Yacine raises a good point, and it relates to both semantics and
actions. Terms and expressions such as "bridging the digital divide"
and "sustainability" stand for concepts and approaches to development
that mean (meant) something, but their formulaic repetition tends to
blur them into meaninglessness.

With regard to the "bridging the digital divide" discussions, I've long
thought that what is really being proposed and ultimately accomplished
is replicating the global "divide" on smaller (national and ever more
local) levels. Indeed, this will at least in the short term coincide
largely with the lines of social and economic divides of long standing.

To a certain extent this may be unavoidable, and one certainly should
not minimize the challenges facing or efforts made by people and
projects working in this area. But it is important as Yacine suggests
and we probably all would agree, to try to be aware of the impacts of
ICT for development projects on existing inequalities, and above all to
have a longer term vision.

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

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