“Connecting with Digital Innovation in Africa through Social Media”

 hosted by GIZ  in Nairobi, Kenya

GIZ idea behind this workshop with African hubs was to network with pioneers

m:lab East Africa

and practitioners, to share experiences, create new ideas and discover opportunities in Africa which will eventually help promote international cooperations for sustainable development.

The event brought together a dozen of African hubs including,  iLab Liberia of Liberia, iHub of Kenya, ActivSpaces of Cameroon, Klab of Rwanda, RLABS of South Africa, iLabAfrica of  Kenya, icecairo of Egypt, Wennovation Hub of Nigeria, BongoHive of Zambia, iceaddis of Ethiopia and of course our AfriLabs.

iHub

In attendance were representatives from the KAIPTC of Ghana and a hosts of GIZ representatives from  head offices in Germany and other African Countries.

During the workshop, we had the opportunity to visit Hubs, (iHub, M:Lab, iLabAfrica, Ushahidi) Incubators like(Nailab & iBizAfrica), and Strathmore University which houses the Safaricom Academy, iBizAfrica and iLabAfrica.

The Impact of hubs:

  • Develop skills

    iLab Africa

  • Create jobs
  • Serve as implementing partner for both governments and development cooperations
  • Serve as a focal point for the  community
  • Identify skills and bring them together under one roof where their potentials can be utilized effectively not only on the national scene, but globally as well.
  • Help with local development since it creates local linkages

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iLab’s October 2013 summary updates: A busy but successful month…

Offering free trainings in contextually relevant ICTs that are open to the public. Also hosts tech events and serves as a meet-up space for a range of tech enthusiasts and professionals.

Though busy, this month’s events and training were exciting and interactive. Having 5 events, 4 trainings and 18 co-working days:

 

TED (Technology Entertainment & Design) Talks - TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference and TED Global. We screened these talks for all to watch, enjoy and be motivated! 20 persons were in attendance…

 

Careers in ICT Workshop for students –  Here we taught 15 amazing students from various institutions all they need to know about ICT; possible career paths and what it takes to get there.

 

Mastering the Internet for high school students – After 5 days of dedicated training, 6 students from different high schools were awarded with certificates of outstanding performance. They were introduced to the wonders of the internet as an educational tool and a way to explore what they are passionate about.

High School Students with their certificates

 

Movie night - With 31 attendees, we featured films that inspires discussion and make us think critically about our lives. The featured movie is “Stand and Deliver” - Jaime Escalante (best actor Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos) employed at an inner-city high school where kids are all but expected to fail, Escalante challenges his math students to strive for better things — like acing the AP Calculus test. Despite the obstacles in their lives — including pregnancy, drugs and unsupportive parents – the classmates accomplish their goal, thanks to Mr. Escalante’s untiring support. The real Jaime Escalante, inspiration for the book Escalante: The Best Teacher in America, helped hundreds of underprivileged students pass the AP exam during his career.

 

Workshop on Open Knowledge, Open data and Open Government in Liberia  Ways were explored on how to use technology creatively to make Government information easily understandable for citizens.

 

 

Intermediate Mastering the Internet – An advanced training on how to use the internet as an educational tool for your interest with the aim of making you an expert online. We had 12 persons who took part in this training, but only 8 could come on the certification day.

Intermediate Mastering the Internet Certification

 

Social Media for Social Change – Here we introduced the popular and free social media tools to 10 participants.

Social Media Certification

 

ICT for Small Business – 12 Entrepreneurs are trained on how to effectively and efficiently run their business using Twitter, GnuCash & Google Drive. The training will run till the 4th of November.

Training session- ICT for small business

 

 Mapping Party – 28 persons were present to add their favorite places on the Google map.

We had a workshop on Early Warning and Early Response LERN Improvement with 20 persons in attendance.

We also hosted the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Government of Liberia in collaboration with Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) on the  Governance Architecture project. The kick-off of a project in which iLab will train and give technical support to the TWG using Ms Visio to do process modeling for Ministries, Agencies and Commissions of the republic of Liberia.

 

Our regular co-working hours that is free and open to the public was open for 18 days with a minimum of 15 persons  using our facility each day.

 

Thanks,

 

Lucy & Luther

Great to be back in LIB!

