Paying by phone: The Somalia chapter of the Internet Society is focusing on educating Internet users, particularly young people, about mobile payments. The chapter is working with technology stakeholders to improve digital literacy. The chapter notes that 70 percent of adults in Somalia use mobile money services regularly, and more than two thirds of payments in the country are made through unregulated mobile money services.
Passport to learning: In addition to educating people about mobile payments, the Somalia chapter is looking at ways to use the Internet to provide educational services. The chapter is planning to roll out the Learning Passport, a platform that combines online, mobile, and offline learning services to enable continuous access to educational resources. The Learning Passport is “highly flexible and adaptable,” allowing countries to use it as a learning management system, the chapter says.
Celebrating women: A handful of chapters noted the work and involvement of women and girls in information and communications technology during International Women’s Day earlier this year. The Ghana chapter quoted seven women involved in the tech industry. “Feeling a little uncomfortable with your skills is a sign of learning, and continuous learning is what the tech industry thrives on!” said Ernestina Tawiah, a network support engineer with Huawei. “It’s important to seek out environments where you are supported, but where you have the chance to be uncomfortable and learn new things.”
Brain matters: Meanwhile, the Panama chapter hosted an interview with Maria Florencia Alamos, president of the Ciencia Impacta Foundation, who has a PhD in neuroscience. Alamos disputed myths surrounding supposed differences in the brains of women and men, and she suggested that environmental and cultural elements play a greater role in career choices than gender-based cognitive differences. The brain is not rigid, she said, it is flexible and its flexibility depends greatly on the environment.
Safe routing: The Benin chapter has launched a routing security initiative, with the goal of supporting network operators in securing Internet routing by applying good MANRS practices. The chapter is looking for volunteers to help it conduct an assessment of routing safety and highlight MANRS deficiencies. The chapter is also looking for a dialogue with operators, ISPs, and other government stakeholders.
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