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African-Led Mobile Innovation in Congo Brazzaville


May 21 NYC Salon - RSVP Now

Verone's SmartphonePlease RSVP to join us for an evening reception with Verone Mankou, the Congolese designer of the The Way-C tablet and the Elikia smartphone. In addition to networking, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, generously provided by ThoughtWorks, we’ll have a chance to hear Verone’s thoughts on:
  • What factors (personal and in the wider environment) had to be in place in order to spur him along in the design process? What challenges were faced? Is there a role for these devices in development programs? 
  • The age-old discussion: "ICT4D" should be about building up the private sector and broader economy via the ICT industry vs "ICT4D" is about using ICTs for development programs to reach and include the marginalized with information that helps education, health, etc.
  • What is needed to develop skills and support for innovation among African youth so that more locally designed ICTs (hardware and software) can come about and reach scale?
  • What is needed to engage and excite more girls and young women in this area?
  Africa’s Homegrown Tablet
  May Technology Salon Evening Event in New York City
  5–7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
  ThoughtWorks Headquarters
  99 Madison Avenue (between 29th and 30th)
  15th Floor
  New York, NY 10016 (map)
  Tel: 646-412-5200
Space is limited so RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance or you will end up on the waitlist.
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How Can Mobile Money Improve Development Outcomes for the Unbanked?


May 22 London Salon - RSVP Now

We would be delighted to invite you to join a select cohort of thought leaders and decision makers for the second Technology Salon in London, where Yasmina McCarty of GSMA and Prateek Shrivistava of Accendo Associates will open up a dialogue to explore how mobile money as a solution for the unbanked can and has delivered better outcomes in development.
GSMA is predicting that by 2015, mobile phone penetration will be 100%. So we need to move the conversation on mobile phones past access and into using of mobile money to deliver financial empowerment, particularly for the unbanked.

The debate and discussion at this event will get to grips with a number of key questions:
  • What are people using mobile money for? How can we accelerate their access and ensure it is equal and beneficial?
  • Can we leverage this technology directly? How and when is this possible and appropriate?
  • In our enthusiasm to use mobile money, are there market distortion and ethical considerations in choosing partners and promoting its use?
  • In what circumstances is mobile money the right route to use? Could this shift be harmful, or actually increase financial marginalization?
  • Finally, are there emerging new forms of online tradable “money” or benefits that we should be looking at?
We would like to invite you to RSVP ASAP as soon as possible to secure one of only 30 spaces. The format of this Technology Salon event will be PowerPoint free, content rich and Chatham House rules to encourage open discussion, where everyone has the chance to participate and share fully in the debate.

  Mobile Money for the Unbanked
  May Technology Salon London
  9.00am – 11.00am, 22nd May 2013
  GSMA Headquarters, Central London
Please note that you will receive an email confirming your place at this event. 


How I Launched a Hardware Startup in Africa


May 28th San Francisco Salon - RSVP Now

African Tablet
On May 28th the San Francisco Technology Salon will welcome Verone Mankou, who launched VMKTech in Congo Brazzaville and has introduced the Way-C tablet (the first tablet designed in Africa) and the Elikia smartphone to Central Africa.

In and open discussion with your peers in technology and development, he will share his thoughts on:
  • What are the top challenges of designing a hardware product in Africa? What resources and opportunities exist? What major lessons were learned?
  • What factors (personal and in the wider environment) were needed to spur the design process?
  • What is the overall roadmap for tablets and smartphones in Africa?
  • What skills and support does African youth need to innovate in technology like Verone?
  • How can we excite more girls and young women to join in tech startups?
  • How can private sector technology supporting development programs that help education and health?
There will be no powerpoint presentations or remote participation, only in-person, off-the-record intense debate of these questions by 30 industry experts seeking the truth behind the hype. Please RSVP to join a select cohort of thought leaders and decision makers for a lively discussion at the intersection of technology and development.

  Hardware Startups in Africa
  May Technology Salon San Francisco
  9:30-11am, Tuesday, May 28, 2013
  Singularity University
  Building 20 S. Akron Rd. MS 20-1
  Moffett Field, CA 94035

Space is limited to just 30 people so everyone can participate in the discussion. This event will fill up extremely quickly, so RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance.

About the Technology Salon

subscribeThe Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!

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