Celebrating the 10 years of peace, debating about the challenges of the development of the nation, seeing the technology enthusiasm and opportunities in iLab users everyday…it’s great to be back in LIB! Here’s a few thoughts just after being in the country – back home in Monrovia – after holidays.

 

In my native country, Finland, the summertime is slow – people are on holidays, and for over a month not much happens – with the exception of travel and tourism industries. One might expect the same here in LIB, since it’s rainy season, but far from it –we’re action packed!

Even CNN was in Liberia – they got a chance to see the action at iLab, here is the packed house for Mapping party – 60+ people in 2 labs.

 

Just before I left on holidays, we at iLab were happy to reach record attendances in June of this year. Further, in July we had over 200 visits just during our co-working hours – a huge increase.  We’re in the midst of crunching the numbers and will have some analysis on those sometime soon.

 

One of the more novel things for us at iLab is our project on mobile data collection for tracking and monitoring beneficiaries of a child labor prevention project. We are looking at various open-source technology solutions and mobile devices – and defining and assessing technologies for developing  a system for our client and their field force – people in some 30 communities in three counties.  We’re excited – stay tuned for more info.

 

Seems a lot is happening with e-learning right now – lots in interest gained. When Kpetermeni Siakor had his guest lecture on e-learning and the so-called MOOCs – the house was absolutely packed, with some 78 enthusiasts crammed in to listen! We’re talking with several organisations regarding how iLab could facilitate the adoption of the masses of material that are out there.

 

I had a chance to discuss with several youth initiatives and with some staff from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It is so great listening to the youth in their teens or early twenties asking for iLab support in their initiatives to utilize technology in new interesting ways – for example, how to disseminate text messages among the nearly 200 national volunteers. What was great to hear was that the idea for the project came from a participant in our mobile technologies for transparency and accountability -training!

 

At Samuel K. Doe stadium / Ministry of Youth and Sports

At Samuel K. Doe stadium / Ministry of Youth and Sports – explaining to 185 national volunteers how mobile technology could make their life easier,

Now just last weekend Liberia was celebrating 10 years of peace – no small feat – since its gruesome 14-year long civil war. Of course it is absolutely a great path to be on, even with its challenges. It was naturally disappointing to find Liberia (once again) as one of the most corrupt countries in the world – 10 years after the war, this really is one of the key challenges. On a related matter, equally puzzling and alarming Is the current battle between the media and some government-affiliated persons, relating to investigative journalism.  It seems there is quite a bit to do on the topic of open government and transparency, one of the themes at iLab this year. While the problems are certainly not solved just by technology, we are looking at increasing transparency by using ICTs intelligently. We look forward to working with both civil society organizations as well as government entities like the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism. Getting government and the citizens to communicate and meaningfully engage will be a long, fascinating journey.

 

Wow, that’s a lot I’ve mentioned – but it’s not even nearly all! Right now we need to make sure we finish delivering what we’ve promised to our donors: our Girls in ICT –program is going strong – an intermediate Python class is just about to start. We continue to work on open government and transparency. We are thrilled to be a part of the IT business plan competition initiative that has been going on and are very much looking forward to supporting the new businesses as entrepreneurship remains one of our key themes. And we will not be forgetting the use of Ushahidi – essentially the reason iLab was started in the first place – to track incidents of conflict or violence all over Liberia, as a part of the Early Warning Early Response working group – 20 or so organizations led by the Peacebuilding office. We just trained 19 volunteers from the Interreligious council and continue to expand our conflict  reporter base.

The future programmers who attended Introduction to Python busy during a workshop on how can the internediate class be even better.

 

All these promising initiatives need further support for continuation next year. With an internet access of 2.8% and mobile penetration of 42% in Liberia, iLab and similar entities have got a lot of work to do – lot of trainings, lot of organizing events,  lot of talking…and lots of negotiations with donors.

 

However, all this is buzzing activity gives us immense amounts of optimism. There is nothing like the energy of people who have learned new skills and who are ready set their imagination free. There is a huge amount of this energy right now in LIB – so let’s keep it rolling!

 

Pitching A Brighter Future for Liberia

Blair Glencorse is in Liberia working on the Accountability Lab, which aims to find answers to problems of accountability. He also started pitch salons, a cross between speed networking and TED Talks.

