The development of technology since the entry of computers into the consumer market has been explosive. Mail services are struggling to survive as emails have taken precedence over envelopes. Newspaper companies struggle to justify producing printed medium and the music industry is being forced to revolutionize its publishing schemes in order to combat widely-available-pirated-online materials.
With a few clicks one can connect to satellites circling the earth and access a picture of some location. Getting there? 3 clicks more. The answer to any question is just one search engine away. Instructions manuals, dictionaries, maps, calculators–all within reach with only a few minutes of time. In nearly every avenue, computers are beginning to make indelible marks on the way the world operates.
Although it would seem reasonable to call this revolution widespread and explosive, an asterisk must always be inserted — Africa is this asterisk.
Though the benefits of computers and the wonders of the internet are widely lauded across the planet, but most of Africa remains untouched by this revolutionary change. Even though Africa is the 2nd most populous continent in the world, less than three percent of the world’s internet subscribers were located in Africa in 2006. That’s not too surprising considering that there is only one computer per 130 people in Africa. The access to broadband connections is lower than 1%. This can probably be explained by the continental average of around 3 main lines per 100 people. In over 20 countries the national average is fewer than 1 main line. Of the connections that are available, most are severely overpriced and inconvenient. Many individuals can only afford access at libraries or schools for free.
Operation Connect will address this challenging dilemma in the most effective way we are capable. Though a few programs are in place to provide computers to developing nations, many fail to adequately help these countries actually become a part of the revolution. Some programs only offer specialized computers that are not operated like the computers that the working world requires employees to use with competence (i.e., One Laptop One Child). Furthermore, many of these programs merely drop computers into communities and leave the members flummoxed with how to practically integrate them into their schools and communities. Despite these companies’ attempt to teach the masses to fish, they have merely handed out second-rate fishing poles.
The goal of Operation Connect is to completely connect selected communities with the outside world. Blackstone Operations’s approach connects access to free-up-to-date computers with the hands-on power of personal training and integration of computers into every-day life. Blackstone Operations will strive to give underprivileged communities first-rate fishing poles and teach the member of these communities to utilize the full range of opportunities provided by the tools.
Operation Connect is a declaration that everyone can learn given the same tools… that cultures from different hemispheres can connect to and learn from each other without condescension or scorn… that each man and each woman is both deserving and capable of fishing from the same prosperous pool.