This past week I had the amazing privilege of meeting and working with 15 fellows from across the African continent who came to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for a two-week training organized by the UPEACE Africa Program with a supporting grant from IDRC Canada.

The training covered a variety of areas related to strengthening research capacity for governance and security in Sub-Saharan Africa and was designed to provide these fellows with critical support for carrying out their PhD work at various institutions of higher education across the continent.



In the last month, I’ve witnessed an exciting shift in how development in Africa has been treated in the media, especially with regards to mobile phones (Including this excellent post by Ken Banks in BBC). For the first time, we’re seeing the perspective shift from how the US needs to intervene to assist the helpless and needy, to a new frame of what lessons the US and the rest of the world can learn from the many innovations in high tech and mobile technology taking place across the African continent.



It’s clear that technology is beginning to play a key role in social change. Look at the role crisis mapping software has played in coordinating earthquake response in Haiti, or the effect that social media such as Twitter have had on demanding government accountability in Iran. These examples and many more leave no doubt about the ever-increasing importance of technological innovation in a conflict-ridden world.

But how …