 

 

While walking around Monrovia recently, I asked a Liberian friend if he could imagine his country as a place where resources were managed sustainably, women were treated equally, corruption was fought consistently and social enterprise was seen by young people to provide real opportunity. “Where on earth would we start?” he replied. We started several days later when I invited him to Liberia’s second Pitch Salon- held again in partnership with the brilliant and generous iLab Liberia and with the support of the RSA- where the Pitch Salon recipe of great ideas, brilliant people and unique format once more led to some fantastic discussions.

 

As always, the pitchers gave an “elevator pitch” for an organization, cause or idea that is engaging, accessible to an informed listener and has the potential to change the world for the better. The pitches this time around were as diverse as they have ever been at a Pitch Salon. Pandora Hodge, a serial entrepreneur in the making, talked about her idea for a student-run art house cinema in Monrovia; Nora Bowier, an environmentalist and community-rights advocate pitched about her pioneering work on natural resource management around the country; Tom Gwagee, the image of a modern African businessman, discussed his idea for a Liberian bike factory using Dutch thinking and techniques; Maryealee Pennoh, a women’s rights activist, gave an impassioned speech about her idea for a summer camp for disadvantaged girls; and Robtel Pailey, an academic with a real understanding of practical problems, discussed “Gbagba” her book used to teach children about the dangers of corruption.

 

The audience of forty or so from across the private sector, government, civil society, media and donors-  and including many of the pitchers from the inaugural Liberian Pitch Salon- listened in, feasted on food from one of Monrovia’s favorite restaurants and provided advice and connections to the pitchers. Business cards were exchanged, funding possibilities were discussed and there was a real sense that the concepts were beginning to move towards realities. There are very few outlets for young Liberians to express their ideas in a collegial atmosphere to people who can really make them happen, and the Pitch Salons are beginning to fill this gap. In keeping with the concept, a film-maker at the event even suggested that the Salons themselves be recorded professionally and shown on Liberian television in the future so that the ideas can reach an even wider audience.

 

A few days later, I bumped into the same Liberian friend I had invited to the event, and asked him what he thought of the Pitch Salon experience. “I saw up-close the passion and creativity of Liberian youth” he said; “the question is not where we start, but why we haven’t started doing this earlier”.

 

Blair Glencorse is an RSA Fellow and was awarded a Challenge and a Catalyst Grant for the Pitch Salons. You can follow him on Twitter @blairglencorse

 

Liberia’s Technological Oasis: One Intern’s Experience at iLab Liberia

Shira Khaminsky interned at iLab to teach an intro to branding and advertising course for small business owners. She studies at the University of Massachusetts and works as a Senior Editor of the school newspaper.

 

Before I arrived in Liberia, I got a few warnings. “Don’t ever use a memory stick twice,” a friend told me who’s been to the country a couple of times, explaining about viruses that fester in many Liberian computers. “If you need to get anything done on the internet,” he said, “bring a book to read while you wait for the pages to load.”

 

Expecting a technological desert, I was genuinely concerned about the withdrawal symptoms. How many hours would I survive without checking my email? Would I still be an effective, functioning member of society without access to Google 24/7? I doubted it.

 

Enter iLab, Liberia’s technological oasis, where I was fortunate enough to get an internship. Just five minutes in the building and my worries melted away. iLab’s computers operate on Ubuntu, meaning viruses are not a concern. And the satellite on the roof gives pretty much the same internet speed as back home. The iLab staff gave me a warm welcome. In addition to the technical stuff, like how to use Ubuntu, the staff volunteered to show me around some parts of Monrovia outside of iLab’s big yellow building. I could not have asked for better friends and tour guides for my time in Liberia.

 

 

Branding for Liberian businesses

I was to give a one-week course in branding and marketing for small businesses, with an emphasis on design. The goal was to get a group of people who want to grow their businesses, and give them some skills to help present themselves better, like designing business cards, ads, and brochures.

 

My own experience comes from my work as the editor-in-chief of a student newspaper. Working for a newspaper, you get to see both sides of the game: we regularly place and design ads from local businesses on our website and in print, advising them on how to best reach the market we can provide. But we also advertise our own services: soliciting local businesses to buy ads.
Julius Saye Kehnel, from Liberia’s Ministry of Commerce, got together a group of small business owners to attend my class. We did some pre-testing which included basic questions (“What is a computer?”) and creating Word documents using different font sizes and colors. 16 people came to the pre-test and the class had 15 spots. Although some people had issues with saving their documents on the desktops, and some of their test answers showed deep confusion about computers, I felt that it would be a shame to keep anyone out. We took 15 people, including a few who didn’t exactly pass the pre-test. I’m still not sure if this was the right decision.

