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PAL Workshop/Atelier II, Tshwane, 2007/11/5-7 - Tshwane - Background

The PanAfrican Localisation project is a three-year effort, funded by IDRC, to build capacity for localisation in African languages including Arabic.

Project objectives and workshops

Among its objectives were the holding of two workshops, the first of which was intended to bring together a number of people active in localisation and using African languages in ICTs, and discuss their needs and how best to support localisation efforts. This first PanAfrican Localisation workshop was held in Casablanca, Morocco on 13-15 June 2005.

The project plan also called for a second workshop. In the original project design - which anticipated creating a web-based database of information for localisers - this second workshop was foreseen as a way to test the database and work with (and train as necessary) the people who would edit the site. Ultimately the website approach shifted to emphasize use of a wiki, which is open to all and does not require special training. Therefore, the orientation of the second workshop - dubbed PAL2 - also has shifted.

Relationship to PanAfrican Research on Localisation & L10n Blitz

As part of its program to support localisation in Africa IDRC sponsored the PanAfrican Research on Localisation Workshop & L10n Blitz, which was held in Marrakech, Morocco on 24-27 February 2007. This workshop focused on developing a research network and project ideas for advancing localisation in Africa. This is and the PanAfrican Localisation project are complementary.

Although the PAL2 workshop is focused on the PanAfrican Localisation project (activities funded by IDRC under this project), it will discuss and support the efforts that came out of the workshop in Marrakech.

Current objectives of PAL2

Since this PAL project lasts for 3 years, from April 2005 through March 2008, but the work of the project is intended to continue to serve and be developed, one question is how to assure its sustainability.