I just learned that Denis Bilodeau, a long-time senior project officer and division chief of USAID, passed away earlier this month in Bamako. He had a long career in West Africa was well known in the region for his work on information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) projects.
Although I only met him during my last trip to Bamako in May 2008, I had communicated with him on a couple of occasions prior to that. I first heard about him and his work from a colleague in ICRISAT in Mali (where I worked briefly in 1999 and 2000), who spoke highly of his work and described him as "plus malien que les maliens."
The occasion of meeting him was the chance for Dwayne Bailey (head of the ANLoc project) and me to talk about aspects of localization and how that could advance work in ICT4D. Sadly we never had the chance to collaborate on any of that, but hopefully there will be opportunities to build on the foundations that Denis helped build.