 

Starting the course, reality sets in
I planned the five-day course: two days of conceptual work, two days of practical work on Scribus, an open source design program, and a test on the final day. Looking back, this was an ambitious plan. The first day of class it became clear to me that we wouldn’t be able to cover as much as I had hoped: many people struggled with logging into the computer because the password included both lower case and capital letters. I adjusted my plan to include more practical time using the program, and less time talking about marketing.

 

At the end of each 2-hour session, the students gave me feedback by filling out worksheets. On the first day, the most common comment on the worksheets was “Too fast.” Considering the fact that we didn’t even finish what I had in mind for the day, I was concerned. I decided to dedicate three days to Scribus instead of two.’
Unlearning what you’ve learned
Have you ever thought about the double-click? I mean, have you ever really thought about it? Both the physical action of it and the concept behind it? Can you remember the first time you did it? I can’t. At iLab, I watched Liberians in their 30s and 40s double-click for the first time in their lives. Computer illiteracy suddenly became a tangible thing.
There were a lot of lovely moments, too. On the second day I challenged the class: create the Liberian flag on Scribus and write “LIB” in big capital letters above it. After twenty minutes, one of the students created a flag that looked like it was flapping in the wind. Another student added some verses from the Liberian national anthem under her flag.

 

We spent only part of one day talking about marketing – specifically logos. We played a game in which people had to describe, without looking, various logos that they see on a daily basis. We discussed what makes a logo not only memorable, but also practical. Still, I could feel everyone inching towards their laptops – they wanted more practice time on Scribus. In the end, most students were able to create finished business cards, which they saved as PDFs and mailed to themselves (an impressive feat).

 

If I could do it again, I would devote one or two weeks to learning Scribus and an equal amount of time talking about and seeing examples of branding and marketing. One week just wasn’t enough. If I can swing it, I hope to go back to Liberia and to iLab, and spend more time with my students talking about the specific needs of their businesses. In the meantime, I’ve encouraged them to come back to iLab, use Scribus, and email me with any questions or just to show off their work.

Programming for Liberia: Excerpts from an iLab Intern

Allan Martell interned at iLab for several months and taught intro and intermediate programming and video production courses. He is a native of El-Savador and is passionate about digital media for rural communities.

 

A Salvadorian in Liberia

I’ve been running trainings on computer programming for iLab Liberia over the past two and a half months. In this brief period, not only did I instruct five courses on programming, but I also learned about the promising future of programming for this country, as well as some of the challenges that Liberians will have to face in order to become programmers. I had my own challenges as an expat; and being a native Spanish speaker, having to teach in English wasn’t easy at times.

 

My home country is El Salvador, and I learned most of my English while studying my masters at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States. Two years ago, I didn’t even know where Liberia was on the map. I became interested in this country in the fall of 2010 when I took a class with professor Michael Best from Georgia Tech’s Computer Science department. Dr. Best led a project about post-conflict reconciliation in Liberia. By getting involved in his research I learned that Liberia and El Salvador share some key similarities, like extreme poverty and a recent civil war.

 

Teaching Programming
I came here with one mission: to teach classes on computer programming with Python. iLab Liberia decided to use Python because its syntax is fairly easy to learn.

 

My first task was to find out about the context in which I would be teaching. I was astonished to learn Liberian universities have no Computer Science programs. My co-workers had also warned me that due to civil war, the educational system had been virtually paralyzed for too long. Therefore, many people here have trouble understanding abstract concepts, which is a key skill for any programmer.

 

My first strategy was to draw lessons from my experience as a facilitator in El Salvador. Before leaving my country to study my masters, I had already gained two years of experience running trainings on video production for rural communities in El Salvador and Honduras. The background of rural communities in Central America resembles a lot what I’d heard about students in Liberia.

