I woke up this morning with tears in my eyes. Surely, you should be asking why?
Imagine that the whole night I was in San José with techies, policy makers and social actors discussing the future of Netsquared, sharing and learning good ideas from experts of the new media and Hi-Tech; exchanging complementary cards with peers from Brazil, Japan, California, Saudi, South Africa, and out of a sudden I realized I was dreaming !!! Of course it was just a dream. A dream I thought and hoped to see it come to pass, but unfortunately visa to the United States is not offered to everybody. Despite the cumbersome efforts of Marc Manashil for the past one month to get me to San José, I did not have that courage to book for an emergency appointment with the consular officer for fear of a second visa refusal. From a thousand miles away, I can feel and see you guys in this beautiful hall building the future of the new world centered on technology. I am quite impressed with the tweets and will follow remotely till the end. Let’s talk a little diplomacy for the sake of technology and social development. In post 9/11 dispensation, the displacement of people, the dividing of resources and the deployment of technology can never be as before. Immigration officers are on maximum alert to shifter what goes in and out of the country. Permit me ask the following questions:
Can social development be possible without people meeting at least once, to discuss critical issues related to future technologies, good practices, strategy etc?
We the social actors, what makes us different from diplomats? Certainly you have your own answers.
This morning I was discussing these issues with my staff and some members of Netsquared Cameroon. Almost everyone came to the conclusion that we are diplomats and that for social development to be possible; people must meet to discuss issues. Considering the hypothesis that we are diplomats, it is fundamental for us to think, and act like diplomats. I personally believe that we in Netsquared under minded such difficulties in accomplishing the vision of the network. I am talking of:
The difficulties some of us especially in the south face when applying for visa to the united States,
Difficulties in accessing resources,
Difficulties in making our voices heard in top level policy issues,
Difficulties in taking local ideas and initiatives to the rest of the world…
The answer Billy gave to the question “Is a NetSquared Local event a party or a protest?” is quite interesting; “I believe there is no good answer. as Billy said: NetSquared is trying to come up with a framework that would support the organizers in going where they want to go. Ultimately, it is very empowering. It all depends on us. We are free to have a party, or pursue a social movement, and there are very few limitations that would be imposed on us on the very local level…
He talked of limitations; I just mentioned some of them above. Many social actors are motivated to be part of this greatnetwork. Let us seek for ways to sort out these limitations in order to pave the way for technological and social integration.
Some recommendations from Netsquared Cameroon
Develop cooperation policies with diplomatic institutions and stake holders to help promote the activities of Netsquared networks at local level especially in countries of the world, and sort out issues related to visa etc,
Entrust the management of Netsquared at country level to credible organizations who can play the role of focal points and(or) incubators for local initiatives,
Design a special project to raise funds both at the local and international levels to sustain these initiatives,
Consider Netsquared as an organization with a voice and as such remix all the ingredients to make this voice heard whenever and wherever need be. For example,
if the government of a particular country refuses access to the internet to its citizens, we expect Netsquared to “we can’t accept that… "
May God almighty who took you guys to California, lead you back home safely.