state of
localisation on the continent, key issues, and ideas for facilitating and
advancing localisation efforts. The meeting also produced a brief declaration
(below). URLs for the sponsoring and collaborationg agencies and for the
project webpage follow. (Pardon the cross-posts.)

Don Osborn
Coordinator of the PanAfrican Localisation Project 

Pan African Localisation Workshop 

Casablanca Statement 

African localisation experts met in Casablanca in a workshop organised by
Kabissa with Bisharat under IDRC funding, and in collaboration with MTDS and
the Casablanca Technopark centre. The event benefitted from contributions from
the Moroccan Minister-Delegate to the Prime Minister in Charge of General and
Economic Affairs, the Canadian Ambassador to Morocco, and experts from other

After three days of work, the participants in the meeting reached the following
* Limiting people to the use of information and communication technology (ICT)
in a foreign language tends to exacerbate the digital divide; makes ICT
adoption long, difficult, and expensive; and impoverishes local culture. 
* Localisation makes ICT more accessible to everybody, including users from
rural areas and young students, reinforcing the importance of our culture and
helping us preserve our identity. 
* Localisation of ICT into indigenous African languages is therefore key to
rapid and fair development in Africa. 
* For localisation to succeed and have its maximum impact in society,
collaboration among governments, civil society, educators, linguists, computer
professionals, standards organisations and development agencies is necessary. 

We, the participants, commit ourselves to promoting this vision and working
towards social development in Africa through ICT localisation. 

Casablanca, 15 June 2005

Casablanca Technopark
PanAfrican Localisation Project

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