The main challenge in the trainings back home was to make sessions interactive. For that purpose, my co-facilitators and I conducted several activities that required the participants involvement, to the point of having them become the protagonists of each session. The overall goal for us as trainers was to move behind the scenes and let the participants do all the tasks. For any trainer, this methodology requires a lot of patience and time. I imagined this would be the two main skills I would need in Liberia, and I was proven right.

 

Based on my video production days, I planned sessions that would combine theory and practice at all times. I divided the contents of the class into very small pieces of theory, and I assigned at least one exercise for every piece so that students wouldn’t move forward without seeing their practical application of the current topic. This approach had its advantages and drawbacks. On the positive side, in-class exercises frequently allowed the students to see what the theory was about. On the downside, these exercises required more time than I originally expected.

 

Lessons

I left Liberia convinced that patience is key for any trainer. After all, students will ask the same questions many times, and will require a bit-by-bit explanation of complex topics. Many times I found that my programming students were totally capable of accomplishing the required exercises, but their fear of failing would stop them.

 

I also realized that the traditional classroom format doesn’t work as well in this country. Precisely because many students have problems with self-confidence, the format of classes, and tests doesn’t help to measure the skills acquired in class. The level of stress becomes too high often overwhelms the students. Then, the question that naturally arises is what are the alternatives to measure their learning if a traditional test does not capture their progress?

 

Instead of having a formal test every week, I think that reorienting classes around projects would better serve the goals of programming courses in Liberia. Students would be given a project description in the first session of each course. The document would outline a series of tasks that students can accomplish by using the contents of the training. While the tasks might make no sense during the first session, each new class should shed light about possible solutions to the stated problem. In this format, students would have to see each class as an exploratory experience where they have to actively question
themselves how to use the newly acquired knowledge to solve a puzzle, rather than just sit and listen.

Emerging Voices: Glencorse on Higher Education in Liberia

Blair Glencorse is in Liberia working on the Accountability Lab, which aims to find answers to problems of accountability. This article has been cross-posted from the Council on Foreign Relations blog.


Under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia and its international partners have focused on several governance priorities to bolster economic development and prevent a repeat of the brutal conflict of the past. Their reforms have included rooting out rampant corruption within the public sector, opening up government, streamlining business rules to attract investment, and consolidating management of natural resources. Indeed, Liberia was the first African state to comply with EITI rules governing extractive industries and the first West African country to pass a Freedom of Information Act to support more transparent government.

Among these issues, Liberia’s higher education sector may not seem a priority. But chronic accountability problems in colleges and universities are putting the sustainability of Liberia’s transition under threat. The country’s human capacity is very low; it ranks 182nd out of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index and literacy is less than 60 percent. It is difficult to manage a state and society without effective institutions of higher education that can generate basic administrative and management knowledge over time.

 

Accountable universities are also important because Liberia has significant natural resources—a key driver of conflict in the past—that must be managed effectively and equitably. Beyond huge agricultural potential and large deposits of iron ore, rubber, gold, diamonds, and timber, significant amounts of oil were recently found off Liberia’s coast.

Governance of the extractive sector is already weak, as documented in detail by a recent Global Witness report. There were nearly 3,000 engineering students across the country this year, but just 30 were able to pass the necessary exams to graduate. This is hardly a sign that the necessary capacity is being developed to manage the country’s resources. A failure of higher educational institutions raises the likelihood that Liberia’s wealth will turn into a curse instead of a blessing.

 

It is also essential that current students—the next generation of leaders—understand the importance of accountable structures and behaviors, which they can then build upon and replicate at the national level. Earlier this summer, one university closed for three weeks after violent campus protests by students and a brawl with the administration when fees were increased without warning. Meanwhile, the country’s largest public institution of higher education, the University of Liberia, was racked by fierce riots between supporters of opposing political parties after student elections. Colleges and universities should be forums to learn about effective decision-making and responsible participation. Too often, though, they are not.

 

 

The endemic integrity challenges of the higher education system manifest themselves both at the top—in Liberia’s government—and at the bottom—in colleges and universities and among individuals within them. The Ministry of Education has not yet developed a strategy for the future of universities and colleges, while the body tasked with oversight—the National Commission on Higher Education—largely cannot effectively accredit institutions, set clear regulations, or enforce standards. Universities and colleges themselves rarely have strategic plans and are unable to follow regular reporting regimes.

