For two years now Foko has been training journalists, activists, environmentalists, and everyday citizens in Madagascar how to use new media tools to spread greater awareness and provoke discussion about various social campaigns and causes.
As Foko co-founder Joan Razafimaharo recounts on the Foko project blog, their efforts have led to international recognition – both in some of the largest media outlets and also in the form of invitations to major international conferences on development, poverty, and the environment.
Jaona (left) in Monterrey, Mexico at UN-GAID Summit
Jaona was invited to the Global Forum on ICT and Innovation For Education organized by the United Nations and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development. He traveled from Madagascar to Monterrey, Mexico where he explained how Foko is using digital tools to improve education and encourage innovation in Madagascar. Last week he posted a summary in English of some of the main conclusions he drew from the summit:
- Gender as a cross-cutting theme should be integrated in all GAID lines of action and all CoEs. This requires concrete actions.
- There is a need to “join forces among organizations working in gender and ICT and other players included in the development of the Information Society ” to avoid duplication of efforts and advance from local experiences to regional and global projects.
- This should be done step by step, using local experiences as good examples to move forwards.
This week Stéphane – who has been responsible for leading most of Foko's training workshops in Madagascar – is in the United States where he will represent Foko Madagascar at two major international summits: the UN General Assembly on Climate Change and this coming week's G-20 Pittsburgh summit.
Stephane with Tim Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation.
Throughout the day Stéphane has been updating his readers in English, French, and Malagasy via Twitter and on his blog. Already Stéphane has posted interviews with Tim Wirth, the president of the United Nations Foundation and with digital communications strategist Mark Goldberg.
Reacting to the usual big promises by leaders from around the world, Stéphane writes (in English and French):
Rwandan President Paul Kagame added his voice to calls to assist African countries and encourage the success of the Copenhagen agreement. French President Sarkozy has also added his voice in calling on countries to help Africa, but also suggested that emerging countries reduce their emissions by 80% because his country has promised 50%. This statement earned him applause from the congregation.
Keep your eyes on Stéphane's blog for his continued reporting this week from the G-20 Pittsburgh summit.