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ICT4D and mobile communication entry in International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication & Society

I did not realize this was a big deal until I heard several people including references to writing entries for the International Encyclopedia in the short 2-3 minutes they were allowed for self-introductions at the recent IDRC Information and Networks Partners’ meeting in Cape Town. It’s been some time since I had opened an encyclopedia. I thought that Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s insane (but typically French) idea of codifying settled knowledge had for sure been permanently buried by the Internet and Google. But no, apparently the scholarly industry and the inherent conservatism of the university will keep it going, at least for a few more years.

Anyway, it was not difficult or painful. Distilling the essence of what we do/talk about to 2,000 words was fun (that was a self-selected constraint; we could have gone up to 8,000). Teasing out what was unique about mobile communication, from simply a competitively supplied alternative to government or private monopoly supplied fixed telephony was illuminating, at least for me. Having a co-author, Nilusha Kapugama, to prepare the base was nice.

Hopefully, the opus will appear before its contents become stale.

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