Patronage and bribery by administrators, professors, and students are widely reported. Abuse of resources, teacher absenteeism, and sex for grades appear common, although data is minimal and there has been almost no systematic research into these problems. This structure endures because the corrupt dynamics have become entrenched and a “culture of silence” prevents reporting of problems and hence any constructive reform. When combined with a lack of resources, limited technology, and poor teaching quality, this produces woeful outcomes from Liberian higher education. Employers complain that some students graduate without even being able to write their names. The system, rather than generating knowledge and building integrity, actually teaches corruption and undermines capacity.

 

 

The Accountability Lab, an organization I founded recently to find new answers to problems of accountability in the developing world, is working with universities and civil society stakeholders to develop innovative solutions to these challenges. Over the past four months in Liberia, we have conducted preliminary research and discussions with a wide range of individuals—from government officials to students. This work has established that a new approach is needed to strengthen rules, understand problems, set benchmarks, and ensure credible punishments for illegitimate behaviors.

 

 

An approach of this type will have to be carefully integrated within wider reform efforts, and will take decades, not years. In the short term, clear rules and benchmarks could improve monitoring and generate more ethical behavior. This effort might include helping university administrations enforce codes of conduct for students and professors, and putting in place honors councils to encourage honesty and achievement among students.

 

 

To overcome the “culture of silence,” universities also need trusted and anonymous tools for reporting problems, supported by reformers within university administrations who are willing to address them. This would allow leaders to enforce rules based on evidence, firing professors who engage in corruption, for example.

 

 

Fortunately, higher education is garnering greater attention. Public university professors are receiving higher salaries, and a new education law provides for student loans. Liberia’s government is working with the World Bank and USAID to develop a strategy for higher education and provide trained professors.

 

Moreover, some administrators, professors, and students understand the need for reform and want to change the status quo. Liberia’s international partners and friends should work to support and encourage these reformers in order to build a higher education system that can prepare Liberians to successfully rebuild and develop their country.

Demographics and Usage – Feb 2012

iLab recently evaluated their usage records from May 2011 to February 2012 to see who is using iLab and what parts of iLab they are using. Here is what we found:

Who uses iLab

By far the majority of iLab users consider themselves students. Since a user can select more than one way of describing themselves it’s possible that many of our users are students while they are also employed. Also, the Liberian education system is notoriously slow and students often have large gaps in their class schedule, so it’s possible that not everyone who considers themselves a student is actively taking class, but in the process of completing an education program. Entrepreneurs and IT professionals round out the top 3 places. Interestingly the least number of users are government and NGO staff. This may appear surprising since these two sectors are the largest sources of formal employment. However, unemployment and informal employment in Liberia are known to be quite high. To encourage those who are formally employed to come to iLab we hold a lot of our events after hours.

What events are people attending

When it comes to iLab events the mapping parties and TED talks are the clear leader. This is most likely because these are our longest running and most frequently offered events. Google technology events and our introduction to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) events are also quite popular. It should be noted that this graph represents the number of individuals that have attended 1 or more of the given events. If we were to count the number of repeat users TED talks and Mapping parties would be much higher. The graph on the left shows the number of users who have attended 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 or more events. This shows that mapping parties draw more repeats users. When looking at the numbers we do see that TED talks draw more first time users.  As we continue to offer events we hope to better capture the number of new and repeat users for all of our events.

Gender

Finally we end with a look at gender. Out of 335 users 278 (83%) were male and 57 (17%) were female. Quite a large discrepancy. We certainly do our best to encourage participation of both genders, but it seems, as is often the case around the world, participation by the fairer sex is lacking in the technology sector. iLab is currently talking with an organization about creating a curriculum specifically to target young ladies. We’re excited about this opportunity and hope it comes to fruition.

Raw Data

For those of you who want raw data to play with, like all good computer scientist would, please see this Excel File.

 

Thanks,

 

John.

Thank-you Letter from Columbia University

Access to technology is a huge challenge for local Liberians. iLab Liberia in an effort to minimize this gap has used its hub as a single public point for techies and innovators to access the internet in Liberia.

 

Among the many beneficiaries of this initiative are Liberians, expatriates and other INGOs, foreign universities and institutes that use iLab’s facility to enhance their mission, programs and surveys.

 

Below is a thank-you letter from Columbia University as a testimony for the assistance ilab rendered while they were carryout a survey in Liberia.