Cote d’Ivôire online community mobilizes for progress
The Ivorian social media scene is no doubt one of the most active on the continent (search #ci225 or #team225 to see why). In what is a novel idea, a few hundred online users in Côte d’Ivoire have selected a representative for the Ivorian blogosphere. Emmanuel Aswan, the ‘web-mayor’ will now work with a core Ivorian online community to create a safe, welcoming, and productive environment for all Ivorian web users.
Mathieu Olivier of Jeune Afrique best explains the significance of this small-scale pseudo-election. He writes that the blogging community is important for Côte d’Ivoire’s reconstruction. Foreign investors could eventually be impressed by the nation’s digital sector.
A six point plan – essentially the basis for an unofficial ICT policy – will ensure Ivorians have a positive online experience. They are to:
- facilitate dialogue between webmaster and developer.
- educate developers for safe coding.
- supervise and encourage web marketers.
- know the code of conduct on the Internet in order to avoid inconvenience.
- dialogue with operators and Internet service providers for better quality of service at lower cost.
- encourage the sharing of knowledge.
Grassroots efforts such as the unofficial management of a portion of Côte d’Ivoire’s online space could very well find success. For one, many governments (including that of Côte d’Ivoire) have yet to address the six points listed above. There’s little risk in having web-savvy citizens attempt to give structure to the nation’s online space. Efforts taken by the #225 groups will further attract new members who strive to do more online than just social networking. With some persistence (and luck) the Ivorian government could be inspired to work with all stakeholders to form a modern and comprehensive ICT policy.