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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - MerakaInstitute

Meraka Institute

Meraka Institute (African Advanced Institute for Information & Communication Technology) is a South African government-supported applied research institute. Some of its work relates to localisation.

Website: http://www.meraka.org.za/

Description

"The Meraka Institute is a large-scale intervention in the information and communications technology space to address challenges in both the first economy (well developed and integrated with the global economy) and the second economy (characterised by informal economic activity and poverty). The Institute is supported by the Departments of Communication and of Science and Technology, and managed by the CSIR [Council for Scientific and Industrial Research]." http://www.csir.co.za/plsql/ptl0002/PTL0002_PGE005_DIVISIONS?DIVISION_NO=1060001 (accessed 2007-4-12)

"The major objective of the Meraka Institute is to facilitate national economic and social development through human capital development and needs-based research and innovation, leading to products and services based on Information and Communication Technology." http://www.meraka.org.za/ (accessed 2007-4-12)

Mereka apparently also "supports regional initiatives under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), collaborating with ICT organisations through staff and student exchange, and the establishment of co-operative programmes."

Projects that mention localisation

Human Language Technologies (HLT)

From the webpage at http://www.meraka.org.za/humanLanguage.htm (accessed 2007-4-12):
"Human Language Technology (HLT) makes it easier for people to interact with machines. This can benefit a wide range of people - from illiterate farmers in remote villages who want to obtain relevant medical information over a cellphone, to scientists in state-of-the-art laboratories who want to focus on problem-solving with computers."

The HLT page mantions that they "consciously support language diversity."

Open Source Centre (OSC)

From the webpage at http://floss.meraka.org.za/ (accessed 2007-4-12):
"The Open Source Centre (OSC), has been established to amplify the beneficial impact of FLOSS across all sectors of society (public, private, civil). ..."
"The Centre was proposed as a substantial enabling initiative to dramatically accelerate the successful adoption of FLOSS, and proactively initiate actions essential for realising the benefits and making the envisaged impact. ..."
"A longer term and broader goal is to facilitate and catalyse the process of changing the dominant culture from one of passive consumer of proprietary solutions, developed in the first world, to one of proactive producer of appropriate innovative solutions, tailored to the local needs. This will result in a Southern Africa based digital commons (Meraka) - an enabler for localised FLOSS, open content and related resources."

International collaboration

Meraka has a collaboration with LLACAN on speech synthesis? of Sango. [need more info]


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