Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bamako triptych, and resuming again

Since my last posting, which was after returning from a trip to Bamako, I haven't had the time to do much with this blog. Circumstances have changed somewhat, though the focus of my work and essence of the ideas that I am developing are much the same.

The title of this entry remembers that trip to Bamako and alludes to a recent conference on languages and an ongoing one on African development, both in the same city. More on those below.

This blog in the mix of things

This blog, to review, is focused on African languages, ICT and development, with attention to some related matters. I've given particular attention to language-development links.

In addition to the postings, I have arrayed in the left sidebar feeds from a number of lists relating to these subjects, especially the language-ICT links. Part of the concept is that even when I am not posting actively, there is changing & updating material (or links to same). I intend to do more with the main part of this blog but it really is a question of time.

Two things not in the left sidebar that I have been working on in some of my online time over the last few months are two projects on my personal/professional site, another blog, "Multidisciplinary Perspectives," which concerns a wider rage of topics (and facilitates exploring some ideas); and a collection of information on the International Year of Languages (which is about to end).

Bamako last year and now

My trip to Bamako in May 2008 was mainly an opportunity for Dwayne Bailey, project lead of the African Network for Localisation (ANLoc) and me to meet with Adama Samassekou and his colleagues at the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN). ACALAN, which is now part of the African Union, has been collaborating with UNESCO and to a lesser degree IDRC on issues of linguistic diversity and ICT. It is hoped to work more with them on issues relating to localization of ICT in African languages.

In January (2009/1/19-21), ACALAN hosted a conference involving UNESCO and the MAAYA linguistic diversity network called the Bamako International Forum on Multilingualism. Billed as "A first step towards a World Summit on Multilingualism," this event treated aspects of multilingualism with anaccent on Africa.

Interesting to note that this month - 2009/2/19-21 - the ninth Forum de Bamako is being held. Exactly one month later and in the same hotel as the conference on multilingualism, one wonders if this conference on development (with the theme this year of governance) will boach the topic of languages in development and governance in multilingual societies.

I have not been able to attend either of these two meetings, but I look forward to seeing the Action Plan from the former and the proceedings of the latter. Hopefully I can then follow up with some comments.

In the meantime, I'm trying to catch up on various work, notably for ANLoc on policy relating to localization (language and ICT).

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